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What is Whole Home Surge Protection?

Protecting your home against power surges may not be something you think about until a major storm occurs. Lighting and downed power lines can cause a massive surge that you’ll certainly notice.

However, 60 to 80% of the surges your electronics withstand come from inside your home. Even though they’re much smaller, they can still wear out your electronics over time. That’s where a whole home surge protector comes in. It protects your home against surges and helps preserve your electronics in the process.

Your question may be, “do whole house surge protectors work against lightning?” and they do, but you should also be asking about internal power surges.

Understanding Power Surges

Before we jump into discussing whole home surge protectors in detail, let’s talk about power surges. Small power surges often take place inside your home each day without you even noticing. A whole home surge protector also protects against lightning and other large power spikes. 

Surge Protector


Over time, surges can weaken your electronics and shorten their lifespan. Here are some of the common reasons for power surges:

  • A tripped circuit breaker
  • Power company malfunctions
  • Lightning and storms
  • An inductive spike
  • A power transition on your power line
  • A power outage
  • An electromagnetic pulse
  • Downed power lines

Each time a surge occurs from an overload or a power disruption, that surge affects your home and appliances. A surge protector can be your first line of defense against them and can keep your electronics and your home protected. 

What Does a Whole Home Surge Protector Do?

Is whole home surge protection worth it? Now that you understand how power surges occur, let’s talk about how whole home surge protection works.

A professional can install a whole home surge protector to protect your electronic devices from damaging surges. It limits voltage spikes in a couple of different ways. A whole home surge protector may block the electrical flow or short it to the ground.

A whole home surge protector should feature a thermal fuse, and it acts as a stop-gap between surges and your appliances. When your protector detects a surge, it quickly diverts the excess voltage to the ground wire. Once the flow has returned to normal, the protector allows the voltage to run through again.

Whole home surge protectors are typically hard-wired to your service panel, and they should be rated to withstand a minimum of a 40,000-amp surge. They may feature a light or an alarm when a surge is detected to help keep you in the know. 

What Size Whole Home Surge Protector Do I Need?

There are different types of surge protectors, and a professional can help you determine the right size for your home. You will need more than a strip surge protector to get whole home surge protection.

A whole home surge protector will cost a standard house with a 200 amp panel $500 or more to install, but the benefits are enormous. If you’re looking to protect your electronics, a whole home surge protector may be in your near future. 

How Does Whole Home Surge Protection Work?

There are many benefits to whole home surge protection. Even if you’re not living in a space with frequent outages, your electronics are still constantly being impacted by small surges. 

Here are some of the benefits of whole home surge protection:

Protection Against Internal Surges

One of the biggest advantages of using whole home surge protection is the peace of mind that comes along with it. Because 60 to 80 percent of surges develop inside the home, all electronics are at risk of strain. 

The appliances themselves cause these surges, especially when they have components like motors and air conditioners. Surges don’t cause external damage, but they can wear on electronic components over time, decreasing the efficacy of your appliances. 

Whole home surge protection fights against this, stopping or grounding the surges, so they don’t wear on your electronics. 

Layered Systems

If you have electronics in your home that send surges through a shared circuit, you may be vulnerable to surges. This effect often happens when you have a large entertainment system set up and have multiple electronics using the same circuit. 

A layered system can help prevent these surges from affecting your electronics. It’s installed directly into your electrical panel at the point of use to give your house surge protection where you need it. 

Use the Technology You Want

Finally, an enormous benefit of having whole home surge protection is the freedom to use whatever electronics you want. As long as your amperage can stand up to your use, you can use all of the technology necessary to make your home modern and comfortable. 

With the increased technology available, there is no shortage of appliances that may cause surges in your home. Protecting them with whole home surge protection offers peace of mind and ensures your electronics will keep functioning as they should. 

Of course, there are pros and cons of a whole house surge protector. It will cost you more to protect against surges, and you will need a whole house surge protector installation. But in the end, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your electronics are protected. 

Combat Power Surges With Safe Electric

Since 1994, Safe Electric has been proudly serving Columbus and the surrounding areas. If you’re unsure if you need surge protection in your home, reach out to our trusted team today. We offer a price-match guarantee and are equipped to handle all of your electrical needs. We’re your whole house surge protector installation experts!

If you are looking for an electrician in Central Ohio please call 614-267-4111, or complete our Online Request Form