The Tampa Bay Area is known for its lightning storms. If lightning strikes a power company electric line within 20 miles of your home, a voltage spike can be created that can ruin not only your sensitive and expensive electronics but all other connected devices as well, like your water heater, air conditioner, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer and microwave.
Items are not always ruined in one big strike. Sensitive electronics have circuit boards that are damaged by very small spikes. The effects are cumulative with each small strike eating away at the board until it fails entirely.
Other events like downed power lines and damaged appliances in your own home can generate voltage spikes.
What is a surge protector?
A surge protector is a device that sacrifices itself to save your expensive electrical and electronic items. Once it absorbs enough strikes, it is destroyed and must be replaced. But surge protectors are inexpensive compared all the other items that could be destroyed. Surge protectors come in a range of sizes. Bigger ones can absorb larger jolts (like direct strikes to your home) and many smaller jolts (further away) before being destroyed.
What about surge protector power strips?
These protect only the items that are plugged into them and are not as powerful a protection as a whole house protector. Using just power strips, all your 240 volt appliances are unprotected. Most power strips do not indicate when the protection has been used up.
What does a whole house surge protector do?
A whole house surge protector protects all the electrical and electronic items in your home plus all your wiring and circuit breakers. It has an indicator light that shows it is working or has failed due to a strike. These also come with insurance from the manufacturer which allows you to claim compensation should the surge protector fail to protect an item. The amount varies by model but ranges up to $50,000.
How is it installed?
A whole house surge protector is installed inside or just outside your electrical panel and is attached directly to the panels buss bars. This is how it protects the entire house.
What should you do?
A surge protector is cheap insurance against the loss of your expensive items. Your items will last longer which will save you money. Most homeowners insurance policies do not protect against voltage surge losses. We recommend you add whole house surge protection to your house, townhouse, condo, or apartment.