Whole-Home vs. Plug-In Surge Protectors: What’s the Difference?

Whole-Home vs. Plug-In Surge Protectors: What’s the Difference?

Our devices are part of our everyday lives. We turn on the television, switch on the computer, open the refrigerator, run the dishwasher, and more each day. We’re so dependent on our devices that it would be unimaginable for them to be suddenly wiped out. The bad news is that it can occur. A power surge can wipe out our electronics and appliances in one swoop.

A power surge can cause havoc on your devices. Although massive power surges, such as those caused by lightning strikes, are unlikely to occur, small power surges can occur each day. And while single power surges aren’t dangerous, over time, the cumulative damage from the surges will pile up.

The problem is that power surges are prevalent, and they’re also impossible to prevent. Fortunately, with a surge protector, you can mitigate the damage and “redirect” the electrical current.

What is a whole-home surge protector?

A whole-home surge protector is installed in your home’s electrical panel. In other words, it’s hard-wired into your home. As the name suggests, it protects the whole property from the effects of a power surge, safeguarding all of the outlets, switches, monitors, and more.

It works like this: during a power surge, it blocks the electrical spikes so that they don’t damage your electronics. A whole-home surge protector can protect your home from power surges that are as strong as 40,000 amps or more.

It’s important to note that a whole-home surge protector can only be installed by an electrician. This is because the surge protector needs to be grounded correctly, otherwise, it won’t be able to protect your appliances.

Will a whole-home surge protector keep you safe from lightning strikes?

There’s a common misconception that a whole-home surge protector can keep your appliances, electronics, etc. safe from any kind of lighting strike. The truth is that it can protect your property only if the lightning strike is far from your home. If it hits the ground directly surrounding your home (or your home itself), the whole-home surge protector won’t be strong enough.

In this situation, you should unplug everything until the storm is over in order to mitigate the damage.

What is a plug-in surge protector?

A plug-in power surge protector protects your electronics and appliances from internal fluctuations of electricity. They also protect your property in the event that a tiny percentage of the power surge escapes into the wiring, even when you already have a whole-home surge protector. In short, a plug-in surge protector is an extra layer of protection against excess energy.

Ideally, you should use a plug-in surge protector alongside a whole-home surge protector. This is because the former won’t be able to fully protect your electronics and appliances against a power surge.

Want to protect your house from a power surge?

If you don’t invest in surge protection, you’d be taking a massive risk. Your devices will likely get fried when lightning strikes. Besides, small power surges happen all the time. It would be best to mitigate the damage, otherwise, your devices’ performance will suffer and their lifespan will be cut short.

Get in touch with a professional electrician today for more information on protecting your personal property against power surges. Call Beeson Mechanical Service at 317-535-9338!