What Are Whole House Surge Protectors?

August 1, 2022

Electrical Panels on Wall | Jason Wright Electric

Being a homeowner comes with a responsibility to protect your wide range of electrical devices. From refrigerators to washing machines, dishwashers to televisions, computers to entertainment systems — all of these devices and appliances have become NECESSARY for everyday life. Because we rely on these so much, it’s a smart idea to protect them with a whole-house surge protector.

When it comes to protecting your appliances and electrical system, it’s best to use a layered approach. A whole-house surge protector, also known as a surge suppressor, is the first line of defense, so understanding power surges and the benefits of surge protectors can help you make the best decision for your home.

What Causes a Power Surge?

A power surge is any unexpected increase in voltage. These spikes in voltage can come from internal and external sources (and most spikes are unexpected!), and the damage inflicted by these minor power fluctuations can be instantaneous. Power surges can damage your appliances — it’s that simple. 

External sources of power surges are typically environmental. These can include lightning strikes, downed power lines, and the restoration of electricity after a brownout. The most common cause of internal surges is the cycling of electrical appliances inside the home. For example, turning a high-energy appliance on or off can cause a small power surge.

Surge Protectors vs. Whole House Surge Suppressors

Many homeowners use surge protectors as their only defense against power surges, plugging devices into power strips. Unfortunately, that’s seldom the case.

First, not all surge protectors are created equal. Many are simply extension cords. Secondly, surges will follow any wire into the house, leaving most devices vulnerable to danger. 

A whole-house surge suppressor is a more effective measure to prevent the dangers of power surges. From delicate electronics and modems to kitchen appliances, a whole house protector is more effective against damage. 

What Does a Whole House Surge Suppressor Do?

In short, a surge protector acts as a pressure-relief valve for an electrical system. Similar to a plug-in surge protector that offers protection to the appliances connected, a whole house surge protector can divert power surges for your home’s entire electrical system. 

A whole-home surge suppressor is connected directly to your home’s electrical service panel. However, it can also be placed in more convenient locations to ensure easy accessibility if the homeowner prefers.

So how exactly does a surge suppressor work? The protector uses metal-oxide varistors to help shunt excess voltage away from the central electrical systems of your house. It quickly detects when anything higher than 120 volts moves through the control panel and deflects the extra power through your home’s power line. 

How Effective is a Whole House Surge Suppressor? 

A surge protector guarding your entire home can be very effective. Many homeowners understand the risks of plugging in too many appliances at once. But some don’t think about the great number of HVAC and kitchen appliances, among other items, that are drawing large amounts of power. 

A whole-home surge protector can be an excellent insurance policy against bad weather and power grid malfunctions. Electrical damage repairs can easily cost thousands, so installing a surge suppressor is a valuable investment.

Protect Your Home!

When it comes to protecting your home with whole house surge suppressors, the Jason Wright team is here to help. The electrical system is the heart of your home, and protecting the power in your house should be a top priority!

At Jason Wright Electric, we’ve been striving to deliver fearless personal service for nearly 30 years in the Kansas City metro area. With our mission to care beyond your electrical needs, we’ve created a company that is proud of our roll-your-sleeves-up approach to electrical work with personalized care. 

As your Electrical Concierge, we’re here to help protect your electrical system. Contact us today.