Every item we purchase comes with certain pros and cons, and whole house surge protector is no different. However, in this case, it is the advantages that take the driver’s seat rather than the disadvantages. In this article, we will briefly discuss on how you and your home can benefit by installing a whole house surge protector. This compared to any cons that you may encounter.
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What does a whole house surge protector do?
Before we dive deep into the pros and cons of installing a surge protection device (SPD) in your home, we want you to understand what it is used for in the first place. Every home experiences multiple voltage spikes every year. You should keep in mind that these electrical surges aren’t always caused due to lightning. Faulty electrical lines, sudden increase or decrease in grid demand, etc., can also lead to electrical spikes.
These sudden mini-spikes occurring all round the year, can gradually damage the sensitive electrical appliances in your home. This can cause costing you thousands of dollars in repairs and replacements. A whole house surge protector is a device that can prevent voltage spikes from damaging the electrical and electronic equipment in your home. An SPD does this by sending the excessive electric supply directly into the ground before it can reach any electrical appliances and damage them. It is a tried and tested method to keep your home and electrical appliances safe.
Now, let us know about the pros and cons of the whole house SPD installation.
Pros and cons of whole house surge protector
Pros of whole house surge protector
Offers high-level protection from all kinds of electrical spikes
According to National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), 80% of the times, electrical spikes originate from inside the building. They may occur due to various reasons. For example, an electrical spike may be induced due to lose wires or a malfunctioning AC unit. They may occur due to sudden increase or decrease in load demands as well as static electricity. Though these spikes, over extended periods of time, can damage to the household electrical appliances and electronic gadgets.
Also, though rare, the other 20% are high-magnitude voltage spikes. Which generally caused due to lightning or grid failures of your utility provider or due to faulty electrical lines. These can cause immediate and permanent damage to all the electrical appliances plugged-in at the moment the spike occurs. Such huge spikes can also cause electrical sparks, leading to fire accidents, which can put your entire family at risk.
Conventional surge protectors can only prevent low-level spikes from causing any damage to the electrical appliances. However, when high-level spikes occur, they cannot offer any protection. This is where the whole house surge protector comes into play. It can offer a complete protection from both low and high magnitude spikes, thus keeping your home and your electrical devices safe.
Whole house surge protector installation becomes even more important. Especially, if you live in high altitude areas where thunder storms are regular or in industrial areas where there are frequent electrical grid black-outs.
It offers you with the best peace of a mind solution
To most people, the most important factor in deciding whether or not to install a whole house surge protector is their “risk taking capacity.” All of us are not the same. Some worry not only on a personal level, but also on a family, human and emotional level. Remember, a fire accident can not only harm you on a personal or family level, but it can also put your neighbor’s lives at risk.
It all finally boils down to your personal judgment, isn’t it?
Don’t you want to have a peace of mind? Don’t you want your home, family and neighbors to be protected from fire accidents? These are all the questions that question your personal judgment, and only you can answer them.
Please watch this small video on devastating effects of not installing a whole house surge protector, to understand the kind of impact an electrical fire accident can have on your home and sensitive electrical appliances.
Cons of whole house surge protectors
It costs you more compared to conventional surge protectors
For people, who do not have very costly or sensitive electrical appliances at home, or who want to safeguard only certain devices like a computer or a television, normal surge protectors will suffice. They are also a lot cheaper and will only cost you $15 to $50 per piece. Also, since they are plug and play type, you do not have to pay for installation. All you need to do is just strip them and plug in.
However, in this case, you need to understand that you may have to buy more than one of these units. Today, where everything is inter-connected, your office will need one, your computer will need one and so does your entertainment center. When you consider all of these, you may end-up paying more than $100 in safeguarding your devices.
Also, please remember that power strip surge protectors aren’t capable of protecting the devices that are directly connected to the mains. And most of your costly electrical devices such as the AC, water heater, dryers, ovens, stoves, and dishwashers among others, are directly connected to the mains power supply and will remain unprotected. A single high-spike surge can destroy all of them leaving you with a potential loss of thousands of dollars.
Now, let’s have a look at the whole house surge protector installation case. Here, you need to hire a professional electrician to install it for you, unless you are an electrician yourself. It means, apart from purchasing the whole house SPD, you will also have to pay for its installation. Depending on the electrical dynamics of your house and the number of devices in use, you may get the protection for your whole home by spending around $200 to $700. So, this can be the only con and that too, if you are on low budget.
To wrap it up, traditional surge protectors can offer protection only to connected devices and that too for low level surges. But, if you want to protect each and every electrical and electronic device that is plugged in your home, you will need to have a whole house surge protector installed. The decision is yours!