Whole House Surge Protectors – Can They Save Your Electronics?

We’ve all experienced it ‘ sharp spikes in the electricity called power surges. Most of us
protect our computers from these surges, but did you ever think about your other electronics? Appliances today have electronic/computerized components that can easily be ‘fried’ by a power surge. You’ve either experienced it yourself or know someone else who, at the very least, has lost a freezer (not to mention some expensive frozen food) due to a surge, possibly days before it was discovered. Now computers, phones, thermostats, TVs, microwaves, fridges and other appliances can be affected. Did you know that a Whole House Surge Protector can protect all these things at once?

Where do these power surges come from?

Even minor surges which can occur as often as an appliance turning on or off can affect other appliances, too. While it won’t necessarily knock them out, continued daily surges can shorten the life of other appliances.

As a licensed electrician in West Palm Beach FL, we have seen many fluctuating power surges from the electric company.’ These surges are accidental and uncontrollable, and your wiring can be overwhelmed by a large surge. Anything from the power coming back on after an outage, to nearby lightning strikes, downed utility lines after a storm, or a car hitting a power pole can cause damaging surges.’ These power surges can wipe out you’re your appliances, right along with your computers and entertainment centers. This can cause thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage.


Guarantee of protection

A Whole House Surge Protector, no bigger than a toaster, can be attached to your main electrical panel. This single device can protect all of the electronics in your entire house. Some manufacturers are so confident in the ability of their devices’ protection that they will even provide you a damage warranty, at replacement cost. Your insurance won’t even do that if the cause is deemed an ‘act of God.’

Aren’t power strips good enough to use?

In order to validate the warranty on your Whole House Surge Protector, supplementary protection in the form of surge protecting powers strip for your computers and entertainment systems, is needed, but the quality of power strip protection varies from guaranteed to no real protection at all. And of course those give no protection for your kitchen, laundry appliances, etc. A recent entry from ThisOldHouse.com says, ‘Many homeowners believe that adequate surge protection begins and ends with plugging their computer into a power strip. Unfortunately, that’s seldom the case.’

Which Type of Whole House Surge Protector is best?

Whole house surge protectors vary in degree of protection offered, warranties, and price. If you live in West Palm Beach Florida, you’ll want and need the highest level of protection you can get. To find this, search online for electrician West Palm Beach FL. You’ll need a West Palm Beach electrician for the installation, and you can consult with our local electrical experts to determine the level of protection that makes sense for your home.

As a note, the biggest challenge to a surge protector is lightning. Manufacturers won’t generally warranty against damage due to a direct lightning strike to your house. However, this rarely happens, and if it did, it would probably cause a lot more damage than simply the loss of your electronics. Most frequently, power surge damage is due to a nearby lightning strike (rather than a direct hit) or to fluctuation in power. That’s where your Whole House Surge Protector will be of ultimate benefit.


What about the price of Whole House Surge Protectors?

The good news is that with recent improvements in technology, Whole House Surge Protector prices have been slashed in half. These devices have been around for over 25 years, but up until now they have been prohibitively expensive ‘ in the $800 – $1200 range. Now the less expensive ones are in the $400 range.

Wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry? Over the years, you as a homeowner have become accustomed to the need to purchase smoke alarms and fire insurance. People are just now beginning to recognize the concept of protecting home electronics, especially their appliances, against power surges. Considering the catastrophic stress, loss of time, and the cost of replacing home data centers, entertainment systems and appliances, spending $400 – $600 to prevent such losses could be one of the wisest decisions you’ll ever make.