Whole house surge protection

Even your refrigerator has a computer

These days, almost everything in the typical home has a small, embedded computer in it. Think about it… Your furnace, microwave, television, wireless phone, electric toothbrush, stereo, blu-ray/dvd/cd player, refrigerator, clothes washer and dryer, dishwasher and even your water well controller… All of these devices have small, embedded computers in them to some degree or another. Fortunately, many folks protect their costly and sensitive high-tech electronics with small outlet surge suppressors.

Unfortunately, most people neglect to protect their even more costly appliances from surges. That’s where a whole house surge suppressor comes in. It is a small device that can be had for under $200 and it protects EVERY device in your house. It is a small price to pay for the convenience of the protection.

I recently installed one of these devices after a summer where we experienced at least 6 transformer explosions and subsequent brownouts/blackouts and over-voltages. Unfortunately, we did not realize how at risk our appliances were until our microwave died the day after the last power outage of the season. Now, it may be just coincidence that the microwave died on that day, but it sure got our attention.

If you are familiar with electrical code, household wiring and electricity, then you may be able to install the suppressor yourself, otherwise you should hire an electrician. The installation is extremely easy and straight forward, and if the electrician tells you that it will take any more than an hour you should look for another electrician.

Types of whole house surge protectors

There are two main types of whole house surge protectors on the market:

  1. Circuit breaker box type
    1. Installs directly into your circuit breaker box.
    2. No more difficult to install than changing out a circuit breaker.
    3. You must find the surge suppressor model made for your particular brand and model of circuit breaker box.
    4. Time to install: 20 minutes
  2. External flush or surface mount
    1. Installs in (flush mount) or on (surface mount) the wall next to your circuit breaker box.
    2. Requires 2 dedicated breakers
    3. Works with ANY manufacturers circuit breaker box.
    4. Time to install
      1. Mounting: 30 minutes
      2. Electrical: 30 minutes

Surge Suppressors

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