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Whole House Surge Protection

Posted on February 2, 2011

Protect Yourself with a Whole House Surge Protector

Jenna was working at home one evening on a term paper for school. Downstairs, her mother was loading up the washing machine with a load of whites, while her brother Hunter was preparing microwave popcorn. As the microwave and washing machine kicked on, a surge of power went through the whole house and caused the power supply for Jenna’s PC to overload. Her motherboard was toasted. It would take $500 to replace the computer, another $300 to recover and upload the data on the old hard drive, and several hours to configure the new computer to the way Jenna wanted it. Not only that, but because her term paper was a day late as a result of the accident, her unsympathetic professor deducted substantial percentage points off the paper’s grade, which ended up making her final grade in the class a B instead of an A.

It may seem like a dramatic story, but the truth is power surges happen in homes all the time. Older homes with older wiring are particularly susceptible surges. Although most people associate lightning storms with power surges, the truth is only 15% of all surges are actually a result of lightning. The remaining 85% are from other sources, such as large appliances shutting off and on, trees falling on power lines, or even just random surges. Ruined appliances and electrical devices can be one result, but even more seriously this type of power surge has been known to start a home fire on many occasions. In addition, many older homes were not wired with computer usage in mind. Microprocessors are found in a variety of electronic devices, such as home PC’s, ovens, refrigerators, or HVAC units. The delicate circuitry is highly susceptible to damage, and repair costs can run into the hundreds of dollars for each ruined electrical device. Electrical damage is also sometimes a slow process. Like wearing down a spot on a rug, audio equipment can slowly be worn down by power fluctuations. Over time, this could result in speakers and amplifiers that work at less than peak condition. It could become necessary to replace the equipment more frequently, which would mean additional out-of-pocket expense.

When it’s not possible to rewire the entire home, one way to protect your home against power surges is to install a whole house surge suppressor. Rather than just protecting one or two devices, a whole house suppressor will protect all electrical items in the home. Most quality whole house surge suppressors offer coverage not just for electrical power, but also for cable, internet, and even satellite connections. They are generally installed onto the main panel. The way a surge suppressor works is simple. When a dangerous level of current is detected, the surge suppressor redirects and absorbs the excess power, allowing only a safe amount of current to pass through. Once the danger is passed, the surge suppressor will reset itself without any assistance. Homeowners with whole house surge suppressors do not need to worry about unplugging equipment in an electrical storm, because the surge suppressor will redirect the dangerous current, if necessary. Some users will also use a secondary surge suppressor at the power outlet, as sort of a backup to the backup.

Many quality whole house surge suppressors come with a multi-year warranty and insurance coverage in the event that electrical appliances are damaged; however these warranties are often contingent on the whole house surge suppressor being installed by a licensed electrician. For this reason, and also to ensure that the job is done properly, it is always a good idea to allow an electrician to perform the work rather than trying to do it yourself. Our Master Electrician is licensed and insured and we guarantee satisfaction on all of our work. We proudly boast an Accredited Business rating from the Better Business Bureau. We provide electrical installatio and repair services for many Texas cities, including Plano, Frisco, Little Elm, Allen, McKinney, Prosper, Flower Mound, Lewisville, Denton, Corinth, Highland Village, Farmers Branch, Carrollton, Richardson, and Addison. We offer competitive pricing for all services provided and a free estimate for all jobs. Visit us on the web at LightItUpElectric.net or on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Contact us today!