Last year, Brett Shipp with WFAA (Dallas) wrote a story about an unfortunate woman who lost every home appliance, thanks to her local electric company (I’ll be kind and not name names). They were repairing a transformer near her home, when a surge resulting from their effort created an in-home fireworks display that fried over $10,000 worth of her home electronics. (Hers was not the only home affected.) Apparently neither the electric company, nor the insurance company, helped her with her claim. So, she had to replace appliances that included home entertainment electronics and flat-screen TVs.
The damage may not have been as extensive if she had installed whole-home surge protection. Be mindful: there is a difference between surge suppression and surge protection. Surge protection is the mac daddy. But both have their places.
Surge suppression is less expensive—not as robust. It’s most commonly used to protect individual devices or small systems, like a home entertainment system. Suppression limits a surge—knocks it down—but doesn’t stop it.
Surge protection is more expensive, and stops just about everything but a direct hit; i.e.: a lightening bolt to your roof. We have a SurgeX surge protection panel installed at our electrical panel to protect our whole-home entertainment system.
Since the largest surges come from outside your home, it makes sense to install either surge suppression or surge protection at your high-voltage electricity panel. (You get the biggest bang for your buck when you install protection at your panel. No pun intended.) SurgeX and Torus are the top-of-class manufacturers of surge protection and suppression. Other great products come from Furman, APC, Panamax, and Ditek.
Pricing starts at $30 with Panamax, and reaches $9,000 from Torus. Your cost will be determined by the level and type of protection you need. Please visit these sites for technology specifics: www.apc.com , www.ditekcorp.com, www.furmansound.com, www.panamax.com, www.surgex.com, and www.toruspower.com.