The Benefits of a Whole-house Surge Protector

The Benefits of a Whole-house Surge Protector

Why You Need to Invest in a Whole-house Surge Protector

Most homeowners are not sitting around, pondering whether to buy a whole-house surge protector or not, even though power surges are quite common in American households. The subject arises when certain problems exist, or certain events happen when a surge results in damage to appliances or structures. Let’s look at some causes of electrical power surges and how to protect against them.

What Causes Power Surges?

  1. Lightning strikes to the power grid is the most well-known, but not the most common source of power surges. A lightning strike adds approximately 100 million volts more to the power grid, overloading the network, and causing a short circuit somewhere in the system.

    Where the short circuit will happen is unpredictable and damage can be sustained in homes and businesses. On average, 1,700 lightning strikes reach the ground per month in Texas, and each can potentially create damage. Houston is certainly not immune from lightning strikes.1

  2. Other events besides lightning strikes can create short circuits and the resulting power surges. It is not unusual for an animal or high winds to cause a short circuit that results in a power surge. A downed limb or an automobile accident can also lead to surges in the utility grid. The introduction of water to the power grid, in a flooding event as an example, will also create a short/surge event.
  3. The restoration of power after a power outage also creates a tremendous surge in unprotected appliances and structures. The sudden rush (at the speed of light) of total power to inactive devices is like a physical impact. This happens in minor surges each time a device turns on. No wonder electrical devices experience wear and tear.
  4. Internal problems can also lead to power surges. a) Faulty wiring, whether from an old installation or a newly installed circuit, can cause surges. There are a few types of old wiring that present danger to people and property. b) Placing too much load on a single circuit, either with extension cords or grouping too many devices, will create a surge.

    Spread devices that draw a heavy electrical load across several circuits. c) Water and electricity should not be mixed! Outlets and switches near water sources in bathrooms and kitchens should be specialized (ground-fault current interrupter or GFCI) to prevent shock to humans in locations where water and electricity are within six feet.

Potential Solutions for Power Surges

  1. A whole-house surge protector is available to protect against surges from the utility power grid—lightning, falling limbs, and curious squirrels. An electrician can install this device between the power source and the main electrical panel to regulate the amount of current coming into your home. These devices can absorb a limited amount of excess current before they need to be replaced, so discuss this with your electrician.
  2. If you know that your wiring needs to be replaced or brought up to building codes, do not delay making the needed repairs. If the outlets and switches near faucets, tubs, and showers are not currently GFCI compliant, make the upgrades soon.
  3. Use extension cords and power bars wisely. Both power bars and extension cords have multiple outlet plugs, encouraging users to overload a circuit with multiple devices. Power bars also have the name “surge protector” associated with them, creating a false sense of security. These circuit surge protectors receive a certain amount of excess current before losing their effectiveness. However, there is no “indicator light” to notify users when the power bar has lost its effectiveness. A good rule of thumb for replacement is about two years, but remember, power bars are not permanent solutions.

Considering a Whole-house Surge Protector? We can help!

With our four decades of experience as a Residential Electrician Contractor, AirPro Houston provides you with the skills and expertise to help answer your Whole-house Surge Protector questions.

We have financing options available with great options with up to 72-month terms with approved credit. Call our team of Electricians at  281-880-8805 and let us partner with you for all of your electrical repair, Whole-house Surge Protector, and electrical installation needs.





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