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Surge protection prevents an electrical surge from damaging your electronic equipment, telephone and cable lines, and anyone who happens to be talking on the phone at the time of a surge.

If you have power running to your home, it is subject to electrical surges.

Electrical surges can happen when a car hits a power line or transformer, when a storm knocks out a power line, or any time the supply of electricity is less than the demand. Surges even occur inside the home when large electrical units are shut off. The excess power left in the line between the unit and the service panel is sent back to the service panel and redirected. That can cause a surge in other electrical units.

Each time an electrical surge enters the home it affects all electronic equipment in your home. Surges slowly deteriorate and shorten the life of your equipment. Powerful surges can destroy electronic equipment, like your computer or your expensive new plasma TV.

Anything in your home that consumes electricity is at risk, including:

  • air conditioning units
  • evaporative coolers
  • entertainment equipment
  • computers
  • refrigerator and freezer
  • dishwasher
  • washer and dryer
  • water heater
  • oven and stove
  • microwave
  • overhead garage door operator
  • load controllers
  • lighting
  • water well
  • pool and spa pumps
  • cable and phone lines
  • anything else you plug in

You can buy individual surge protectors for each piece of equipment, but that’s less reliable and more expensive than installing a whole-house surge protection system.

For about $350, you can get a whole-house system that protects two phone lines, your electrical panel and your cable or satellite TV lines.

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