Jeff - Home Depot also has a smaller, cheaper product from Square D. See
You add a 220 breaker and connect the device to your circuits. In
theory, when there is a spike, they clamp it down. The good ones have
an indicator light to say they are still good.
I will be adding one of these products as soon as I add a sub panel to
make room. My panel is in the outside wall of the house, typical in
Southern California, so I am limited to what actually fits inside the
We've had several power problems due to an old distribution system. I
lost a computer and UPS in 2010. I had friends 1/4 mile away loose most
of their appliances when a transformer presented a light show.
None of these are likely to save you if lightning hits the house, but
any should provide added protection if a local transformer fails or
someone drives into one of the ground level electrical distribution
boxes along the street.
For many of us, our most expensive electrical devices are probably the
kitchen appliances and entertainment centers. While you can unplug the
fridge if a storm is coming, you are not likely to go down and switch
off the breaker for the hardwired stove/oven. For a freak event, you
are not going to be able to take precautions, so a device like these
should be an extra level of protection.
On 5/23/2013 6:49 AM, Jeff Scarbrough wrote:
> A cow-orker with a new house asked me about whole-house surge
> protection. Where I live, the local member-owned electric utility
> sells protection for large appliances and motors as a device in the
> meter base. They charge $6.50 a month for this service. As I
> understand it, you're basically buying insurance, as they repair any
> damage due to surges with this service.
> I see you can purchase a similar device at the local big box for
> around $200. The claim is that it offers surge protection similar to
> a plug-in device, but also covers connected equipment.
> In my neighborhood, all the utilities are underground. In 17 years,
> I've not experienced anything that would require use of a whole-house
> device, despite some really exciting electrical storms. All of my
> electronics are plugged into normal surge suppressors, but no problems
> with them or the larger things so far.
> Any of you guys have any experience or advice concerning this sort of thing?
> Jeff Scarbrough
> Corrosion Acres, Ga.
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