How Does a Whole House Surge Protector Work?

Do you know what a whole house surge protector does? If not, it’s time to learn. A whole-house surge protector is an electrical device that protects your home from power surges and spikes. These types of surges can damage appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, microwaves, and more.

The best way to protect your home against these harmful power fluctuations is by installing a whole-house surge protection system. This type of device provides full-time protection for every appliance in your home – including those hardwired electric heaters or air conditioners!

If you are interested in learning more about the best whole house surge protector, keep reading. Here you can learn more about it, what it offers, and more.

Whole-Home Surge Protector – What Is It?

It might be easy to think that just because the word “surge” is in a surge protector, it must protect against surges. 

But what does this mean? A whole-home surge protector isn’t much different from an all-in-one water filter tank, as both are intended to block or turn down the power and allow everything else through. 

In simple terms, your home’s entire electrical system has a preinstalled safety net made of metal mesh that filters out (or blocks) any irregular voltage coming into your house before it can damage anything important like appliances or electronics plugged into outlets while letting safe electricity pass right on by without interruption so you don’t have to worry about them burning up.

In the modern and heavily technologically dependent world, voltage spikes are a common occurrence. Surge protectors serve as your first line of defense against these surges by protecting every electrical device in your home, from appliances like dishwashers or refrigerators down to televisions and lamps. 

With an electrician’s know-how needed for installation, a surge protector is not cheap but worth it when you consider that you won’t have anything lost due to power surges happening year-round!

One of the first things to go when lightning strikes are electrical devices with microprocessors, which a power surge can ruin. So don’t cheap out on buying some while they’re still available!

Where does the whole house surge protector install?

A whole-house surge protector should be installed at the electrical box in your home. Surge protectors require a reasonable ground to work effectively, so if you have an unfinished basement or even just concrete floors on one level of your home without any connection to the earth, then it may not do much for you!

Installing: DIY or Professional?

Whole house surge protectors are a must for any home with appliances, especially in light of the recent power outages. The installation process is typically around 2 hours and requires specialized knowledge that most homeowners don’t have on hand. 

By hiring an expert to install these devices, you can ensure your whole household will be protected against dangerous fluctuations in voltage thanks to professional grounding work, which provides correct function even if there’s no working ground wire present or some other issue exists within the wiring configuration (loose connections).

What kinds of events does it protect your electronics from?

  • Fried circuit boards on the sensitive electronics of all home appliances – washers, dryers, stoves, fridges, dishwashers, computers, smart devices, TVs, LED light bulbs, and so much more…
  • Mini-bursts of excess energy from major appliances cycling on and off contribute to as much as 80 percent of the power surges in your home, slowly degrading your devices and shortening their lifespans.
  • Overvoltage from downed utility lines and other homes in your vicinity affecting the flow of current into your home and resulting in damaging voltage fluctuations.
  • Direct lightning strikes.

Which electronics are most susceptible to power surges?

There are many components in today’s sophisticated electronic devices that power surges can damage. 

The most susceptible could even affect central heating and air, kitchen appliances, or entertainment technology — but the one component we should worry about is microprocessors! 

Microprocessors have become an integral part of electronics, so they’re susceptible to these sudden changes in voltage. If there’s a surge, you might as well say goodbye because it will contaminate your device with its destruction!

The Many Benefits Offered by Whole Home Surge Protection

If you have not yet invested in whole house surge protection, consider some of the benefits here. This will help you decide if it is a smart move for you and your home.

The Technology

In today’s world, there are more electrical gadgets than ever. Home appliances now come with complex circuit boards that surges can damage power line voltage. 

Even the newest LED bulbs include a sensitive micro circuit board that needs to be protected from these dangerous electricity supply fluctuations and demand caused by lightning or other events.

Up to 80% of Power Surges are Generated from Inside the Home.

Power surges are a common occurrence that can do more than disrupt your day; they could also shorten the lifespan of your electronics and appliances. 

Power surges usually come from household items like air conditioners or motors, but they don’t have to be big ones for them to cause damage over time. Watch out for these little things, and you should keep an eye on when power spikes happen, so you know if something needs attention right away!

Layering Protection

You should talk to your electrician about whole-house surge protection. This is especially important if you have an expensive electronic setup or home entertainment system.

Unplugging appliances from a shared circuit with the power on can result in them being damaged and others plugged into that same outlet because there’s not enough electricity going through those circuits for both devices simultaneously – which means it’s time to invest in some whole house surge protectors!

The installation of a power conditioner featuring surge suppression is the best way to handle these types of shared circuits. 

Think about it this way: if I’m running an office and my lights are on, but no one can use their computer because they’re not receiving electricity from me- then what am I paying for? If we want our business’ downtime costs to be as low as possible, installing a power conditioner that features surge protection will help us get there!

Providing Comprehensive Electrical System Protection

Whole house surge protection not only saves your home’s electronics and appliances from damage but also protects the entire electrical system. 

If a transient surge originates on an appliance with its circuit breaker or power strip, then that device will absorb the extra voltage while shunning off all other devices up until 30 feet away! 

To ensure you’re protected to this extent, make sure every month to test AFCIs and GFCIs to be fully functional if needed during an emergency.

Whole House Surge Protector Installation – Things to Know

A whole-house surge protector is an ultimate way to protect your home from surges. It can block up to 80% of all power spikes, and they are much more affordable than a point-of-use system. However, what’s not so great about it? That’ll require you to open your breaker panel and change out some old wiring!

A whole-house surge protector will prevent most electrical disruptions in one go without sacrificing any convenience on an individual level – think how amazing that would be for households with small children or elderly members!

Below are some of the things you should know before attempting the installation – if you do not know what you are doing, trying to work on these power circuits can be dangerous and detrimental to your electrical appliances at home if not done correctly.

  • Don’t forget to stock up on the essentials, like wire cutters/strippers and duct tape!
  • Standby a LED lamp since the power will be disconnected for the whole house during installation.
  • To avoid electrical shock, use a voltage detector to ensure that the breaker isn’t on before any installation work.
  • If you buy a new SPD, always refer to the instructions that come with it. Different brands have different requirements for installation and use- so make sure you check your manual!
  • The surge protector is an important device that can protect your electronics from power surges. Mounting the unit outside of the panel rather than inside will make it much easier to replace when necessary!
  • Panel-mounted SPDs usually come with 4 wires. 1 green (ground), 1 white (neutral), and 2 blacks.
  • After installation, it’s good to check the operating manual and make sure everything is working. Be highly cautious about flipping that main breaker until all systems are verified and checked out.
  • It is essential to regularly check that your power suppressor device has enough capacity left for optimal protection. This will help make sure you are always protected from surges and other electrical problems!

Please note that the above is NOT a step-by-step guide to installing your whole house’s surge suppressor. 

If you are unsure what to do, always engage an electrician or licensed technician with experience in this field for assistance and direction when it comes time for installation. Follow all safety procedures strictly, and ensure success by following these guidelines as closely as possible!

And by doing so, you will be securing your home for many surges ahead, preventing any doubt of mind when it comes to dysfunctional and broken devices.

Live life without worry about the potential problems that come with electricity while still enjoying its convenience!

About Blake Sutton

Blake has worked as an electrician for over 10 years, receiving his Journeyman Electrician license in 1998. Looking to take his professional electrical career further, in 2008 he received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from the University of Texas in Austin. Blake now works full time as an electrical engineer, specializing in power systems.