Home with lightning in the sky at night

How Does a Whole House Surge Protector Work?

Prevent Dangerous Electrical Issues with a Whole House Surge Protector Installation

The name “whole house surge protector” sounds a bit intimidating, but when you are in the hands of capable and experienced home experts like the team at HomeWiz, it is nothing more than a useful tool to protect your appliances. Harmful surges in power can damage your appliances and can even be dangerous. When too much electricity flows through an appliance at once, it can overheat, break down, and catch fire.

How Does a Whole House Surge Protector Work?

A whole house surge protector works by limiting excess electrical current and blocking its flow or shorting it to the ground like a pressure relief valve. When you think about an electric surge, you likely think of your lighting, but the majority of surges are actually not caused by this. Rather, 60-80% of surges that occur within the home are from major appliances cycling on and off.

Whole house surge protectors are usually hard-wired to your electrical box, which means it is essential to install them properly. A whole house surge protector must be properly grounded. Otherwise, even the best surge protector will not be able to function properly. Plus, working with your electrical box without the proper knowledge can increase your risk of shocks and fires, so it is best to put this process in the hands of a trusted professional. The installation process typically takes around two hours to perform, but it will go a long way in protecting your home.

Why Whole House Surge Protection is Necessary

In addition to fires, a whole house surge protector can help save your home from the following dangers:

  • Fried circuit boards

Circuit boards are the core electronic wiring for most modern electronics. To fry the circuit board is to severely damage a device. Circuit boards are made of a fiberglass board woven with copper wire or other conductive materials. If you think your circuit board might be fried, look out for blackened components and melted parts of the printed circuit traces.

  • Damaged appliances with short lifespans

Major appliances tend to cycle on and off from time to time. While this is quite common, unfortunately, it contributes to as much as 80% of the power surges in homes. Over time, this process will damage appliances and shorten their lifespans. Whole house surge protectors can help combat electrical surges from appliances cycling.

  • Overvoltage

When voltage exceeds the maximum value of operating voltage in an electrical circuit, what happens is an overvoltage. A good whole house surge protector will prevent external power fluctuations from damaging equipment inside the home. This will keep the flow of current into your home consistent.

  • Damage from lighting strikes

When lighting strikes at power lines, it sends a surge of electricity down the wires and into the appliances. One of the most interesting benefits of a whole house surge protector is that they can block surges from entering home circuits, which provides protection from lighting strikes. It is important to know that in severe storms, the best protection is to unplug your appliances and disconnect phone and cable lines.

How Often Should You Replace Surge Protectors?

When installed successfully, a surge protector should last around three to five years. However, if your home is vulnerable to frequent brownouts or blackouts, it might be wise to replace your surge protectors as often as every two years. Surge protectors are quite useful for a long period of time, but we will be there to replace or repair them to ensure continued protection.

From the installation process to the completed project and any questions you might have along the way, HomeWiz will be by your side. We have all the tools and knowledge necessary for a successful surge protector installation.

To learn more about whole house surge protectors and other ways you can protect your home from electrical issues, call HomeWiz at (207) 506-2232 or contact us online.