Man's hand testing something on an electrical panel

What Is a Whole House Surge Protector?

Everything You Need to Know About Whole House Surge Protectors

When many people think of a surge protector, they think of the multi-outlet strip that you can purchase at any hardware or home supply store. The reality of a whole-home surge protector is much more complex but serves a similar function on a larger scale.

Everything in your home that takes electricity, from your phone to your refrigerator and everything in between, has a maximum voltage that it is able to handle. When something happens to cause the voltage in your home’s electricity to jump above what your appliances can handle, it can cause damage that significantly shortens the lifespan of the device, or even blow it out altogether. Further, the resulting arc of electricity could even be enough to start an electrical fire.

Causes of Power Surges

There are several things that could cause a power surge in your home, including:

  • Lightning: During storms, lightning could strike near a power line and boost the voltage well beyond what an average system is able to handle
  • Electric companies: Work being done on the power grid or any kind of switching on their end can result in power surges in your home
  • Large appliances in your home: Perhaps most surprisingly, the appliances in your home such as the HVAC system and refrigerator could cause power surges simply by cycling on and off

How a Surge Protector Can Help

These systems are directly wired into a home’s electrical panel and, at last in concept, function similarly to a pressure relief valve. When the system is hit with higher voltages than it is able to handle, it channels the energy into the surge protector and away from your delicate – and often expensive – appliances.

A whole house surge protector can help many different kinds of things, including:

  • Washers and dryers
  • HVAC systems
  • Refrigerators
  • Dishwashers
  • Televisions
  • Computers
  • Cable, phone, and data lines

Will My Home Benefit from a Whole House Surge Protector?

In short – yes! The National Electrical Code has even been updated to reflect it. Effective January 1, 2020, new dwellings are required by law to be protected by surge protective devices. The NEC estimates that, on average, homes contain around $15,000 worth of equipment that could potentially be damaged by power surges. The more our dependence on electrical devices grows, the more that amount is only going to increase.

If you are considering getting a whole house surge protector for your property, turn to a team of skilled experts to get the job done. Electrical work is never something you want to DIY, as it can be dangerous and has the potential to cost far more in damage than a professional installation would have.

Let our dedicated technicians at West Houston Electric, Inc. provide you with skilled service you can trust! Call us at (832) 925-4669 or fill out our online contact form today.