You probably already have surge protection for your computers, your gaming equipment, and perhaps your TVs and amps. But if you're not protecting common yet expensive-to-replace household appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washer and dryer units, vacuum cleaners, and more, you're way behind the times. Even the simplest of appliances can now be made with sensitive electronic components that can be easily killed by a power surge. Here's some info on how a whole house surge protector can help prevent this.
When you hire an electrician to install a whole house surge protector, he or she will wire it to the circuit box that all the power in the house flows through. (The power will have to be switched off while this is happening, but it likely will only take a couple of hours.) You can also have one installed on any above ground cable lines or phone lines, since these are also vulnerable to lightning. Once all the power in the house is routed through the surge protector, it monitors the flow of electricity, checking for surges every moment of the day. A higher-than-normal current, indicating a power surge, will trip a mechanism that sends the extra electricity to ground instead of allowing it to infiltrate your house.
If you're thinking that you'll never need a whole house protector because your house is unlikely to be hit by lightning, think again. Devastating power surges can happen any time lightning strikes a power line (or pole) in a wide area around your house. And lightning strikes aren't even the most common cause of these huge power surges; other results of a storm, such as trees falling on power lines, can also cause surges, as can other accidents unrelated to storms.
The bad news is that you can't just buy a whole house protector, have it installed, and never think of the matter again. If you do get a lightning strike, chances are your surge protector will become a bit melted and blackened-looking and may be unable to switch back to normal use mode. Fortunately, this will only require a couple hundred dollars to replace, rather than thousands spent on repopulating your home with electronics.
Don't assume, though, that because you have whole house surge protection you don't need point-of-use protection anymore. Some power surges still require point-of-use protection for two reasons: first, a little of the excess voltage may get past your main surge protector, and you want to have a secondary mechanism to protect your most sensitive electronics against that. More frequently, though, you'll have the problem of power surges within your home. These can happen when large appliances turn on and off. They're very small differences in current compared to a lightning strike surge, but they can cause electronics to run down over time (months or years) and eventually stop working, so the more appliances you protect with point-of-use surge protectors, the less you may have to spend on replacement appliances in years to come.
These points show how a whole house surge protector is a requirement for protecting your appliances and other electronics not only if you live in a lightning-prone area but also if you want to protect yourself from downed power lines and other power surges.Share
11 November 2016
How well is the outside of your home lighted? Do you have several areas around your home that become pitch black after the sun has fallen for the day? If you live in an area that does not get very much sunlight during the day, you probably have the same amount of success as I have had trying to use solar powered lights to light those dark areas. I finally broke down and contacted an electrician to help me run some power to the dark areas and install some much needed lights. He was able to give me a few suggestions that would not only brighten up my dark yard, but also look very nice from the street.