Do you keep electrical devices plugged into your outlets at home? Have you thought about what could happen to those things if your electrical system experienced a major power surge? Without adequate surge protection, even a single electrical surge could cause irreparable damage to your computers, televisions, electrical appliances, and anything else you have plugged into your receptacles at home.

So just how much surge protection do you need to keep your pricey electronics safe? We’ve broken down everything you need to know below.

Surge Protection Is Measured in Joules

The amount of protection a surge protector can deliver is notated by its joule rating, which indicates the amount of electrical energy the device can divert to a ground wire. If the surge delivers more joules than the protector is rated for, the device will likely fail and anything plugged into it may experience electrical damage.

What Joule Rating Should You Look For?

The optimal joule rating for your needs depends on the type of device you’re trying to protect. The more expensive the equipment, the higher the joule rating you’ll want to opt for. Generally, you’ll want to look for point-of-use surge protectors rated for at least 200-400 joules, but 600+ joules is even better.

Surge protectors rated for 1000+ joules are optimal for protecting electrical devices like lamps, small kitchen appliances, digital clocks, etc. These types of items don’t typically require extensive protection since they don’t store data and aren’t usually expensive.

However, if you want the best protection for all of your household devices, it’s in your best interest to opt for the highest joule rating (2000+ joules) you can get your hands on. Rapid device response time is also crucial — you’ll want to look for one that responds in less than a nanosecond for the highest level of protection.

Is a Whole-House Surge Protector Worth It?

Do you live in an area where lighting is common? Do you simply want the best protection possible for your expensive (and data-storing) electronics? Then whole-house surge protector installation is absolutely worth it.

Device costs will vary depending on the level of protection you choose, but generally, a whole-house system will run you a few hundred dollars. Even after tacking on labor costs for installation with a licensed residential electrician, whole-house surge protector installation is still less expensive than replacing a pricey work computer or expensive home theater system.

But keep in mind that whole-house surge protectors only arrest voltage surges that originate outside the house. That means that if your air conditioner or other high-voltage appliance kicks on and generates a small surge, the whole-house protector won’t suppress the excess current generated by that surge.

To protect your devices from power surges generated inside your home’s electrical system, you’ll also want to implement point-of-use surge protectors rated for 600-1000+ joules.

Looking for Whole-House Surge Protection in the Twin Cities?

Ready to protect your electrical system and electronics from damaging electrical surges? Let our team at Harrison Electric help you out! We specialize in whole-house surge protector installation for homeowners throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro and all of our electricians are fully licensed, bonded, and insured for your peace of mind.

To schedule installation or learn more about how comprehensive surge protection works, feel free to give us a call today at 763-544-3300 or request a quote, and we’ll get back to your promptly.