Do you want to know if a whole house surge protector worth it or not? Well whatever price you have to pay to protect your expensive appliance from getting damaged or destroyed by high voltage, thunder lightening and low voltage, is not too much.
A whole house power surge protector worth every bit of dime to be spent on home gadget protection because of the security it offers and peace of mind that your electronics are well secured from unforeseen surge problems that can may damage them.
Unfortunately, myriad of surges are available on the market and finding one is just as embarking on august journey. If you don’t know much about these devices, it is necessary you read a whole house surge protector reviews online so that you can get all relevant details to picking the best surge protector.
Major things needs to be taking into consideration because various units are serves different devices protection. If you want to protect a gaming desktop per say, no need looking for something below such requirement.
Nevertheless, we’re going to be showing you all types of power protector surge in a comparison format with kinds of appliances you can use them for. The good sides, surge protector that don’t cost much, a few hundred dollars even below can fetch you a reasonable power protective one.
Why You Need A Whole House Surge Protector
Almost everything in your home (except your couch and other furniture pieces) relies on electricity. This single fact means that you are not immune to a power surge on the event that it occurs. Home appliances such as dryers, washers, your lighting system, and electronic gadgets like TVs, speakers as well as your PCs are plugged into your home’s electrical outlets to operate or simply to charge. All of these appliances are exposed to damage in case of a power surge.
Power surges occur due to various reasons most of which are beyond human control. They can occur at any time in short, but intense bursts. While it is unlikely that these sort of short power surges damage your devices immediately, a buildup over time can lead to faults. That’s asides the possibility of more intense surges caused by lightning and similar incidences which can take out your entire electrical circuit and damage appliances in an instant.
While localized surge protectors (type 3 protectors) can also work to protect your devices, a whole house protector is a more efficient solution. Even when the cause of the surge is localized, whole-house protectors block the surges from affecting other devices and sensitive electronics. That’s not to mention the fact that they safeguard your home against larger-scale surges as well.
What Are The Types Of Whole Home Surge Protectors?
Generally, three types of surge protector devices. However, only two of them can be considered to be whole house surge protectors. The various types of devices include:
Type 1: type 1 surge protector devices are installed directly on the electrical grid and thus protect your home against power surges from outside. There are typically installed on the main service entrance (usually on the line side between your power meter and the utility pole). These types of surge protectors prevent damage to your electrical system which may occur as a result of power switches on the power grid or lightning. They are quite efficient although you will need the help of your power company to install since installation requires the service panel that supplies your home to be shut off entirely.
Type 2: Type 2 surge protectors are installed on the breaker panels (otherwise called the branch panel or load center). Hence, this type of surge protector is also referred to as a panel protector. It is connected to the dual pole breaker within your panel and protectors all the circuits connected to that panel either directly or indirectly.
Type 3 surge protectors cannot be called whole home surge protectors since they serve a more localized purpose. They are plugged into a power outlet and you plug your appliances into them to protect them against power surges. They are used in conjunction with whole house units as an additional precaution to protect your appliances in case the whole home unit fails.
Reviews of 7 Best Whole House Surge Protector
Siemens FS140 Whole House Surge Protection
The Siemens FS140 is designed to deliver whole house surge protection for any standard residential split system. One of the best things about the FS140 is that it can be installed right at the load center of your home’s electrical system. This way it prevents surges even before it gets into your home. The unit is built to be durable with a commercial-grade enclosure which makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor installation.
Also, another feature that this unit has that makes it an ideal choice compared to other types of surge protectors is its three-stage diagnostic notification. Unlike most units that simply has an LED notification no indicators at all to tell you about faults, the FS140 has an audible alarm in addition to the green and red LED indicator lights.
Intermatic Smart Guard IG2240-IMSK Whole Home Surge Protector
The Intermatic smart Guard surge protector uses state-of-the-art thermally protected metal oxide varistor to protect your entire home and appliances from dangerous electrical surges. This is a more ideal choice over the standard MOV technology which is prone to potentially destructive failures.
Installation is easy and the module can be easily swapped after a destructive surge with little or no expertise at all. There are 3 replacement modules and a mounting kit for easy replacement. There is also a module power switch that can be installed with the unit. This enables easy disconnection when the unit is being replaced.
EATON CHSPT2 ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection
The Eaton CHSPT2 connects to any type of breaker box. This universal surge protector provides whole house surge protector for any type of telephone or cable connection as well as AC circuits. It is suitable for both indoor and outdoor application.
The Eaton ultimate surge protector is quite easy to mount which is one of its most desirable features. With little technical know-how, the unit can be installed and ready for use in minutes. It also has a LED status indicator that shows the condition of the module for easy monitoring.
Leviton 51120-1 Panel Protector
The Leviton 51120-1 is designed to provide single-phase surge protection to residential buildings and light electrical installations in small commercial buildings as well.
It is built to protect sensitive appliances against destructive voltage electrical spikes using a 4-mode protection mechanism compliant with the UL 1449 standard. It can be used to protect both AC power connections and communication lines.
In addition, has a strong metal enclosure which keeps the unit protected and ensures durability. The enclosure is also designed to make a connection to your existing panel quite convenient.
Square D by Schneider Electric HEPD80 Home Electronics Protective Device
This portable whole house high voltage surge protector is the most affordable module on our list. Yet, it offers efficient protection for your entire home circuit and connected appliances. This unit offers 6 Modes of Protection and can be connected to both indoors and outdoors circuits thanks to a durable weather-resistant design although it is non-metallic unlike most of the other modules.
The HEPD80 works have a universal whole home surge protector. This means it can be easily connected to your existing load center no matter the type and brand it is. Installation is easy and convenient and a green LED indicator shows you when the unit is working and properly connected.
Intermatic IG1240RC3 Whole Home surge protector
Intermatic IG1240RC3 offers 6 modes of surge protection for your entire home using advanced state of the art TMPOV technology. This module has a greater capacity compared to standard plug-in type strips and is more reliable than models with standard MOV technology.
This unit is built for both inside and outside applications. It is has a 3R plastic enclosure which is resistant to dust, rain, sun, and other weather elements. It is a simple 4-wire hookup which means installation is quite easy. DIY enthusiasts with sufficient technical knowledge should be able to pull installation off without stress.
Square D by Schneider Electric SDSB80111 Surgebreaker
This is one of the easiest to install surge protector units you will find around. It only requires a few screws and the module snaps right into place. This surge breaker can also be customized conveniently to meet your needs thanks to its removable design which improves its flexibility.
You will love this surgebreaker’s compact design which helps you to save space. However, the Surgelogic Surge breaker Plus uses advanced surge protection capabilities to protect your entire home and appliances. The unit also includes a HEPD80 module which provides long term protection against very powerful surges.
What To Look For In Best Surge Protector For A Whole House
Check the ratings: whole house surge protectors are usually rated in kiloAmps (kA) – this is a measure of the amount of current the unit can manage effectively. A surge higher than this rating will damage the surge protector and your appliances. Hence, there is a need to carefully check and verify the rating on any module you intend to purchase.
For whole-house application, a rating of between 50 to 80 kA will work just fine. Of course, going for a higher rating is recommended for a longer lifespan. Although that means you will have to pay more in most cases (a fair deal if you ask me!!!).
The Voltage Protective Rating (VPR): another important rating to check is the VPR which is a measure of how much voltage still goes through your property after the module does its job. Target a low VPR rating for any unit.
Certification: before you purchase any surge protector be sure to check if it is certified. Most good quality surge protectors are certified by an independent laboratory. Companies know this is an important consideration and it is boldly stated on their advertisements and product listings.
Warranty: while most whole house surge protectors have a warranty cover, the terms of the warranty varies from one module to the other. Before purchase check the type of cover you will get in case of damage and the terms that may void your warranty. For example, you may lose warranty cover on some modules if it is was not installed by a professional.
How To Install A Whole House Surge Protector
Let’s start with a note of warning. We recommend that you hire a professional to handle the installation of your surge protector unless you have some technical know-how on electrical installation. Most manufacturers recommend this as well and it may void your warranty in some cases. Fiddling with electrical units can also be dangerous especially if you do not know what you are doing. With that said, here is a step by step guide for installing a surge protector:
Get the right tools: some of the tools you will need for this includes a Flathead screwdriver, screws, pliers, wire strippers, tape, voltage detector device and a flashlight.
1. Getting started:
- Step 1: turn off the main power switch.
- Step 2: unscrew then remove the panel door. Use a voltage detector to check if power has stopped flowing through the panel before you attempt to open the front panel (note: avoid touching live wires within the panel. Only touch wires that are needed for connecting the surge protector)
- Step 3: create an opening for the wires of the surge protector device on the knockout areas beside the panel. Feed the surge protector wires through the opening.
2. Mount the module and connect to the panel
- Step 1: mount and secure the module onto the wall. Refer to the user manual for directions on how to mount the unit correctly.
- Step 2: Connect the wires to your main panel: typically a surge protector has four wires. The green wire represents the ground. The white one is neutral and there are 2 black wires which complete the circuit. Strip the coating of the wires carefully and begin the connection. The green and white wires go into the ground and neutral bus bar respectively. The black wires are to be connected to the dipole circuit breaker. Be sure to connect this as close to your main power wires as possible.
3. Finishing up
Replace the cover of the panel and carefully screw it back into place. Turn the main breaker switch on again. Check the indicator lights on the surge protector and see if it is working correctly as indicated in the user manual.
From the discussion so far, we’ve been able to explain the term whole house surge protector including the types and how you can install it. In addition, reviews of surges designed for an entire house electric power or thunder lightening prevention. We also believe by now you should able to choose an ideal unit for your home but if you’re still lost, no problem. This is why we are here to help you. We therefore recommend simen whole house-surge-protector as our number one pick. This is because, it has 3 stage protection, can be use inside or outside and stops surges before it goes into your house.
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