Do I Need A Whole Home Surge Protector And Is It Worth It?

Yes, a whole-home surge protector is essential. Whole-home surge protectors fall into the category of “devices that are worth it, even if they only save you once.”

Why is that? Well, like most Canadians, you likely have a home full of the valuable electronics and digital appliances that are so much a part of everyday life today.

Here’s the bad news: their delicate circuitry can be destroyed by sudden electrical power spikes lasting only a tiny fraction of a second. Now the good news: whole-home surge protector installation is the best protection to prevent this disaster.

How does a whole home surge protector work? Find out how.

When Do I Need A Surge Protector?

You need the benefit of whole home surge protection when this describes your situation:

  • You own one or more expensive appliances — refrigerator, stove, air conditioner, television, desktop computers, gaming consoles, LED lighting, etc. — which connect to your home electrical system. $18,000 is about the total amount a homeowner could lose through power surge damage. Though some new appliances are manufactured with built-in surge protection, this may not be enough.
  • Your home or business experiences power surges, whether frequently or only on rare occasions.

How Does A Power Surge Occur?

People used to believe the causes of power surges — defined as a sudden power spike in your electric current — were caused mainly by a lightning strike providing extra electricity to your home. However, we now know that the majority of power surges originate from conditions inside your home.

Here are the chief causes:

Home Electrical System Overload

This is especially common in older homes, whose outdated circuitry or lack of a ground wire, has trouble keeping up with the demand presented by the huge array of modern appliances. It can also occur if you have too many electronic devices plugged into one outlet or extension cord.

Home Appliances Cycling On And Off

As a matter of course, high voltage/electrical demand appliances — such as air conditioning, clothes dryers, hairdryers, and even laser printers, to name a few — go through a routine of cycling on and off. Occasionally this will result in an electrical surge.

Damaged Wiring

Damage or wear to your wiring and its coating will lower electrical resistance, unbeknownst to you. Although you won’t see wires that are hidden inside your walls, there are some obvious indications of wiring damage. Outlets with signs (or smells) of the scorching, or strange buzzings or vibrations, as well as frequent breaker trips, are all warnings that you need electrical inspection… and probably repair.

Power Outage

Power outages (AKA a blackout or power failure) usually refers to a loss of power in an entire block, neighbourhood, or town. It may be due to heavy local electrical demand — say, during a Calgary heat wave, when residents tend to run their air conditioning much more than normal, or downed power lines.

Another reason is natural causes, including severe weather conditions, power lines downed by fallen trees, earthquakes, or damage by animals. And yes, lightning strikes are responsible for an occasional power surge… but only if they occur within 1.6 km of your house.

How Do Whole Home Surge Protectors Work?

A whole-home surge protector, also known as a whole-house surge suppressor, comes encased in a compact box, which must be hardwired to your main electrical panel (breaker box) by a qualified electrician. This complex task is not suitable for electrical DIY.

Expert installation takes approximately 2 hours, whether it is retrofitted or added to new home construction or renovation.

The surge protector will monitor the electrical current and power supply continuously. When the system detects a surge, it will divert the excess voltage spikes into the ground to protect your electrical devices.

Surge protectors are rated according to how many amps they can handle. The highest rating, for up to 40,000 amps, is best.

Best Whole Home Surge Protector: Eaton

Speaking of “the best,” we consider Eaton whole home surge protectors the best brand on the market these days for providing protection. These powerful and reliable devices are UL1449 4th Edition Listed and may be installed outside or inside your home or small business. An LED screen provides instant easy-to-read updates on the device’s status.

Eaton offers an industry-standard warranty on the surge protector itself plus connected equipment recommended by Mike Holmes.

Invest In Protection With Whole-Home Surge Protection

Take the time to safeguard your home and your appliances against disastrous damage. Contact Sun Electrical for professional whole-home surge protector installation today.