Voltage surges aren’t always easily detectable, especially when they’re not massive. But they occur far more frequently — up to 20 times a day in the average home — than most people realize. Unfortunately, they can do considerable damage to anything that’s plugged into any outlet in your home. That’s where whole-house surge protection is incredibly useful.

If you value your pricey electronics, it’s in your best interest to protect them from unexpected electrical damage. Take a look below at what you need to know about whole-house surge protection so you can decide if it’s right for you.

What Is an Electrical Surge?

An electrical surge is a brief voltage overload on your electrical circuit. That circuit supplies the outlets in your home, so the excess voltage travels from the circuit to your electrical receptacles and to anything that’s plugged into them. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the current spike, it may persist through several voltage cycles.

Whole-House Surge Protection: What It Is

A whole-house surge protector is a device that hardwires directly into your home’s electrical service panel. It blocks any excess voltage stemming from an electrical surge and diverts that voltage into the ground outside your home. Because the device connects directly to your circuits, it protects every outlet in your home from current spikes at all times.

How Whole-House Surge Protection Safeguards Your Electronics

Whole-house surge protectors operate on the principle that electricity always follows the path of least resistance to the ground. These devices provide a low-interference path for excess electrical current to follow. When a voltage spike occurs at your home’s circuit panel, the surge protector drains the excess voltage from the circuit. It then redirects the current to the ground, so it cannot travel to your electrical outlets.

Whole-House vs. Point-of-Use Surge Protection: Which Is Better?

While point-of-use surge protectors (the power strip type with the surge protection switch) are undoubtedly useful, they can also encourage outlet overloading since they feature multiple receptacles. If you’re careful not to overload an outlet and you currently use a point-of-use surge protector, that’s fine. However, you must also make sure that you have one plugged into every outlet you use.

Whole-house surge protectors, on the other hand, offer comprehensive protection without you having to do anything besides have the device installed. That said, depending on the type of protector you choose, it may allow lower voltage current spikes to travel through the circuit and into your home. These devices are designed to protect against massive spikes that can cause serious damage, which point-of-use devices don't really guard against. For the best protection, it’s smart to implement both types of surge protectors in your home. 

Request a Quote for Whole-House Surge Protector Installation Today

Think a whole-house surge protector is right for your household? Get in touch with our team at Harrison Electric for an installation quote! For over 30 years, we’ve proudly served homeowners throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro, and we’d love to make you our next fully satisfied client. Check out our reviews to see what people are saying!

To learn more about our services or get started with whole-house surge protection, feel free to request a service quote online or give us a call today at 763-544-3300.