It’s not good enough to put burglar guards on all your windows and security gates on the doors. There’s a very large threat to you and your household valuables – and it doesn’t involve living intruders. It’s the danger of a large surge in your electricity supply that could rush through your wiring and take out some or all of your appliances, computer equipment and even your LED light bulbs. Have you thought about installing a Whole House Surge Protection Unit? It may be the right time to do so – before you lose a lot to the elements.

Anything with a circuit board of any sort (including some LED bulbs), is vulnerable to the surge in power that often follows outages. And while you may feel you are protected by household content insurance, it might be best to check whether your electronic goods are actually covered for this sort of damage, and, if so, what exactly the terms are. Often content insurance doesn’t specify cover for electronic items destroyed by power surges, and when it does, it may demand a large deductible. And it’s not unusual for US households to own electronic items with a collective replacement value of $10 000 to $15 000 or more.

While not claiming to protect your home’s electronics in the event of a direct lightning strike, or even one that’s close by, SPDs add extra protection when used in conjunction with a lightning protection system. And lightning is not the only cause of spikes and surges. Far more common causes are power outages, grid swapping, transformer faults, or collapsing power lines caused by storms or accidents.

How do SPD’s work?

A whole house surge protector protects your electronic devices by limiting the voltage supplied to them to a safe threshold. It will either block, shunt or divert anything over that into the ground. This applies to both short spikes and slightly longer surges. Although both of these last only for nanoseconds, if the voltage involved is high enough, it can force too much power through the wire to your precious appliances and devices. Even if it doesn’t destroy them immediately, it is highly likely to result in some components wearing out more quickly.

Choosing the Right SPD

Whole house SPD’s vary in price as well as what power they can handle, and often the two are related. Their specifications are measured in kiloamps, and that’s what counts. Your electrician in Colorado Springs, CO, will advise you that the inexpensive ones, sometimes with a 10kA capacity, will do the job once, but should there be another large surge in the future, it would probably not be able to save your goods a second time.

An SPD with a minimum rating of 50kA or preferably 80kA, is far better for long-term protection on the high level. However, where possible it should have a protection system that works against both small and large surges, so that it doesn’t skip the little ones that could damage your most sensitive electronics. Seek your electrician’s advice on layering your surge protection so that more levels are covered, and don’t forget to check that it will protect your telephone line and internet services like DSL, satellite and cable service, too. The latest standard carries a UL No. 1449 rating.

It is highly recommended that installation is left to a professional electrician. The process might seem simple enough for a handyman with a knowledge of wiring to handle, but as it involves installing the unit into the main breaker box, there could be dangerous consequences if things go wrong. Call on a specialist electrician in Colorado Springs, Colorado, for safe and professional service and advice.

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