Commercial & Residential Electricians in Mesa AZ.


Whole House Surge Protectors & Home Power Spike Protection

Do you have a question about whole house surge protection devices? Dolce Electric Co schedules a local in-office electrician Mesa AZ homeowners can consult with free of charge. Our local electricians will answer all of your questions about the benefits of a whole house surge protector installation. They have been voted “best in Mesa” and would be proud to earn your vote too. They will recommend the best whole home surge protector to safeguard your home while steering you clear of the questionable ones that don’t meet our standards. If you have an interest in a whole house surge protector give our local Mesa electricians a call today; you’ll be happy you did!

The best surge protectors for the whole house

What Is A Whole House Surge Protector?

A surge protector, or suppressor, is a device that blocks sudden and damaging voltage increases from entering your home. It does this by sending the spike in power away from your house and into the ground.

Sudden voltage increases are commonly referred to as electrical surges and spikes. They are fast and unpredictable increases in electricity that travel through the wiring in your home. Without a power surge protection system, both can cause substantial damage to computers, appliances and equipment that has electronic components.

The difference between an electrical spike and an electrical surge is that a spike lasts for 2 nanoseconds (billionths of a second) or less compared to a surge that by definition lasts for 3 nanoseconds or more. While longer exposure to increased electricity would logically cause greater damage, the force of the excess electricity is an equally damaging factor.

There are two types of surge protection devices for home use. The first is whole house surge protection, which we will later be referring to as primary protection. The second is power strip type surge protectors, which we will be referring to as secondary “point of use” protection.

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Point of use power strip type surge protectors only work when plugged into grounded outlets. Homes built without electrical grounding (2-prong outlets) provide no path to ground. This leaves power strip types no route to dispense the excess voltage. Whole house surge protection devices will still work at 100% efficiency in homes that were built without internal grounding. This is because a spike and surge protector that protects an entire home functions at the main circuit breaker box. It utilize the much larger main grounding wires that are required by both APS and SRP.

So what is surge protection? Simply put, it is a safety device that guards the investment you have made in your electronics and appliances. It prevents the peak safe electrical energy from surpassing a damaging threshold.

Dolce Electric Co has local electricians Mesa AZ homeowners can consult with free of charge. Our local electricians in Mesa AZ are available to answer your questions from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Monday thru Friday.

The Best Home Surge Protection Systems

There are two types of electrical surges, those that originate inside your home (internal) and those that originate outside your home (external). A well designed system will utilize primary and secondary protection to safeguard your electronics from both hazards.

Primary - Whole House Power Surge Protection For External Surges & Spikes

Installed directly at your main electrical panel, these devices shield everything inside and outside of your home from damaging external surges. They protect air conditioning systems, pool equipment, appliances and computers from damage caused by voltage spikes.

A whole house spike and surge protector is your primary line of defense against these most powerful external surges. These are the ones caused by transformer malfunctions, incidents with transmission lines, and main power restorations when entire neighborhoods have lost electricity. They are the ones capable of doing large amounts of damage in a single event. Nearby lightning strikes is another cause but to be clear no device will completely stop a direct lightning strike.

Surge protectors for complete home defense are much more effective than individual power strip types alone.

  • They have the ability to divert greater amounts of electricity.
  • They “clamp down” or divert the excess energy away much faster.
  • They utilize the main grounding wires in your circuit breaker box so the surge never enters your home.

These qualities make this type of surge protector the superior choice for arresting external spikes. It acts like the firewall on your computer, letting what you want in and keeping out the bad.

Whole house surge protection wiring installation

Dolce Electric Co schedules a local in-office electrician in Mesa AZ that will take your call, answer all of your questions and provide you with a free estimate for an expert installation. Having over 30 years of professional experience, our in-office electrician in Mesa knows the local electrical codes and will provide you the expert information that you are looking for.

Secondary - Local Point Of Use Type Protectors For Internal Home Spikes

Now that all of your electronics are fully protected from externally generated spikes, local power strip types are still needed as a secondary means of protection. These will knock down all the smaller, internally generated, electrical spikes that happen frequently when large appliances turn on and off. Common culprits include air conditioning systems and other large appliances.

Internal spikes are sometimes referred to as stray spikes. They will never have the single event destructive capabilities that external spikes have but they are much more frequent. These are the ones that quietly and consistently shorten the life expectancy of your electronics. Left without point if use protection, they can plague your computer with data losses, lock-up errors and program corruption.

If you are wondering if you still need this secondary protection or how often internal surging is taking place in your home just keep an eye on your lights. Every time you see a fluctuation in light levels (small or large} there is an electrical distortion happening somewhere in your home.

These power strip types are also known as “single outlet plug in point of use protection”. They vary greatly in both response time and their maximum suppressing thresholds so be sure to get a good one.

When asked “what is the best surge protector?” our electricians always refer our clients to these 4 important features. Look for these qualities when purchasing new power strip types:

  1. Energy dissipation: 400 joules or greater, this is the maximum amount of electricity it can handle before failing.
  2. Clamping voltage: 330 or less. Also known as let-through voltage, it’s the trigger point that activates dissipation to ground.
  3. Response time: 1 nanosecond or less. Longer response times equal more exposure and greater damage.
  4. Indicator light: Even the best units are only able to suppress a certain number of spikes before a replacement will be needed. This number will depend on the severity of the spikes and their duration. It’s important to know that your equipment is always working correctly.
Damage caused to a typical point of use home surge protector

Often time’s power strips that do not provide any protection at all are erroneously referred to and used as “surge protectors” by unaware consumers. Don’t make this potentially costly mistake, refer to the bullet points above.

Grounding is essential for a plug in type protector to work. If your electrical wiring system is ungrounded even the best surge suppressor won’t work. It absolutely must have route to dissipate the unwanted energy to ground. Whole house equipment still offer maximum protection because it utilizes the larger grounding wires in your main electrical panel and keeps externally generated spikes out of your home.

How Can I Protect the Investment I’ve Made in My Home Electronics and Appliances?

Installing a whole house spike and surge protector to work in conjunction with your grounded electrical wiring system and plug in type suppressors is best. In cases where systems are ungrounded or partially grounded, we always recommend upgrading to a fully grounded system for safety and performance. Systems that remain ungrounded can still capitalize on all the benefits that a whole house surge suppressor provides. This is because it’s not dependent on the interior wiring circuits being grounded. It keeps out externally generated power spikes directly at the circuit breaker box.

New homes and older homes can both obtain the same levels of protection with whole house devices. If you are interested in more information we schedule local in-office Mesa electricians that you can call for a free evaluation. We look forward to assisting you!

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