Frequently Asked Questions about Surge and Lightning Protection

Frequently Asked Questions about Surge and Lightning Protection

What is Surge Protection & lightning protection?


Surge protection and lighting protection decreases the risk of damage when lightning strikes or when power surges. A lightning protection system protects the facility by safely catching the strike and transmitting the electrical energy to the ground. A surge protection system guards your equipment against damage by diverting surge currents.

Do surge protectors work against lightning?


Surge protection does offer enhanced protection when lighting strikes. However, surge protectors alone cannot 100% protect your devices. The only way to ensure 100% protection is to unplug everything. Because that might not be a feasible solution, using surge protectors will help protect equipment without unplugging.

How do surge arresters work?


Surge arresters work in the same manner as surge protectors. Surge arresters are the large scale version of surge protection. They are used for medium to high voltage.

How do I protect my house from power surges?


There are different ways to protect your home from power surges. Investing in a whole-home surge protector is one way to protect everything in your home. If you have specific electronics you would like to protect, surge protecting power strips and surge stations can be useful. You want to also ensure that your home is properly grounded. If it is not properly grounded, energy will have nowhere to be diverted.

What is the difference between a power strip and a surge protector?


Surge protectors and power strips look alike, however, they are very different. Power strips will not help protect your devices against a power surge. The use of a power strip is really just as an extension cord with a multitude of outlets. Surge protectors will be a bit more expensive because they offer protection.

Do whole house surge protectors really work?


A whole-house surge protector is installed in your home’s electrical panel. When lightning strikes nearby it will divert the surge to the ground. They do help in protecting your devices and appliances.

How much does it cost to install a whole-house surge protector?


The cost to have a whole-home surge protector ranges from $300 to $750 dollars. The price depends on if you have a sub panel already, the type of surge protector you use, the warranty of the surge protector and the electrician hired. The price also depends on your location. This is very affordable when thinking about the costs of all the potential appliances and devices you would have to replace if damaged.

How many devices can I plug into a surge protector?


A surge protector can have multiple outlets. However, it is not always advisable that you fill in every outlet. This is because you could trip a breaker, which means disconnecting the circuit. This is especially important when you are using a surge protector on large devices such as heaters and TVs. Therefore, limit the number of large devices on one surge protector. But if you’re only plugging in smaller items, such as phone chargers and an alarm clock, it would be safe to fill all the outlets because the amount of power used is low.

Should I use a surge protector for my refrigerator?


Most refrigerator manufacturers do not recommend using a surge protector. This is because a refrigerator has a compressor that is sensitive to temperature. When a surge occurs, the refrigerator itself will shut off and then restart. By using a surge protector, it can get in the way of this system. A better solution would be a whole house surge protector.

Should I use a surge protector for my washing machine?


Similar to the refrigerator answer, it is not advised to plug a washing machine into a surge protector. This is because washers should be plugged directly into the wall outlet. Looking at your washer’s manual will give you further information on electrical requirements specific to that model. A whole-house surge protector will work to protect a washing machine.