Explore whole-house surge protectors

In the modern home, we rely heavily on electricity. It powers our devices, appliances, and systems, making life easier and more comfortable.

But what happens when a power surge hits?

A power surge can significantly damage your home’s electrical systems and devices, resulting in costly repairs or replacements. That’s where whole house surge protection comes in. This system safeguards your home from the damaging effects of power surges. It’s an essential part of any comprehensive home safety strategy.

Consider calling Dollens Electric to install an appropriate electrical surge protector that guards your Appliances, Electronics, and the entire home.

Understanding Power Surges and Their Impact on Your Home

A power surge is a sudden spike in electrical current. It can occur for various reasons, such as lightning strikes, power grid issues, or large appliances cycling on and off.

These surges can be harmful to your home’s electrical systems and devices. They can cause immediate damage, leading to device failure, or gradually degrade the performance of your electronics over time. This can result in costly repairs or replacements, making surge protection a wise investment for any homeowner. Most Utility Providers will not cover damaged appliances or computers if a surge happens. If, by chance, they do cover the surge from something like faulty equipment, the amount refunded will be pennies on the dollar compared to new prices. However, many surge protectors come with a warranty for your appliances.  

The Basics of Whole House Surge Protection

Whole-house surge protection is designed to shield your home from power surges. It is installed directly into your home’s electrical panel. It diverts excess voltage back into the ground, protecting your home’s electrical circuits and devices.

Critical features of whole-house surge protectors include:

  • UL 1449 certification: This ensures the device meets safety standards.
  • Joule rating: This indicates the amount of energy the device can absorb.
  • Response time: This is the speed at which the device can respond to a surge.
  • Indicator lights: These show the status of the protector.

How Whole House Surge Protectors Differ from Power Strips

Whole house surge protectors and power strips with surge protection serve similar purposes but operate on different scales. A power strip with surge protection is designed to protect the devices plugged into it from minor surges. It’s a localized solution, ideal for safeguarding specific electronics like your computer or TV.
On the other hand, a whole-house surge protector is installed at your home’s electrical panel. It protects all the electrical circuits in your home from minor and significant surges. This includes large appliances like your refrigerator and HVAC system, which can’t be plugged into a power strip.

Types of Electrical Surges: Internal vs. External

Electrical surges can be categorized into two types: internal and external. Internal surges are the most common and occur within your home. They’re typically caused by large appliances cycling on and off, which can disrupt the steady flow of electricity.
External surges, on the other hand, originate outside your home. They can be caused by lightning strikes, power grid issues, or even problems with your utility company’s equipment. While less frequent, external surges can be far more powerful and damaging, making whole-house surge protection a crucial safeguard for your home..

Common Causes of Power Surges and How to Prevent Them

Power surges can be caused by various factors inside and outside your home. Internally, large appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, and washing machines can cause surges when they cycle on and off. Externally, lightning strikes, power grid issues, and utility equipment malfunctions can lead to powerful surges.


Preventing power surges involves a combination of strategies:

  • Installing whole house surge protection to guard against external surges in your main electrical panel

You are installing a surge protector in each sub-panel to avoid internal surges created in your home. This will help prevent surges from spreading across branch circuits in your home. 

  • Using surge-protected power strips for sensitive electronics.
  • Regularly maintain and inspect your home’s electrical system.
  • Considering the use of power conditioners for high-end electronics.

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The Benefits of Installing Whole House Surge Protection

Whole house surge protection offers numerous benefits. First and foremost, it protects your home’s electrical system and all connected devices from damaging power surges. This includes everything from your refrigerator and HVAC system to your television and computer.
In addition to protecting your valuable electronics, whole-house surge protection can extend their lifespan. By preventing power surges from causing wear and tear on your devices, you can keep them running smoothly for longer. This can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs or replacements.

Choosing the Right Surge Protector for Your Home

Choosing a suitable surge protector for whole house involves several factors. You’ll need to consider the size of your home, the number of electrical devices you have, and the type of electrical system in your home. It’s also important to look at the surge protector’s joule rating, response time, and UL 1449 certification.

Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Joule Rating: This measures the energy a surge protector can absorb. A higher joule rating means more protection.
  • Response Time: A lower response time means the protector can react faster to a surge.
  • UL 1449 Certification: This indicates the surge protector meets specific safety standards.

Remember, it’s always best to consult a professional electrician when choosing a surge protector. They can provide expert advice based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Installation: DIY vs. Professional Electrician

Installing a whole house surge protector can be a complex task. While some homeowners may feel comfortable doing it themselves, hiring a professional electrician is often best. They have the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure the installation is done correctly and safely. The ability to provide an installation receipt for your whole house surge protector by a licensed electrician will help with damage claims.

Attempting to install a surge protector without the proper training can lead to severe risks. These include electrical shocks, fires, and damage to your home’s electrical system. A professional electrician can also provide valuable advice on the best location for the surge protector and how to maintain it.

Maintenance and Lifespan of Surge Protectors

Whole-house surge protectors are designed to last for many years. However, several factors can influence their lifespan. These include the frequency and intensity of power surges and the quality of the surge protector itself.
Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure your surge protector remains effective. This includes checking the indicator lights to ensure the device is working correctly. If the lights indicate a problem or the surge protector is over ten years old, it may be time to replace it. Always consult with a professional electrician if you need clarification.

Addressing Myths and Misconceptions About Surge Protection

There are many myths and misconceptions about surge protection. Some people believe that power strips offer sufficient protection, but this is untrue, especially if your receptacle has no ground wire connected to it. Whole-house surge protection provides a much higher level of security, protecting all your appliances and electronics from damaging power surges. It’s an essential part of a comprehensive home safety strategy.



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Consider calling Dollens Electric to install an appropriate electrical whole house surge protector that guards your computer as well as the entire home.

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