What is a Surge Protector and what does it do?
The surge protectors that we supply are installed in the main panel box, the heart of your home’s electrical system. They are designed to stop lightning or power surges at the panel, before they enter the rest of your home, unlike the point of use surge protectors that stop a surge after it is already in your house (and next to your walls, furniture, carpet drapes and other flammables)! The panel surge protector diverts all of the energy away from your home and out into your home’s grounding system. You will want to make sure you have a good grounding system (our electrician can inspect the grounding system while he is there installing the surge protector). Additionally, surge protectors “clean up” the minor fluctuations in energy that occur throughout the day. While these small spikes in power may go unnoticed by you, over time they can wear down and reduce the lifetime of more sensitive electronics.
Will a surge protector help me save money on my power bill?
No. A surge protector is simply a gate keeper, not an energy saving device. The power coming to your surge protector will have already passed through your meter and be recorded to your account with your electrical service provide. The surge protector is designed only to block surges in energy.
Will a surge protector in the panel box protect everything in my home?
Yes, however, there are several ways lightning can enter your home. The most common way is travel along the main electrical, cable or phone lines after a strike. Lightning commonly takes the path of least resistance to quickly exhaust all of its energy. While lightning is extremely powerful, it is also pretty lazy, and its preferential path is an unobstructed one. A whole house surge protector will protect your entire home once the voltage increase reaches the electrical panel, but will not be able to prevent lightning damage on circuits the lightning hit before reaching the panel. This is why secondary “point of use” surge strips and plugs are very important to a comprehensive protection plan.
Should I keep my current plugin surge protectors?
Yes, we recommend that you use any “point of use” surge protectors or “power strips” that you already have behind your TV, computer, or other sensitive equipment, as added protection! Lightning can still strike the gutter or roof line, for example, and then “jump” to a nearby cable and travel through your home that way, bypassing the surge protector altogether. In an instance like this, the point of use surge protector that your equipment is plugged into would block the surge.
How big is it?
The main panel surge protector is about the size of two decks of cards. The cable and phone surge protectors are smaller.
Where does it go?
Whole house surge protectors are installed at the main electrical panel or meter in your home.
What if I have more than one panel?
If you have more than one panel you may or may not need two surge protectors. It depends on how your panels are fed from the meter. The electrician can look at it and let you know.
Is there a warranty on the surge protector?
Yes, there is a warranty offered by the manufacturer including a limited warranty for damage to connected equipment (appliances, furnaces, well pumps, etc.). These are generally up $25,000 – $75,000 per occurrence. Please check the warranty information on your unit for exact details. We encourage customers to look at the warranty when buying surge protection. However, the the most important thing is that you have surge protection. The worst call we get is from a customer who didn’t get a surge protector installed, for whatever reason, and now has extensive damage and costs to worry about.
Is my flat screen TV covered by the warranty?
Televisions are protected by the whole house panel surge protector connected equipment warranty if a point of use surge protector is installed at the plug and have the all the television components (cable, power, etc.) running through the point of use surge protector at the time of the incident. This is a warranty requirement found in the fine print of most surge protector manufactures instructions. Install secondary surge protection on your sensitive electronics and equipment.
What about Cable Surge Protection; how does that work?
The cable surge protector is very similar in function to the panel surge protector. It is installed in your cable box, which is usually found mounted on a wall outside your home. It works the same way as the panel surge protector does by stopping excess energy right at the source, before it enters your home, and diverting it out into your grounding system. If you have cable television or Internet service, you want to have a cable surge protector because a lightning surge can travel along your cable line and into your computers, televisions, DVR, DVD players, and any other connected equipment. You also want to be sure that you have an adequate and properly installed grounding system and that your cable system is connected to it.
What about Phone Surge Protection; how does that work?
The phone surge protector is also very similar in function to the panel surge protector. It is installed in your phone box, which is usually found mounted on a wall outside your home. It works the same way as the panel surge protector by stopping the energy right at the source, before it enters your house. If you have a home phone line and/or are using a phone line for your Internet, you want to have a phone surge protector installed because a lightning surge can travel along your phone line and into your computers, corded phones and cordless phone bases, answering machines and any other connected equipment. You also want to be sure that you have an adequate and properly installed grounding system and that your phone system is connected to it.