Surge Protect Your Whole House

On the Tower Talk Reflector, there has been a good discussion on “whole house” surge protectors. I had not seen anything like this until I watched “Holmes on Homes” on the Discovery Channel. The host of the show is now installing these surge protectors — about $500 — on the incoming power to the electrical box.

Supposedly, the surge protector will protect the entire house from electrical surges, though every one that I have read about says to continue to provide good surge protection at the point of the equipment. Plus, of course, power lines are not the only way surges get into the house — wired telephone lines, cable, and others contribute.

Multiple thousands of dollars can be lost without even being struck by lightning; the whole house surge protector seems to be a good investment to make.

Has anyone out there used whole house surge protectors? What’s your experience?

Scot, K9JY

I have had two whole house surge modules on my meter box.
And, my house has been struck twice. The first literally was a direct strike. Mother (Nature), ignored the wet 70 foot trees, and ignored my dipoles, went for the vinyl siding, go figure. But since it was a direct hit must have coupled to my ac lines, and phone, totally on the other side of my whole house surge protector. Took out bunch’s of equipment but my house did not burn down. Oh and the second hit, looked to me like it hit the driveway first, cause there was a basketball size hole in the concrete, then it followed under the concrete (re-bar?) blew all the expansion material out of the gap at the garage footer, found a downspout, went up the downspout (it was a DOWNspout for pete’s sake) got onto a light fixture and my breaker panel ditstributed it promptly, once again bypassing the whole house surge unit. Thats why I also have at least one surge strip in every room I buy a new one when I see them on sale, UPS on most of the computers, two surge arrestors on telco line, and one on my cat-5 network. I hate thunderstorms by the way, I wish I could hide under the bed like a new puppy.

Scot, K9JY

Ron makes a good comment here — it’s not just the power lines that need protecting. In my subsequent article on lightening protection for the ham shack, the articles I cite are very emphatic about having to get every single path covered for protection. Ron shows us why!

I have tried to used the whole house surge protectors because I have a lot of equipments in my home which is tend to be expensive. I want my equipments to be free from damage cause by lack of electrical power consumption that's why I go for a whole house surge protectors. I have also those power strip which can help also in extending the wire connectivity of those equipments of mine having the right amount of power.

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