Explaining Whole House Surge Protectors and How They Work


The power surges, then suddenly your $1,800 refrigerator, $800 washing machine, and $600 dishwasher suddenly stop working. Sounds like a pretty bad day, but there is something that can prevent all that loss and potential electrical damage.

The one way you can have the highest chance of evading this high level of damage is through a whole house surge protector. These act as a form of pressure relief when a surge of electricity comes bursting through the lines, preventing it from frying the circuits and wires of the appliances in your home.

You might be wondering how does a whole house surge protector work to prevent this from happening in the first place. Let’s talk about that.

Let’s Talk About Voltage

First, let’s talk about power surges. A power surge happens when there’s a spike in voltage. Electrical terms can get pretty confusing when you try to convert volts to amperes, so suffice it to say, volts are a unit of measurement for electricity.

Every electrical device has a maximum number of power it can withstand before that electricity causes damage. Devices are rated for certain levels of electrical resistance, so if they encounter a voltage that’s higher than the maximum tolerance, it quite literally burns the wires and circuits. Your electronic device no longer functions.

How a Surge Protector Helps

A whole house surge protector takes the brunt of that electrical surge to prevent that level of power from passing through to more sensitive electrical devices. There are two ways that they work.

Gas discharge arresters, or GDR units, are gas-filled and utilize the principle of arc discharge. Once voltage comes through, an arc of electricity forms in a sealed chamber so the surge doesn’t go through to your electronics.

With a metal oxide varistor (MOV), there’s a large resistor that prevents the flow of electricity to continue into your electronics. MOVs essentially absorb electricity (it’s not that simple, but it’s the best way to explain it).

They Don’t Last Forever

Just like with any home system, whole house surge protectors won’t last forever. How often it’ll need to be replaced depends on a number of factors. For example, if your area has experienced a large number of power surges and outages, it’ll need to be replaced sooner. It’s hard to gauge when small surges occur which is why it’s important to have a replacement plan in place.

A whole house surge protector is a necessary cost to protect the electronics in your home, but it’s not a set-and-forget solution. Make sure you stay up-to-date on your replacements. A surge protector is something you never regret having–you only regret not having one.

Protect What’s Yours

You rely so heavily on the appliances and electronics in your home. Without due diligence, they can all be wiped out in an instant because of one freak lightning storm or surge.

Do yourself a favor and get a whole house surge protector installed so you don’t have regrets later. Call us today to get started on your surge protector installation.

Contact HB Energy Solutions for all your energy needs. HB Energy Solutions delivers peace of mind. 

Comments are closed.