Many people associate a surge protector with the multi-outlet strip that may be found at any hardware or home supply store. A whole-house surge protector is far more complicated, but it performs the same function on a bigger scale.
Everything that uses electricity in your home, from your phone to your refrigerator and everything in between, has a maximum voltage it can withstand. When the voltage in your home’s energy rises above what your appliances can manage, it can cause harm to the equipment, shortening its lifespan or even blowing it out completely. Furthermore, the arc of energy that results could be enough to ignite an electrical fire.
What Is a Whole-House Surge Protector?
The word does not conjure up images of simplicity. Furthermore, the complexity of words can deter people from learning more. As a result, all of your appliances are safe from overheating and, in some cases, exploding.
A surge protector, in simple terms, has a filter that allows all safe electrical currents in a while, preventing all irregular voltage from affecting your power utility. As a result, your appliances will not burn out or, in some cases, explode. Also, it serves as the first line of protection against voltage spikes. It reduces the spikes and ensures that you live a happy and secure life at home.
Electrical devices have microprocessors, which are very sensitive to power surges, as they are the first to go when lightning strikes. And, in some cases, even the tiniest of current changes can derail it. So don’t skimp; spend a few hundred dollars now rather than a couple of thousand dollars later when it’s too late.
Finally, a licensed and certified electrician should only install a surge protector. Unless you have the necessary powers, but if you don’t, don’t try to play god. Failure to install a surge protector with proper grounding and connection can cause irreversible damage. Don’t worry about running out of time; installation takes only 2 hours.
A More In-Depth Look at the Sources of Power Surges
Before diving into the use of surge protectors, it’s a good idea to learn more about why and how power surges happen in the first place. Today, power surges can come from a variety of places. They might come from inside and outside the house due to over-voltages on utility loans, power grid switching, or within the house. When you turn off or on huge appliances, this happens.
Smaller power surges occur every day you utilize your electrical system, whereas more significant power surges from downed power lines or lightning are very infrequent. Smaller but more frequent power surges can degrade and harm your electrical devices, reducing their lifespan. The following are the most common sources of short-duration electric transients (also known as over-voltages):
- Inductive spikes
- Lightning strikes
- Power outages
- Malfunctions that the power company causes
- Tripped circuit breakers
- Short circuits
- Tripped circuit breakers
Lightning is a less common but far more dangerous cause of a power spike. If lightning strikes your home, you’ll be glad you have whole-house surge protection.
Protecting Your Home and Electronics
The best approach to safeguard your home, appliances, and gadgets from power surges of any magnitude is to employ modern whole-house surge protection equipment. They’ll usually be connected to your home’s electrical service panel, but they’ll be in more accessible areas. To help shunt power spikes, today’s electronics use MOVs (metal oxide varistors).
While a point-of-use surge protector is better than nothing, it is unlikely to deflect stronger surges from an external source, such as lightning. If you want to safeguard your home from a direct lightning strike, you need to hire an expert to install a lightning protection system.
Although MOVs are commonly used in surge strips, they can be destroyed if a significant surge occurs; nevertheless, MOVs utilized in a whole-house system can defer more significant surges and persist for many years. Today’s new development typically includes high-priced electrical systems as standard equipment.
Protecting Your Home from Potential Lightning Damage
If there is a strong storm, make sure your water well pump (if you have one) is turned off at the breaker box. You might not have any water if the pump is damaged during the storm.
Ensure that all your home devices are plugged into surge protectors – ideally, surge protection. If you’re still utilizing point-of-use surge protectors, be sure they’re UL-listed (Underwriters Laboratories). If you discover one for sale for less than $10, it is unlikely to provide the level of protection required. As you can see, using a whole-house surge protector makes sense. Learn more about the advantages of this investment here if you need further convincing.
What Does A Surge Protector Combat?
Now that you understand what a surge protector is let’s look at what it protects. A surge protector will protect the circuit boards on all of your electronic gadgets from any possible damage. Examples include dryers, washers, dishwashers, stoves, LED strips and lights, HVAC, computers, refrigerators, and almost everything else that has an electrical component.
It will also protect against any potential electrical surges caused by turning on and off appliances. One of the most common causes of surges is device cycling, given that the primary function of freezers and air conditioners is to cycle. Hairdryers and vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, continue to cycle.
Mini-surges may appear to have a slight permanent effect, but we all know that most problems compound. So don’t let them off the hook. Surge protectors are sometimes used to defend against lightning strikes, which cause significant voltage fluctuations. Any residence connected to the electrical grid could be affected, and the surge could knock out utility lines, causing damage to your home.
Surge Protection Benefits
Consider some of the advantages of whole-house surge protection if you haven’t already. This will assist you in determining whether or not it is a wise decision for you and your home. Consider it a form of protection for your devices.
The average household now has more electrical and technological devices than before. Modern home appliances contain sophisticated circuit boards that must be safeguarded from harmful surges. Even the newest LED bulbs have a highly sensitive micro circuit board that electrical surges can damage.
In recent years, the total number of personal gadgets in today’s households has expanded significantly. Smartphones, tablets, PCs, and other comparable devices contain sensitive data that must be safeguarded.
Up to 80% of all power surges originate from within the home.
Most power surges are temporary and last only a few seconds. They are produced by household appliances such as air conditioners and motors. Small surges won’t harm your devices or appliances right away, but over time, they may weaken their performance and, as a result, shorten their lives.
Layering whole-house surge protection is something you should discuss with your electrician. This is vital if you have an expensive electronic setup or home entertainment system. If an appliance in your home produces a surge across a common circuit or one that isn’t dedicated, your other outlets could be affected as well. This is why a surge protector at the home’s circuit panel is not recommended.
Layered systems will be directly connected to your electrical panel and the place of use. The easiest approach to deal with these types of shared circuits is to install a power conditioner that includes surge suppression.
Protecting Electrical Systems in Their Entirety
While the primary purpose of whole-house surge protection is to protect your home’s electronics and appliances, it’s also designed to protect the entire electrical system.
If a transient surge is generated by a home appliance connected to a dedicated circuit, the surge will be sent back through the breaker panel and shunted. This ensures that the rest of the home’s electrical system is safe. Testing your AFCIs and GFCIs every 30 days is another way to ensure your safety.
Where Does A Power Surge Come From?
If you read the previous paragraph, you already know where a surge comes from, but let’s dig a little deeper. A power surge can be classified into external and internal surges.
Internal surges account for 80% of all power surge issues resulting from the local effects of appliance cycling and inappropriate outlet usage. Consider a hot water dispenser: it heats up and then cools down. All of this happened in a short amount of time, resulting in numerous electrical disturbances. These build up over time, resulting in a utility line mayday.
On the other hand, external surges account for the remaining 20% of all surges. The term “external” refers to the fact that these come from the outside. Consider lightning strikes, power lines shredded by strong winds, utility line repair and maintenance, and power station maintenance.
All of these are beyond your control and can potentially disrupt the entire electrical infrastructure. In some situations, the ability to kill all residents in a given area. And it’s typically unintentional when this happens. As we all know, unplanned electrical changes generate a spike in every home. Internal and exterior surges can both be mitigated with a whole-house surge protector. Keeping your home safe from electrical problems.
What Types of Home Surge Protectors Exist?
Now that you know what a whole-house surge protector is, how it operates, and what it protects against, let’s look at the many types of surge protectors. In general, there are three basic types of whole-house surge protectors on the market.
Whole House Surge Protector
The circuit breaker panel puts a surge protector for the entire house. It’s connected to your main Breaker’s dual-pole Breaker. In some circumstances, down-streaming can be accomplished by routing traffic through your sub-panel—type one safeguards against all internal surges originating from within the residence.
External Surge Protector
A surge protector that blocks up to 80% of all external surges. Lightning strikes, power line problems, and power plant maintenance are examples. It’s all set up from the utility pole to the breaker panel. It is the first line of protection against the damaging impacts of large power spikes that travel down the electrical grid from a malfunctioning external source.
Strip Surge Protector
The most typical surge protector is a strip. It’s a simple outlet strip that may be seen connected into a wall socket. These can be used throughout your home to create a barrier between the outlet and your electronics. Surge protectors can’t protect you against problems caused by the surge protector itself. You are vulnerable to damage if you have a device plugged into an unprotected outlet.
What Does It Cost To Install A Surge Protector?
Now it’s time to talk about the costs. This is an ambiguous question, but we shall respond to the best of our abilities. Put another way, the cost is determined by your individual use case scenario. Nonetheless, there are a few things to keep an eye on.
Is there a Sub-Panel that leads to the Breaker?
A sub-panel connects to the Main Breaker in some dwellings. This is installed because of the great distance between the appliances and the main panel. As a result, you get power from the main panel via the sub-panel rather than the power utility. It will be more expensive to cover an additional step.
Which Surge Protector Do You Require?
surge protector is built by a different company and protects against a distinct type of surge. Each device, for example, has a different current capacity and add-on functionality that you may or may not require. The cost varies greatly depending on whether it’s an internal or external system.
Which Warranty Are You Opting For?
Unless a warranty is already included, it is advisable to opt-in for one. In most circumstances, complete warranty insurance will be far more expensive. In addition, the cost of the warranty varies depending on the device’s complexity.
Who Will Install the Surge Protector Throughout the House?
Because of this, you’ll need someone to install a whole-house surge protector rather than a strip protector. Employing the services of a professional organization or hiring a contractor will increase your overall cost.
Check for reviews and do some research on the companies. In any event, the greatest approach to determine compatibility is through word of mouth. Typically, an electrician will bill by the hour and alter the pricing based on their experience and abilities.
So what’s the Average Device Cost?
Sure, knowing the various expenses for all actions engaged in installation is beneficial. But all you want to know is how much a device costs on average. It’s pretty straightforward in that situation—quality WSPD costs between $100 and $400 on average. All additional costs are not included.
Overview of Surge Protector Installation
In all circumstances, we strongly advise hiring a licensed technician who can install a whole-house surge protector in less than two hours. Because electrical wiring might be complicated, it can be put incorrectly and cause harm to your property if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Not to mention that incorrect grounding will prohibit your equipment from working correctly. So, for the sake of your home and family’s safety, seek the advice of a professional who will happily assist you and save you the trouble of future problems.
Let’s look at how a professional would perform a surge protector installation. This is a general overview of the process; each specialist’s job is done differently.
- Collect all necessary tools that are safe to use with electricity.
- For the time being, put all plugged-in and active devices/objects on standby.
- Using a voltage detector to confirm the broken panel does not have any current flowing through it during installation.
- Locate the WSPD device’s handbook and any relevant instructions.
- Check to see if the gadget may be mounted on the outside of the panel to extend its life.
- Examine the SPD wires, which are typically green (ground), white (neutral), black (active), and black (inactive) in color (active).
- Carry on with the wiring and setup.
- Before turning on the main Breaker, double-check that everything is in working order.
- Recommend that homeowners check the power suppressor every month to ensure it is still working. (The joule capacity of each gadget depreciates with each spike.)
This is not a do-it-yourself (DIY) installation tutorial, and it should not be used as such. Engage the services of a certified electrician from a recognized organization for maximum SPD achievement.
How Long Do Whole-House Surge Protectors Last?
Because of how surge protectors work, it’s difficult to give a specific lifespan. Each device has a joule rating, which specifies the maximum amount of electricity it can withstand before failing. Surge protectors that absorb power surges frequently wear out more quickly than those in houses with fewer surges.
Although many gadgets have five-year or longer warranties, electricians recommend updating surge protectors every two years. Fortunately, the gadgets aren’t too expensive, and an electrician can set one up in about two hours. The actual cost is determined by various factors, including the type of protector, any warranties, and whether or not you have a sub-panel. However, the cost will always be less than replacing appliances due to a power outage.
Advantages of Whole-house Surge Protector
Still, they are not persuaded that a surge suppressor for the entire house is a good idea? Take a look at these persuasive reasons to buy one for your home today!
Layers the Whole House
From the electric panel to usage, it provides multilayer surge protection. It also protects your electronic gadgets on standard circuits, such as your television and sound system. On the other hand, a plug-in protector cannot save another device on a shared circuit. Use a power conditioner with a surge suppressor to protect your appliances on a shared circuit.
Protects Your Sensitive Gadgets
Many modern household appliances are vulnerable due to their reliance on microcircuit boards. A power spike could seriously harm them. Many personal gadgets such as laptops and entertainment systems have skyrocketed in the recent decade. With so many sensitive gadgets in your home, a whole-house surge protector protects you from a catastrophic loss in the event of a power outage.
Protects Entire Electrical System
A whole-house surge protector not only protects your electrical equipment but also protects your complete electrical system. This is because any internal spike will be prevented from reaching adjacent circuits. That spike will be sent back to the breaker panel. Check your GFCI and AFCI every month to ensure the surge suppressor is working for all outlets.
Protects Against Internal Surges
Did you know that internal power surges account for 80% of all power surges? They have a short transition and emanate from one of your home appliances, such as an air conditioner. They do not always cause harm. On the other hand, recurrent surges might gradually damage the appliance’s performance. Your appliances are protected from these hazardous internal surges by a whole-house surge protector.
Suits All Voltage Needs
Different houses require different amounts of voltage. A surge protector with an 80kA rating can effectively protect a standard 120-volt service house. If your home has subpanels, a power surge protector with half the kA rating of the central units can be used. If you experience a lot of storms, it’s a good idea to acquire a protector with an 80kA rating. As a result, every household has the option of installing a whole-house surge protector.
To Sum Up
It’s time to move on to the next phase now that we’ve covered everything from what a whole-house surge protector is to how it works, the many types of surge protectors, cost, and a brief overview of the installation. You’re almost done installing, securing, and maintaining your own. And by doing so, you’ll be safeguarding your home for many more surges to come, eliminating any concerns about malfunctioning or ruined equipment.
Enjoy life to the fullest, take advantage of electricity’s ease, and don’t be concerned about the potential issues that come with it. Even surges beyond your control can be controlled within your home, which is exactly how it should be.
Lastly, when planning to purchase any electrical components, remember to purchase from us. At ICRFQ we are the best electrical components manufacturers in China.
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