Whole-Home vs. Power Strips: A Matter of Surge Protection

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You may be aware that large power surges from things like lightning strikes can be destructive to all your home’s appliances and devices. What you may not have realized is that small power surges occur every day, and over time, these surges can take a toll on everything from your computer and TV to the fridge and HVAC system.

So, how can you protect all your electronic devices from power surges? The answer comes down to choosing between surge protectors installed at the electrical panel and plug-in power strips. Here, we examine the differences between these two types of surge protectors so that you can make an informed decision.

What Is a Power Surge?

A power surge is an increase in voltage above 120 volts that lasts three nanoseconds or longer. Depending on the severity of the surge, you may not notice any damage done to your utilities or devices right away. With time and repeated surges, electrical components can begin to break down, requiring repairs or replacements.

Surges occur for any number of reasons, which is why it can be challenging to know how to protect your home from these changes in voltage. Common power surge causes include:

  • Utility grid switching
  • Lightning
  • Power outages
  • Damaged utility lines
  • Internal switching (turning devices on and off)

What Do Power Strip Surge Protectors Do?

Plug-in surge protectors are designed to protect small electronic devices and equipment from fluctuations in power caused by large appliances — like refrigerators, washers, and dryers — turning on or off. Unfortunately, power strip surge protectors cannot absorb large surges from external forces, such as a lightning strike or damaged utility line. These strips are also not equipped to handle the large voltage surges from your home’s heating and cooling system.

Because plug-in surge protectors are not adequate protection against all power spikes or surges, it’s in your household’s best interest to install a whole-house surge protector.

How Does a Whole-Home Surge Protector Work?

A whole-home surge protector is a device that is wired directly to the electrical panel. The majority of power surges come from the main power supply, so a surge protector attached to the electrical panel can prevent house fires and damage to every electrical outlet, switch, and motor as well as electronic devices.

Are Whole-House Surge Protectors Worth the Investment?

Because power strip surge protectors are unable to protect the home from large power surges, we recommend installing a whole-house surge protector. This device can provide comprehensive protection for your appliances and devices. It can also reduce the risk of house fires related to surges. Combining a whole-home surge protector with plug-in surge protectors can provide higher levels of protection, keeping your home, appliances, and devices safe from small and large power surges.

Build Your Home Surge Protection System Today

Don’t risk the safety of your devices or incur repair costs from damaged appliances. Instead, have a whole-house surge protector installed by professional installers in Yardley, Lansdale, and the surrounding communities. 

We offer a private-label (“WCE #200”) surge protector with a manufacturer’s limited warranty to repair or replace damaged electrical appliances up to $100,000:

Now, you can keep your home protected during everything from small daily surges to large surges caused by thunderstorms in the spring and fall. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to protect your home from electrical surges.