Although lightning strikes only cause about two percent of power surges, there are two more frequent types of power surges that also pose a threat to your home and your electronics. Internal power surges, generated throughout the day by normal operation of certain appliances, can be mitigated by power strip surge protectors. External power surges, however, can be caused by an equipment failure or violent damage to the city's power grid. They're often much more severe and cause widespread damage. To defend your home against these dangerous surges, you can have a commercial electrical contractor install whole-house surge protection. Here are four great reasons to invest in this installation.
1. A surge can damage electronics even when they aren't turned on.
If you're a fan of green living, you may have heard that you can use less power overall by unplugging all your electronics when not using them. This is because appliances and devices often draw a little power even when turned off, which proves that they're vulnerable to a power surge any time they're connected to your electrical wiring system. Unlike the energy conservation issue, however, the power surge issue cannot be solved by simply unplugging everything. A power surge can happen at any time of day when power lines are knocked down or crossed, so in order to be safe, you'd have to leave everything unplugged all the time, including refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioning units.
2. Whole-house protection is more reliable and can withstand stronger surges than power strip surge protectors.
Power strip surge protectors are designed to protect against the small internal surges that occur throughout the day. They prevent minor repeated damage, lengthening the working lifespan of expensive electronics like your computer and TV. This is a useful function, but it means that these surge protectors aren't the ideal defense against a violent external power surge caused by an equipment failure in the lines. Whole-house protection can function as an effective backup during these more catastrophic surges.
3. 240-volt appliances are easiest to protect with whole-house protection.
Although you can plug many electronics into power strips, some of the appliances that may be damaged by a surge require a 240-volt surge protector, which is nearly impossible to find in the U.S. They're plentiful in the U.K., but don't be fooled: the U.K. uses a different type of plug, which is incompatible with U.S. outlets. A whole-house surge protector is a much easier way to protect these large appliances, which include washers and dryers, air conditioning units, water heaters, ovens, and more.
4. Whole-house surge protection can prevent internal damage to your house and wiring system.
Some power surges, such as one in Seattle that had the power to violently destroy electrical outlets, can cause internal damage to your home in addition to harming electronics and appliances. These sorts of problems include:
- Burned-out GFCI outlets
- Loosened and damaged wires
- Meter explosions
- Circuit breaker failure
Because these are electrical system problems, individual power strips won't prevent the damage.
Although whole-house surge protection is such an essential defensive step, it's a relatively painless electrical job. Ask an electrical contractor like ABC Electric Co, to quote a price for the installation and you may be pleasantly surprised.