Surge Protection: Are SPDs Enough?
When it comes to surge protection, your main line of defense for your electronic devices might just be a fancy power strip or some other surge protection device (SPD). But if lightning strikes or you accidentally overwhelm your electrical system with the number of devices you are using simultaneously, a small SPD may not be enough to save your electronics.
At 24/7 Electric, we always recommend that our customers invest in their electrical safety by having a whole house surge protection device installed. Here is a little background info on how they work, and why they are worth it.
What is a power surge?
To understand why a whole house SPD is beneficial to your home, it helps to better understand what a power surge is and when it can happen.
Essentially, a power surge is a spike in the electrical current that runs through your home. This can happen for several reasons, but the two biggest culprits are major appliances and lightning strikes. Sometimes when you turn on a high-power electrical appliance, it will spike your electrical current as it begins to run and do its job. Dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators, and space heaters are just a few of the appliances with the potential to cause a power surge.
As for lightning strikes, while the likelihood of one hitting your house might seem slim, it is far more common for lightning to strike near power lines. If this happens, it can cause a power surge forceful enough to destroy devices like computers and televisions.
Without proper surge protection, your electronics can become sitting ducks for dangerous power surges.
What is whole house surge protection?
Whole House surge protectors allow the correct amount of electrical current to flow through your home normally. But if thy detect a spike in the current that is too high, the protector will divert the surge to a ground wire and prevent it from traveling into your home and damaging your devices. Rather than relying on small power strips to handle this task, if you have a whole house surge protector in your home the diversion takes place directly at your service panel rather than each of your outlets.
Whole House Surge Protection Benefits
One of the biggest advantages to consider when comparing small SPDs to whole house surge protection is the way a power surge will affect your devices that are hardwired into your electrical system. Even if you trust your laptop with a simple power sting, what about your HVAC unit, or LED lights?
Power surges don’t always cause damage through your outlets, either. Sometimes they can travel through your phone lines, cable lines, or ethernet. But if your whole house surge protector stops dangerous currents at their source, they will never reach your devices.
One of the most important reasons to protect your possessions from surges is because you can not always successfully file an insurance claim to have them replaced. Some insurance policies do not protect against this type of damage.
With the enhanced safety and reliability whole house surge protection can offer, 24/7 Electric always recommends that our customers consider having it installed by a licensed professional.