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How Does a Whole House Surge Protector Work at Home?

How does a whole house surge protector work?

Most people know more about the individual than the whole house power surge protectors. They have no idea what they are nor do they have any knowledge of how they work.

A whole-house surge protector is a device that protects all your electrical equipment from any form of electrical spike or surge.

It is similar to the individual surge protector except that it offers total protection to all your electrical appliances so you don’t need to have one for each appliance.

In this article, we shall talk more about this type of surge protector, where and how to install it, how it works, and the benefits of having one over the individual surge protector.

Where and how is a whole house surge protector installed?

The whole house surge protector can be installed inside the electric panel or outside. It is however, advisable to have it installed outside so that it is easy to maintain or change it in case it stops working.

Where and how is a whole house surge protector installed
Image Credits – Dr Fixit

Whole house surge protectors are more complex than the individual surge protectors. If you are not confident enough to install one by yourself, it is highly recommended you consult a qualified electrician for installation.

Nonetheless, the installation is pretty simple for those who are into DIY. Simply follow the following steps.

  1. Turn off electricity at the main electrical panel
  2. Unscrew the front of the electrical panel to expose your circuit breakers.
  3. Remove the knockout plug from the side of the panel.
  4. Install a whole house surge protector.
  5. Connect the surge protectors to the circuits in the electrical panel (You can consult a qualified electrician at this point)
  6. Plug your electronics in like computers, televisions, telephones, etc. into the surge protected power strip.
  7. Plug the power strip into the electrical outlet.
  8. Ensure that you also replace the standard electrical outlets with surge-protected outlets to protect individual devices from power surges.

It is important to note that the installation process differs from one brand to another. Kindly follow the instruction manual carefully and take the necessary precautions as you would when dealing with any other electrical appliance.

How does a whole house surge protector work?

Whole house surge protectors are built to withstand high power surges for a long period of time.

They protect electronic devices in the event of power spikes or surges. A power surge refers to an increase in voltage above the required level in the flow of electricity.

In a normal household or office wiring, the standard electric voltage is 120 volts. If the voltage rises above this level, then it becomes dangerous for your electronic devices and appliances.

How does a whole house surge protector work
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The surge protector, therefore, helps to prevent high voltage from damaging your electronic devices. It passes the electric current from the power outlet to various electrical devices connected or plugged in the power strip.

If the voltage from the power outlet rises above the normal level(120V), the protector diverts the extra electricity into the outlet of the grounding wire.

In the surge protector, a component called a metal oxide varistor is the one that diverts the extra voltage.

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Benefits of using a whole house surge protector in your house

Protects your entire electrical system

The work of the surge protector is to protect your household appliances and electronic devices from damage.

This is because power surges are very dangerous since they can destroy your electrical devices and alter their functioning due to high voltage.

However, the whole house surge protector also protects the entire electrical system of your house.

When there is a powerful surge in any circuit in your electronic devices, the excess voltage is blocked and then diverted to the ground through the outlet of the grounding wire. Hence, your electronic appliances are not damaged.

Reduces the replacement and repair cost

Power surges shorten the lifespan of your appliances and electrical devices. This is because it may lead to untimely destruction of the systems of the appliances.

In severe cases, you may even end up losing important information that you had saved on your electrical devices like mobile phones and computers.

It may also force you to incur the additional cost of repair.

A whole surge house protector reduces the amount of damage done to your devices, thereby increasing their lifespan.

As a result, the frequency of repairing your electronic devices is reduced.

Reduces the maintenance cost

Electronic appliances are not cheap to buy. They are expensive and also need some form of maintenance such as repairing or replacing broken parts.

The situation usually becomes worse when there are power surges, which can damage them.

In such cases, you need to pay the cost of the power bills in addition to the cost of repairing your devices. This makes your overall maintenance cost to go up.

When you use whole house surge protectors, the damage to your devices is significantly reduced. The overall maintenance cost, therefore, goes down

Whole house surge protector versus individual surge protectors

Both individual and whole house surge protectors are very important since they help to protect electronic devices from power surges.

However, they both work differently.

The whole house surge protector protects all your electronic devices and electrical appliances from power surges. The individual surge protectors on the other hand only protect individual devices that are plugged into them.

Thus, individual surge protectors do not offer total protection like the whole surge house protectors.

Secondly, whole house surge protectors are built to withstand high power surges that go beyond 120 volts. They protect the electronics from these kinds of massive power surges that may result from lighting or electrical grid.

On the other hand, individual surge protectors only protect your devices from low power surges that result from the internal resistance of the individual devices. This means that in case of massive power surges that go beyond 120 volts, your electrical appliances may be destroyed.

Therefore, for maximum protection of your electrical household appliances, a whole house protector is ideal.

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In this article, we have answered the question of how does a whole house surge protector work. This type of surge protector is very important in protecting your electrical devices and appliances from power surges or spikes.

Power surges are very dangerous since they lead to the destruction of appliances and ultimately increasing the cost of maintaining them or even buying new ones.

That is why it is advisable that you choose the whole surge house protectors over the individual surge protectors since it is capable of protecting all your household electrical appliances and devices.