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Here's Why You Need An Electrical Surge Protector

Unfortunately, power surges are one of the many things you have no control over that can seriously damage appliances, electronics, and other parts of your home. However, there is good news! You can install a whole home surge suppressor to protect your home from an electrical surge.

What is an electrical surge?

To understand what causes a power surge in a house, you must know how power is generally distributed. It’s pretty simple.

Electricity is generated and directed into the power grid. Through large power lines (the ones you often see in fields), power is distributed to substations, which "step down" the high-voltage power to a lower voltage. Smaller power lines, like the ones on your street, carry hundreds to thousands of volts of power throughout the city. The power travels through transformers (the grey cylinders atop electrical poles), which "step down" the power to 240V. At this point, power flows safely into your home through your electrical power stack.

How power flows to your home

Power flow is made up of two parts, voltage and current. Electricity flowing through wires is just like water flowing through a pipe. The pipe has water and pressure that pushes it through. In electrical terms, current is the water, and voltage is the pressure. If either one increases too much, it can "flood" your electrical system and cause damage.

Your home's current is either 100 amps or 200 amps, and the correct voltage is 240v. So power surges occur when there is an increase in the flow of voltage and current into your home beyond these amounts. Power surges can be caused by lightning, transformer malfunctions, shorts in the electrical infrastructure, or when the system comes back on after an outage. These problems are all out of your control.

When power surges occur, the excess voltage can fry your appliances, and excess current appears in the form of heat, which can melt your wires and cords. This is why installing a power surge protector is an affordable and important home protection option.

How does a surge protector work?

A whole home surge protector is a device installed on your electrical panel near your main breaker. The protector takes the hit when a surge comes down the line because of this arrangement. It takes the damage and halts the power flow from getting through to the rest of your home’s electrical system.

Electrical surge protectors can provide protection to most surges that occur, but unfortunately, there are limitations. In the case of a lightning strike, there is virtually no way to protect your system. Lighting typically contains 300 million volts and 30,000 amps, which will fry anything and everything.

A panel with a suge protector

How much does a surge protector installation cost? 

Kraun offers a fixed rate price of $332 to install a surge protector. This price includes both labour and materials. The installation process includes making space in your electrical panel for the surge protector and hardwiring it into your existing home power system.

This is a small price to pay considering the alternative of spending potentially tens of thousands of dollars replacing anything plugged in at the time of a surge, including TVs, fridges, ovens, computers, video game systems, and washers and dryers. A surge could result in tearing down walls to access and replace melted and damaged wiring. What a nightmare.

If you are ready to protect your home as best as possible from electrical surges, give us a call or fill out the form below to get started. We look forward to working together!

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Serving the Hamilton and Niagara area.

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