Does My Home Really Need Whole House Surge Protection?
Here in Northern Virginia, we get some pretty shocking thunderstorms—and all that stray lightning dancing around can wreak havoc on electrical systems and devices throughout your home. Even if your power doesn’t go out, and you don’t have to wait for the utility company to turn the lights back on, a lightning strike anywhere in the vicinity can still cause you significant problems. Insurance companies surveyed reported more than $1 billion in power-surge related claims, with the average home claim ranging well above $4000!
Basically, a nearby jolt of lightning can zip through the power lines outside, surge right into your home and into anything you’ve got plugged into your outlets. It may just look like a flicker of the lights, but this sudden power surge can damage the delicate electronics in everything from your refrigerator and washing machine to your computers and any mobile devices you had plugged in for charging. This is why whole house surge protection is a good solution for folks here in Northern Virginia.
What is Whole House Surge Protection?
The most cost effective and protective whole house surge protection is a two step system:
- Having a whole-house surge protection device installed right at your home’s electrical panel.
- Using surge protectors for each outlet.
Once your whole-house surge protection is installed, it can take a sudden jolt of up to 72,000 amps zapping into your home from a nearby lightning strike—which is considerable when you know that your normal household electrical current is from 200 to 300 amps. The surge protection stands ready to divert the surge safely through your home’s grounding path and away from all of your electric appliances and devices.
And there’s more good news: most whole-house surge protection devices are relatively inexpensive, costing between $300-$400 (depending on the brand). This is very affordable when you consider the potential costs of having to replace damaged appliances and devices, which could run well above the $4000+ average. (We’ve heard of people who lost over $10,000 worth of electrical appliances and equipment after a power surge.)
There are two more things to remember about installing whole-house surge protection:
- It is important to get one that is compatible with your electrical system for the best level of surge protection throughout your home. So if you are unsure what the best brand or model is, please give us a call at (703) 494-3989 and we can help you pick one that’s right for your home electrical system.
- It is always safest to have a residential electrician install the whole-house surge protector into your electrical system. With your home’s entire electrical system involved, it’s too dangerous to try and DIY this time around.