Surge Protectors – Can They Save Your Electronics from Getting Fried?

A Whole House Surge Protector is a device that protects the electronics and appliances in your home from sharp spikes in electric power, called “surges.” Electric surges can fry the electronics in computers, phones, thermostats, TVs, microwaves, fridges…any appliance that has computerized components. Today, that’s most appliances. A local licensed Burbank electrician can install a Whole House Surge Protector for you.

When Do Power Surges Occur?

Minor surges can occur when appliances in your home turn on and off. These won’t destroy your electronics in one fell swoop, but they can shorten the lives of your computers and appliances.

Anytime the power from the electric utility company accidentally fluctuates, a large surge can flood through your wiring. Downed utility lines, a car hitting a power pole, a nearby lightning strike, or power returning after an outage can all cause surges. These can wipe out your computers, entertainment centers, and appliances. Damage can be in the thousands of dollars, and in some cases, tens of thousands.

Guaranteed Protection

A Whole House Surge Protector can protect all the electronic devices in your entire house. It’s about as big as a toaster and attaches to your main electrical panel. Some manufacturers are so certain of your protection that they provide you with a warranty against damage. If your electronics or appliances suffer any damage due to a surge, the manufacturer will cover the cost of replacement.

Aren’t Power Strip Surge Protectors Good Enough?

Quality surge protector in power strips for computers and entertainment systems are important supplementary protection and are required for validation of the warranty on your Whole House Surge Protector. However, the quality of power strip protection varies considerably, with some giving no real protection. Of course, power strips on your computers give no protection at all for your TV, washer, or other appliances. A recent article on the “This Old House” website summarizes the situation: “Many homeowners believe that adequate surge protection begins and ends with plugging their computer into a power strip. Unfortunately, that’s seldom the case.”

Which Whole House Surge Protector Should I Buy?

Surge protectors vary in degree of protection offered, warranties, and price. If you live in Florida or another area where lightning is common, you’ll want a higher level of protection than in other parts of the country. As you’ll need an electrician for installation, you can consult with your electrician or the manufacturer to determine which level of protection makes sense for you.

As a note, the biggest challenge to a surge protector is lightning. In fact, manufacturers won’t generally warranty against damage due to a direct lightning strike to your house. However, this would be a rare event and could cause a lot more damage than simply loss of your electronics. Most frequently, power surge damage is due to a nearby lightning strike (rather than a direct hit) or to fluctuation in power. That’s where a Whole House Surge Protector will pay off.

Aren’t Whole House Surge Protectors Expensive?

Whole House Surge Protectors have been available to home owners for over 25 years, but their cost has been prohibitive, about $800-$1,200, depending on the level of protection. Fortunately, due to improvements in technology, prices have halved, with the less expensive ones being in the $400 range.

Over the years, homeowners have become accustomed to buying smoke alarms and fire insurance. They would rather be safe than sorry. Protecting home electronics against power surges is a newer idea. Considering the cost and the grief of replacing home computers, entertainment systems, and appliances, here too, it makes sense to be safe rather than sorry.

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Summary: A Whole House Surge Protector is a device that protects the electronics and appliances in your home from sharp spikes in electric power, called “surges.” Electric surges can fry the electronics in computers, phones, thermostats, TVs, microwaves, fridges…any appliance that has computerized components. You can protect your electronics and appliances from damage due to power surges by installing a “Whole House Surge Protector.” Ask your Burbank electrician about installation services for these devices.


Burbank CA Electrician Explains Whole House Lighting Systems

Light adds warmth and ambiance to any room, so whether you are building a new home or remodeling an existing one, you should explore the current options for whole house electrical lighting systems. You no longer have to rely on lamps in dens and living rooms or even clutter up your walls with countless electrical switches and knobs; a local Burbank electrician can create unique lighting systems that suit your home and personality.

What is a Whole House Lighting System?

There is no single definition for whole house lighting, but the phrase generally refers to automated systems which allow you to control the intensity of the light anywhere in your home with a remote. Dimming lights during the night or when you’re gone allows you to deter intruders while saving energy. Another money-saving option that electricians in Burbank such as those at H Electric can install is occupancy / vacancy sensors which automatically turn lights off when you leave a room and on again when someone enters.

Do you have a home security system? If so, your electrician from Burbank CA can integrate your home lighting system into the security system. Pathway lighting allows you to illuminate paths from one portion of the house to another with a single button. A remote control similar to a garage door opener can even be activated from your car turning on lights outside, in the garage, entryway and along any pathway that you design within your home or business.

Additional Automated Features

You may be familiar with vacation lighting timers that you could attach to a single lamp. You could set the control to turn a lamp on and off at exactly same time each day while you were out of town as a way to make your absence less noticeable. An automated electrical lighting system installed by a licensed Burbank electrician eliminates the need to buy multiple controls (one for each lamp), and can be programmed to follow your daily routine throughout the day while you’re gone – even raising and lowering shades if the home is fully automated!

Fully automated houses can integrate lights, shades, home theaters and even HVAC systems with the wireless system in your home. If you forget to adjust the thermostat before leaving town it’s no problem; you can log onto your laptop, access the system and make the adjustment from anywhere with the most advanced systems.

Single Rooms

Maybe redoing the lighting system in your entire house is not on your agenda – or in line with your budget. This doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of some of the beautiful, energy saving custom lighting advances. Your Burbank CA electrician can offer you a wide variety of single room lighting installations that set the mood for the room and utilize attractive electrical switches and updated electrical outlet and switch cover plates to fit any décor. Electrical dimmers, timers and sensors can all help you to save energy by reducing wattage used at night, or turning off fans and lights after a period of time. This can be something that can be extremely helpful and cost effective to any household.

Are you interested in added sensors without entirely updating your home? A Burbank electrician can install retrofit wall sensors that give you some of the same advantages found in fully automated homes.

H Electric of Burbank CA offers home and business lighting solutions in conjunction with a full range of electrical services such as panel upgrades, ceiling fan installations, recessed and custom lighting, electrical troubleshooting and repairs, and complete rewires and more. Give them a call today and see what how a Burbank electrician can enhance both the beauty and security of your home with state of the art home lighting systems.