Whole Home Surge Protection Basics:
What is a power surge?
Basically, a power surge is brief spike or wave in the voltage of an electrical circuit. This is often also referred to as a transient. Typically these surges last only a fraction of a second, but the damage that they can cause to your sensitive electronics and appliances is permanent. Whole Home Surge Protection can help protect the electronics and appliances in your home.
How do surges happen?
There are a number of sources from which surges can originate. Many people are under the common misconception that all power surges come from outside the home’s electrical system from sources like the power company grid or a nearby lightning strike.
While it is true that some surges are the result of utility grid switching or lightning strikes, most residential power surges come from a source inside the home. According to NEMA Surge Protection Institute, 60-80% of surges in your home’s electrical system result from large appliances or mechanical systems such as refrigerators, HVAC systems, or clothes dryers cycling on and off. Those appliances turn on and off several times every day and each time they do it can produce a small transient voltage surge that could potentially be introduced into every other circuit, appliance, and electronic device connected to the entire electrical system.
What are the dangers of not having adequate surge protection?
Power surges can damage the sensitive electronics in computers, televisions, phones, tablets, audio equipment, video game consoles, and other electronic devices in your home. Large appliances like refrigerators, ranges, washers, and dryers may also contain sensitive electronics that can be damaged by the cumulative effects of transient voltage waves.
Here are some recent statistics about home insurance claims resulting from electrical surges:
- According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), electrical surges are the second leading cause of home insurance claims, after water damage.
- In 2021, there were an estimated 2.5 million home insurance claims filed for damage caused by from electrical surges, resulting in $2.2 billion in insured losses.
- The average cost of a home insurance claim for an electrical surge is $8,800.
- The most common items damaged by electrical surges are computers, televisions, and appliances.
These statistics show that electrical surges are a serious problem that can cause significant damage to homes and property.
In addition to Whole Home Surge Protection, Summit Electric also recommends the use of point of use surge protector power strips and battery back-up UPS devices for computers or other sensitive electronic equipment and devices.
Are Whole Home Surge Protectors required by code?
Yes, recent updates to the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70/NEC 2020) include a requirement for all residential electrical services contain a surge protective device (SPD). NEC 2020 Article 230.67 requires either a Type 1 or Type 2 SPD as an integral part of the electrical service or adjacent to the electrical service equipment.
Whole Home Surge Protection Installation:
Installing a Whole Home Surge Protector is something that should only be done by a licensed and insured electrician. In addition to the potential dangers involved with the installation it is also a requirement of most manufacturer’s warranties that Whole Home Surge Protectors must be installed by a licensed electrician. If you have an installation done by a “handyman” or if you attempt a Do-It-Yourself installation of a Whole Home Surge Protection you will void the warranty, which could potentially cost you thousands of dollars if the surge protector ever fails to provide adequate protection.
Whole Home Surge Protection from Summit Electric
The best and easiest way to install Whole Home Surge Protection is to let the experienced, insured, and Licensed Electricians at Summit Electric provide and install it for you. We recommend the installation of SPD’s for every breaker panel in your home.
The installation process is simple and efficient because we have installed literally hundreds of these devices protecting our customer’s homes from countless surge events. We install the SPD according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions in compliance with all NEC and local code requirements. Typically the SPD is connected to its own dedicated circuit breaker and we ensure that the circuit breakers installed are the correct amperage for the device and that the circuit breaker is UL-listed for use in your homes electrical panel. But before we do any surge protector installation we will do a brief inspection to ensure that the electrical system in your home is properly grounded. Problems with the grounding system in your home can greatly reduce the effectiveness of any SPD and can also lead to other more serious dangers.
Make sure that your home and family are protected from the potential dangers of power surges.