Although most homeowners have some sort of surge protection, it isn’t always enough to protect kitchen appliances, washers and dryers, or devices connected to cable and Ethernet cords. Let’s look at the facts. Contrary to popular belief, lighting is not the biggest threat; internal sources inside the home itself are. 80 % of residential surges come from inside the home from equiptment such as air conditioners, power tools, pumps, and garage door openers, while only 20% come from lightning or electrical accidents.
Are standard surge protectors and surge strips enough?
Many homeowners think that simply plugging in their PC, or television to a power strip offers adequate protection against power surges. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as many homeowners discover after the fact upon losing hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in property damage.
Multiple surge events over time (small or large) can ultimately shorten the life of your home electronics and PC equipment. While there are many electronic products such as televisions, sound systems, and computers that include some protection, the products themselves are not designed to handle large surges or smaller, more frequent surges that can degrade circuitry and components over time. And many manufacturers do not offer warranties against surge damage.
Although surge strips offer some protection, they represent only one element of the essential protection a homeowner needs. That’s because refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves, and other expensive appliances are not compatible with standard surge strips, essentially leaving them unprotected. Surge protectors, designed to control very fast, high-voltage transients or surges that are common in our electrical systems, offer a bit more protection, but at the very basic level with limited warranty covering major appliances.
The best defense against multiple surge paths
Standard protection in your home just isn’t enough anymore, especially with all of your high-end electronics and devices that connect you to the Cloud, where your photos, music files, and important documents are stored. You need protection at multiple entry points; anywhere power enters your home.
A layered approach includes at three levels of protection within your home: individual surge strips that protect your plug-in electrical equipment , surge protector installed at your electrical panel, and surge protection mounted outside of the panel. In fact, most insurance companies recommend this extra step of installing surge protection at your electrical panel.
With comprehensive product offerings, Schneider Electric makes it easy to protect across multiple layers. The popular QO & Homeline Surgebreakers are plug-in surge protection devices, or “SPD's”, that are installed internally in the load center and protect the home's electrical systems and hard-wired appliances from surges. These affordable, easy to install SPDs provide critical protection against surges that might overload an ordinary surge strip.
HEPD80 Home Electronics Protective Device provides even greater surge protection. A compact and affordable SPD, it's also designed for residential load centers but it provides protection for important items that aren't compatible with plug strips like washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, heating and air conditioning systems and lighting.. Last, Surgebreaker Plus Whole House Surge offers state-of-the-art, whole house protection for appliances, home entertainment systems, game consoles, computers, phones and cable tv systems. Here’s a breakdown:
- Surgebreaker Plus Upgrade: five-year warranty along with a $75,000 Limited Liability Warranty covering major appliances as well as electronic devices such as microwave ovens, audio and stereo components, video equipment, televisions, and computers
- QO and Homeline Surgebreaker: each with a three-year warranty along with a $10,000 Limited Liability Warranty covering major appliances (refrigerators, stoves, ovens, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers, and air conditioners)
- HEPD80: five-year warranty along with a $50,000 Limited Liability Warranty covering major appliances as well as electronic devices such as microwave ovens, audio and stereo components, video equipment, televisions, and computers.