Pros and Cons of Whole House Surge Protectors

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When exposed to sudden changes in the power supply, whether its a sudden increase or inadequate decrease, electrical appliances found in your home can begin to malfunction, short, and in extreme cases cause fires to start. Surge protectors protect your home’s appliances and electrical fittings from experiencing said surges in electricity. These devices are the best choice to guarantee your appliances and home’s electrical system remains safe during storms and other prone power surge events. 

Many people believe that power strips will protect their devices from a power surge. However, this is nothing more than a misconception that has been spread around the homeowner discourse for years. On occasion, power strips can be beneficial during surge events. Though, these cases are few and far between. Compared to a power strip that somewhat protects a particular outlet or device, surge protectors will protect your whole home’s electrical system. Surge protectors are also widely accepted as safer and more secure than power strips. 

To better understand the benefit your home can receive from a device such as a whole home surge protector, it is pertinent to compare their pros and cons. 

Pros of Whole House Surge Protectors 

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Surge protectors bring a variety of benefits with them into your home when they are installed. Listed below are the two greatest benefits. 

1. Protection and Shielding of Appliances 

Whole house surge protectors are the perfect choice for any homeowner looking to protect every device within their home from electrical surges and overloads. These devices not only protect a home’s fleet of electrical outlets but also every appliance that is left plugged into them during a lightning strike or other surge event.

An electrical surge may seem like a small inconvenience when it leaves a house unscaved or only causes an alarm clock or other inexpensive device to malfunction. However, when an electrical surge causes devices such televisions, gaming devices, laptops and other larger appliances like washers, dryers, refrigerators, and others to malfunction the inconvenience and economic value lost increases steeply. 

To properly account for the inconvenience and negative effect a power surge can have on your finances, it is also important to understand that power surges and the effects of them are rarely ever covered under home insurance plans. Therefore, taking a preventive measure like installing whole home surge protectors in your own home can have a drastic effect on not only your safety but your wallet’s safety as well; even if it does require a minor investment at first. 

2. Protection and Shielding of Whole Home

A system of whole home surge protectors can do more than just protect electrical devices such as your television, laptop, and smartphone from power surges. In fact, a proper installation of whole home surge protectors can protect your homes’ electrical outlets, plugs, switches, interior wiring, and light bulbs from harmful surges in power. Surge protectors can also insure that more expensive electrical appliances such as air conditioners and heaters remain unharmed during a surge event. 

Surge protectors aside from protecting appliances and a home’s electrical system, also ensure that the entire family will remain safe during a power surge. Without a proper surge protection system, a device or electrical outlet that malfunctions could produce sparks, flames, or even entire house fires. All three of these consequences of a power surge can have drastic effects on one’s well being. 

Cons of Whole House Surge Protectors 

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As is the case with almost everything in life, surge protectors come with their own set of cons as well as the previously mentioned pros. 

1. Monetary Expense 

The premier drawback most homeowners cite when turning down the installation of surge protectors, is the preliminary cost associated with their purchase. A top of the line surge protector can cost anywhere from $300 to upwards of $600. If this seems like an unnecessary amount of money or is out of your budget and you still would like to benefit from a surge protector offered protection, consider purchasing a strip or outlet surge protector. These electrical devices won’t protect your whole home from a surge event, but will protect devices installed into that surge protector. 

2. Cost of Installation

Aside from costs associated with their purchase, surge protectors also cost money to install. This installation needs to be done by a professional and entails connecting the surge protector to your home’s electrical panel. This form of installation ensures that your whole home surge protector protects your whole home from surge events.  

Electrical Grounding Work

When installing whole home surge protectors into your home’s electrical system, it is important to inspect your home’s electrical grounding. Surge protectors function and protect your home’s electrical system by funneling unwanted amounts of electricity at your home’s electrical grounding. Therefore, a home that has an unstable electrical grounding will not be able to handle the excess electricity forced onto it by the surge protector. 

Getting your electrical grounding inspected by a licensed electrician will cost you an additional cost from the actual cost of installation. However, getting your electrical grounding checked is highly recommended. 

What if You Need More Than One Whole House Surge Protector?

When deciding if you want to bear the costs of installing surge protectors in your home, it is also important to keep in mind that one surge protector may not be enough to handle the task of protecting all of your home’s electrical devices. At times, power surges can be so severe that they even disable your home’s surge protector. 

Therefore, a professional electrician may recommend that you have additional surge protectors installed into your home’s electrical panel. These additional surge protectors will cost just as much as the first protector. 

Popular Whole House Surge Protectors

Now that we have discussed the pros and cons of whole home surge protectors, individuals looking to go forward with their installation are properly wondering what surge protector to buy. These are some of the best surge protectors on the market. 

Leviton 51120-3 3-Phase Panel Protector

  • $327 each
  • Low VPR to ensure protection of laptops and televisions
  • Real time power indicator
  • Limited lifetime warranty

EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection 3rd Edition

  • $75.98 each
  • LED status light
  • Whole house AC power protection
  • NEMA 4 rating

Siemens FS100 Whole House Surge Protection Device

  • $190 each
  • Commercial level protection
  • 10 year guarantee
  • Rated for type 4 outdoor use

Intermatic Smart Guard 1G2240-IMSK Whole Home Surge Protector

  • $263 each
  • Specialized protection of large electronics
  • IModule LED indicator system
  • TPMOV system

Summary

In conclusion, surge protectors are the best way to protect your homes appliances and electrical system from power surges. While surge protectors do come with preliminary purchasing and installation costs, they also provide safety, security, and piece of mind. The best surge protectors on the market are whole home surge protectors that are installed directly into your home’s electrical panel.

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