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Whole House Surge ProtectorsGuide Started By b.n. on April 2014 Last Updated on September 2014 | 7 Contributions | Comments
Whole house surge protectors install in or near the main service panel for a home, protecting against external electrical surges such as those caused by wind, lightning or accidents. They typically work in concert with "power strip" type surge protectors installed near the points of use.
Electricity does not flow through this type of surge protector: one device covers the entire house. Such devices are typically professionally installed.
The easiest to install models simply plug in to an available circuit breaker slot in a service panel.
These devices will not protect against a direct lightning strike: for that you need a lightning rod.
All such devices "wear out" over time, and most have an indicator light showing if they still offer protection.
Whole house units are used in concert with power strip type devices. Note that power strip surge protectors, despite impressive sounding warranties, have a limited record in protecting devices by themselves. Some are poorly designed, others are actually fraudulent knock offs.
All vendors warn that professional installation is required for these devices. However, installation of these devices is a fairly basic DIY (Do It Yourself) task for anyone familiar with basic electrical wiring safety.
"Type 1" devices install on the line side of a service panel. "Type 2" devices install after a circuit breaker. There is no other significant difference: most home users will install a Type 2.
Recalls To Be Aware Of: