GMO Electrical Services

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Whole House Surge Protectors

Posted on 5 March, 2017 at 0:45

What You Need to Know

What is a Power Surge? A Power Sureg is a transient voltage spike in a power or data line. The spike is very brief, usually lasting only a few millionths of a second (the blink of an eye is thousands of times longer than typical surge), but it can still cause damage, degrade, or destroy electronic equipment. Because surges are so fast,even fuses, circuit breakers and GFCI's are not quick enough to protect the damage.

How do they happen and what to look for - Power surges occur when the flow of electricity is interrupted, then started again, or when something sends electricity flowing back into the system.Switching high  powered equipment on and off is one example. Lightning and utility grid switching are the largest source of surges generated from outside a building but only 20% of surges are caused by lightning strikes and an overwhelming 80% of power surges are internally generated. A few signs of a power surge gone unnoticed are:

  • Computer lock-ups or latch-ups
  • Unexplained data corruption 
  • Equipment shutdown 
  • Flickering Lights
  • Premature failure of electronic ballasts or printed circuit boards (electronic rust)

Even if your home or business does survive an electrical surge or one happens to go unnoticed, there is still damage that occurs each and every time. This transient damage is commonly referred to as "electronic rust". This type of damage eats away at the circuits that allow the electricity to flow between electronic components on a printed circuit board e.g. Computer, printer etc. and if left unchecked will eventually stop your equipment from working right in its tracks. Consequences of electronic rust are:

  • Hard Drive crashes
  • Data transmission errors
  • Circuit board failures

What is a Surge Protective Device? - A Surge protector (or surge suppressor or surge diverter) is an appliance or device designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes. A Surge Protective Device (SPD) is intended to limit transient over voltages and divert a surge with the goal of preventing equipment damage and downtime due to transient voltage surge reaching the devices they protect. 

Am I covered by my insurance? - Yes and No. Depending on your coverage. Insurance companies do offer coverage for incidents like a lightning but they DO NOT cover damage to equipment caused by the lightning strike, electrical incidents resulting internally or caused by your utility company.In fact, utility companies do not cover or reimburse for any damages caused by wildlife, weather, and lack of power, a power outage, power surge or something beyond its control including the guarantee of continuous and constant supply of power. Coverage for damaged equipment requires the purchase of additional policy coverage. 

Whole House Surge Protectors - unlike a power strip with surge protection capabilities, a whole-house surge protector is not a point-of-use device. It is not something that you’ll handle directly, plugging it into the wall, nor is it something that you will plug other electronics into. Instead, a whole-house surge protector is wired directly into the electrical panel that regulates the distribution of electricity throughout your home. When there is a power surge, for whatever reason, the surge protector will deal with it before that power surge even makes its way onto any of your circuits.

Even when compared with the best point-of-use surge protectors, whole-house surge protection systems are enormously more beneficial. First of all, they protect your whole house. This means that you don’t have to pick and choose which devices are protected by your surge protectors. Also, they will cover large appliances, such as your HVAC systems, which would not generally be plugged into a surge protector. They can handle much larger power surges, including those cause by lighting strikes, and will protect you from power surges making their way into your home through various inlets, including landlines. This is not the same level of protection that smaller power strips can offer. 

Whether protecting your home,  an amusement parks, casinos, manufacturing facilities, mining operations, retail stores, office buildings, we have products designed to be compact, provide the highest level of performance and are seamlessly integrated into your electrical systems. 

For a free consultation on SPD's contact us 

Categories: Consumer Tips