A power surge happens in a split second — a thousandth of the time it takes you to blink your eyes. Maybe you see the lights flicker, or your computer locks up for no apparent reason. Maybe you don’t notice anything at all.
But that little spike in the current flowing through the wires of your house can cause big – and expensive – problems. The Insurance Information Institute includes insurance claims from power surges in the same category as damage from lightning strikes. Together they resulted in more than $1 billion in insured losses in 2008, with an average claim of $4,329. There’s an easy and affordable way to steer clear of those kinds of losses. They’re called whole-house surge protectors, and here’s how they work.
What causes power surges
Most people worry about a power surge being caused by something outside of the house, like a lightning strike or a downed power line. While lightning is the most dangerous cause of surges, it’s far from the most common. According to the NEMA Surge Protection Institute, 60% to 80% of power surges start inside the home, typically from major appliances and systems that cycle on and off, such as air conditioners, refrigerators, and clothes dryers.
Over time, those fluctuations take a toll on sensitive electronics, such as TVs, computer equipment, microwaves, and smart appliances like your heater and air conditioner, causing delicate circuits to malfunction or burn out prematurely.
Whole-house surge protection
Since power surges don’t present a fire hazard, protective devices aren’t required by building codes or homeowner’s insurance carriers. But everyone from the National Fire Protection Association to the Institute for Business and Home Safety recommends them.
The good news is that protection is readily available. The Eaton CH Ultra Surge Protector provides coverage for your entire home. Our licensed electrician will install it right at the box. The Eaton CH Ultra Surge Protector even comes with a warranty of up to $75,000
A whole-house surge protector can protect against up to 40,000 amps of current flowing into your home from the outside; normal household power is 200 to 300 amps. When a sudden surge occurs, such as from a lightning strike or damage to a power line, the device detects the excess current and safely diverts it through the house’s grounding path.