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Scherer Electric Blog

What Does a Whole-House Surge Protector Do?


We often recommend our customers have a whole-house surge protector installed into their electrical systems. We aren’t the only ones who advise this: the National Fire Protection Association also recommends all homes have this type of surge protection installed. You only have to call an electrician in Buffalo, NY to set this up for your house, and it will provide many benefits.

But if you want to know more about what whole-house surge protection does and why it’s important, we’ll go into more details below.

Whole-House Surge Protection vs. Power Strips

Homeowners often imagine that they have sufficient protection from power surges and voltage strikes if they plug in their major appliances to power strips. We think power strips are a good idea, but they do not provide full protection from all surges, especially the powerful ones from lightning strikes. 

A whole-house surge protector stops not only major voltage spikes but also the many surges that come from inside your house when major appliances turn on and off. (Your HVAC system is one of the prime culprits here, with surges common during summer months when the AC runs regularly.) These smaller surges can damage appliances, and you may be able to increase major appliances’ lifespans by 30% with a whole-house surge protector.

How the Whole-House Surge Protector Works

Whole-house surge protector isn’t simply a jumbo power strip. It is wired into a home’s electrical panel. This job must be handled by a licensed electrician—which is true for any work done with the electrical panel. The potential for a high voltage shock or fire damage from amateur mistakes is too high. 

The installers not only wire the protector to the panel, they also ground the surge protector. Once in place, the surge protector detects any spike in voltage in the electrical system and channels the excess electrical power safely down into the ground. 

Look Into Your Electrical Panel as Well

This is an important reminder about your electrical panel, because often we’re asked about installing whole-house surge protectors and discover that the household electrical panel is many years out of date, or may even be a fuse box rather than a breaker panel. Protecting a home from the danger from electrical fires and surges must start with a panel able to handle modern electrical loads. 

If your house has a panel that’s more than a decade old, we suggest that you have a new panel installed along with the surge protector. This will provide your home with the best overall protection from electrical fires, damaged equipment, and electrical appliances that wear down too fast.

Arrange for Surge Protection Installation

We hope you’re convinced that your home will benefit from whole-house surge protection. If you want to find out if you’ll need other upgrades to make your house as safe as possible, please call us. We can provide your home with an electrical audit to locate where you can improve electrical safety. 

Scherer Electric is Western New York’s Favorite Electrician! Call us today to ask about whole-house surge protection and electrical panel replacement.

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