Electrical Wiring and Electrical Repairs

Whole House Surge Protectors

Summary: This article explains what surge devices are available and how they can help protect your home with Whole House Surge Protector Methods.

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Home Surge Protection - the Right Line of Defense for the Home

Protection at the Point of Entry

The first line of defense is protection at the point of entry where electricity enters a home through the main electrical service panel—and surges and voltage spikes from lightning hits enter the electrical system.

Installing service entrance protection devices, or surge arrestors, diverts surges to ground before they can enter the premises.

If the AC surge arrestor is doing its job, it shields motor-driven appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, electric washers, and dryers from damage.

Home Surge Protection
Implementing the Right Line of Defense on the Home Front

Surge Protection Additional specialized service entrance protectors can be added to protect cable TV and telephone lines, and to minimize damage to TV sets and modems.

Homeowners can also arrange for installation of branch circuit feeder devices or trips in circuit breaker panels to prevent catastrophic and internally-generated transients from damaging equipment on specific circuit branches.

According to Dr. Richard Cohen, a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), “The importance of tiered protection cannot be underestimated. Lightning and surge protection experts from IEEE, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Electric Power Research Institute have known for years that the combined use of quality protectors at the building entrance, and appropriate plug-in protectors at the point of use can virtually eliminate all damage from lightning and surges. This knowledge is critical, but has not yet been broadly distributed. For this reason, the IEEE has designated a special group, which I am leading, to prepare an Application Guide on residential protection."

Providing protection at the point of entry requires an electrician-installed point-of-entry surge arrestor where power enters the residence from the utility. Surge arrestors limit surge voltage by conducting large surge currents safely to ground. However, because the voltages that pass through surge arrestors are sometimes too large to protect electronic equipment, they should be supplemented by plug-in Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors (TVSS's) where the equipment is located.

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