The need for whole house surge protection has been felt by all who have a major investment in their electronics and appliances. A power surge can cause a lot of damage to your electronics and there is no way to know that it has happened until you use an electronic for the first time.
A whole-house surge protection device works very differently from a simple power strip. The power strip is only capable of protecting one device from surges but a whole house surge protection device can protect your entire home from power surges.
However, when selecting a surge protector, you need to make sure that it is the right fit for your needs. Some people may have a big house, while some might have a small apartment. You need to take size into consideration when you are looking at different options.
When you have a large home, you should go with a whole-home surge protector. These protectors can be used in areas that may have a circuit overload problem.
In this review, I will look at 8 different types of whole house surge protectors and give our opinion about which ones are the best to use. I will also look at some of the features you need to consider when selecting a surge protector and how it will benefit your home.
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Whole House Surge Protector Buying Guide
There are a few things to consider when choosing which whole house surge protector is suitable for your home. These features include:
These lights are very useful because they tell you if the surge protector is plugged in and working. If it doesn’t have any lights, there is no way to know if it is protecting your home or not.
Having a diagnostic light or indicator light can give you peace of mind. You can always be safe knowing that your protection is working.
Do you want to buy a whole house surge protector? Exploring specific criteria may help you in this case.
Here are three crucial factors in buying a whole-house surge protector –
The maximum rating for power surge on all SPDs shows how much current they can withstand in the event of a power surge. 60,000 amps per phase are the maximum high-end models can tackle, whereas entry-level units can only manage roughly 40000 amps per phase.
Manufacturer hypes surround surge protectors. Ignore the jargon and go straight to the specs.
Kiloamps are the unit of measurement for SPDs (1kA = 1,000 amps). The SPDs that are the cheapest start at around 10kA. They can only withstand one massive surge before being destroyed, making them a poor investment.
Instead, search for the SPD having at least a 50kA rating. It will outlast a gadget with a 10kA rating.
There are several surge protectors types available in the market. They are:
- Type 1 SPD
- Type 2 SPD
- Type 3 SPD
They all have different technologies for surge protection, making them suited for varied applications. You can find a lot of variations for type 2.
Many modes can be found in a single SPD because multiple modes provide greater performance in more versatile ways. This may include features such as 4/6 protection modes. Others may have more than 6. They are always great options.
You can also look for an SPD with alarms or an indicator installed to give you warnings. So that when a power surge happens, you will know it.
Find the best SPDs here. But exercise caution about the electrocution hazard!
There are always live wires and disconnecting the electricity does not turn them off. If you do not know anything about it, contact a professional. Conducting this without experience may come as hazardous.
Our Top Pick Whole House Surge Protector
Top 8 Best Whole Home Surge Protectors Review
Below is the list of the 8 best whole home surge protectors that you should consider buying. These surge protectors are beautiful and designed for your living room, bedroom, kitchen, and more.
They are not just providing surge protection but also safeguard your appliances from lightning strikes and electromagnetic pulses (EMP).
Intermatic IG2240 Whole House Surge Protector
The Intermatic IG2240 SmartGuard breakers are designed for the protection of residential, commercial, and industrial HVAC equipment feeder systems. As a matter of fact, it featured six modes of protection so you can customize the best fit your requirements.
The surge-protector features metal construction with TPMOV technology that also includes traditional MOVs to provide ultimate power quality, voltage regulation, and surge suppression.
It has a LED indicator light that blinks, flashes to indicate the unit’s status. The breaker also has a built-in Diagnostic Response System (DRS) that provides an overload indication and an alarm relay to notify when a problem is detected.
The lights on the protection status panel help you to quickly identify whether the power is on or off. So that can suitable for protecting HVAC equipment, electric water heater, appliances, electrical panels, computers & peripherals.
It also provides transient voltage suppressor (TVS) based surge protection for clean power and energy savings, UL 1449 3rd edition certifications, and meets 2013 NEC revisions.
Overall, this whole surge protector is easy to install and long-lasting. It is a great addition to home appliances. Also, I like its warranty policy where they offer a 10-year limited product warranty.
Summary: The Intermatic IG2240 SmartGuard breakers are designed for the protection of residential, commercial, and industrial HVAC equipment feeder systems. I’m very happy with this product and would recommend it to others. Although it is expensive. However, considering the peace of mind it brings, it is well worth it.
Eaton Chspt2ultra Ultimate Surge Protection
Your home electronics and appliances need protection from power surges that can cause serious damage to your devices.
Good thing the team of engineering professionals designed the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA Type 2 AC power protector to safeguard everything in your vulnerable household against any surge.
Instantly mount this device’s four pre-wired leads (each with a different length) and secure three upturned knock-outs for connection points at the base, top, and side.
It has included an LED which will provide you with vital information about your protector. The green LED indicates if the surge suppressor is working correctly. The red LED tells you if there are dangerous or unsolicited voltage fluctuations in your power line.
While you can easily protect a few gadgets in your home, the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA is capable of providing surge protection to more than just a couple of electronic devices.
It also protects appliances with motor-operated internal parts from power surges, so you will have peace of mind knowing that all of your household’s appliances are safe from damage.
It’s the 3rd edition of UL 1449 certified type 2 surge protector. So you can easily moment plug it into your wall outlet, say goodbye to energy spikes. Enjoy a constant flow of reliable and safe power to your electronic devices.
Summary: This unit is compact, solidly built, and seems to have passed the test of time. Great accessory for any system but provides zero protection until you install the adapter which is sold separately. I would recommend it to anyone who needs an economical surge protector for their system.
Siemens FS140 Whole House Surge Protection
The Siemens FS140 is a type 4 outdoor surge protector that is UL and cUL listed and will protect your home against most spikes or power surges. This particular model will help to condition the voltage in your household electronics and appliances with its three protection levels.
So its 3 protection levels make it easy to match your needs and 5 types of equipment provide complete coverage for all your electronics at home, outdoors, and in the office.
Also, I mostly like its 60hz system voltage that is perfect for when lightning strikes nearby or surges from other sources cause power outages.
Siemens FS140 features color-coded LED lights that change according to the level of surge activity. So you always know what’s going on in your house. It is compatible with other electrical brands that have a voltage of 120 volts just as long as they have 3, 4, or 5 outlets.
Besides, it is NEMA 4X grade which is commonly used for outdoor applications such as in the weather deck equipment and outdoor power. The unit is designed to be mounted on a wall or pole (not included). It has a resettable circuit breaker and shorting type RJ11 telephone/modem surge protector.
Its coaxial system protection completely protects your device when lightning strikes nearby. The outdoor Siemens FS140 protects computers, laptops, printers, routers, and all of your home office equipment.
For your entertainment system, you can count on Siemens to protect your TV, cable box, satellite receiver/DVR, and all of your A/V components.
You can also protect your garage door opener and home security system, all with one single outdoor protector! The Siemens FS140 is here to help keep your house safe and sound no matter what!
Another model of this brand
Summary: This thing is massive, heavy, well built, and looks to do the job. It’s a little pricy but if you can afford it and are in an area with lots of lightning, this should be considered. So I highly recommend this device.
Square D by Schneider Electric HEPD80
The Square D home surge protector provides protection against power surges by providing equal protection for all connected wiring.
The design allows multiple devices to be connected, even if they are offline. It also includes a metal-oxide varistor, which protects the surge protector from electrostatic build-up. Also, it has a LED indicator that lets you know the unit is working properly!
One thing is that it is a NEMA 4x rated and provides an 80 kA surge current ratings. The surge protector has a UL rating and 1449 3rd edition which is a higher protection rating than an ordinary surge protector.
Square D HEPD80 is easy to install and it gives you peace of mind! But if you want to protect your enter panel, you should connect it with a breaker. So that it will perfectly save your all electronics running on the home network (TV, DVD player, satellite, etc.).
This home surge protector is perfect for a 200 amp residential panel! It is probably not good for 15 amps panels because of its high wattage. However, it can be used outside or indoors in any weather condition.
Another model of this brand
Summary: It’s quick & easy to install and will protect your home theater, appliances, and home computers from damage due to power surges. It is a good unit for the price. Your local electrician can install these with ease.
Eaton BRSURGE Br Series Whole-Panel Surge Protector
When you need to protect your electronic devices from power surges, Eaton Brsurge Br line surge arrester is another good one to choose.
It has been made with ABS plastic material and its impact-resistant design that can make sure your devices are protected. Also, ABS material is good for its fire-retardant properties.
You can connect it with up to 120/240 voltages which are suitable for both home and commercial use. It does provide superior protection as it can handle up to 18,000A. With this performance, you can be sure that your equipment is protected from the harshest power surges.
It is complete with easy-to-install, adjustable mounting options and superior protection at every outlet in the electrical panel. Also, this is one device that will always come in handy when it matters most.
When backed by Eaton’s BRSURGE Br Series whole-panel surge protection, not only can your construction site or plant machinery avoid downtime but also any residence or business installation with critical electronics such as air conditioning control panels and computers.
If you want, you can mount this breaker in 2 ways panel and clip-on. Mounting this breaker takes no time at all because the box comes with the necessary mounting hardware.
Also, this breaker has a compact design so even if you use it in your home, it will not look out of place. When you want to mount this device on any metallic surface, you can take advantage of its voltage-sensing feature that will immediately interrupt power to the connected devices.
Summary: This is the best whole house surge protector that I’ve found for the money. It’s not just a really expensive surge protector, it is also an overcurrent protection device (OCPD), which prevents shorts from blowing your breaker. It’s a little pricey to add to each panel, but it’ll protect all of your appliances and electronics from dangerous power surges.
Leviton 51120-3 120/208 Volt 3 Phase WYE Panel Protector
It might seem like a no-brainer to invest in protecting your property from dangerous power surges, but not all panel protectors are created alike.
Lucky for you, Leviton has solved the problem with its effective and dependable 3 phase WYE panel protector. Designed to safeguard commercial or residential electrical systems from high voltage circuit overloads and other damaging conditions.
This innovative product features a real-time diagnostic indicator that alerts users of problems before they can do any damage to appliances or computers plugged into an outlet next to it.
And when paired with Decora home controls, this nifty device maintains its efficiency regardless of the environmental conditions outdoors. Thanks to two-way data synchronization.
Besides, it is constructed out of resilient J-Box metal and certified by UL 1449 standards for domestic or commercial use.
Not thus its high-energy transients capacity, the Leviton 51120-3 makes for a phenomenal investment. Additionally, it is more popular for the people because it’s a NEMA 1-grade protector.
So, if you are in need of a well-designed solution to protect your property from destructive power surges, Leviton 51120-3 is the way to go!
A similar model of this brand
Summary: I would recommend this protector to anyone with a business that uses lots of sensitive equipment. If you have a home with expensive appliances, computers, etc.
Panamax SEP200 Home Surge Protector
Protect your refrigerators, air conditioners, and other important electronics from power spikes with this home surge protector from Panamax, the leading brand in surge protection.
It’s designed with 3 AC outlets so you can plug in devices like printers, microwaves, or televisions. The protector is all you need to protect your home’s dual-voltage appliances.
In addition, this product’s ANSI C62.41 requirements, 400 amp capacity, and 700V LV and 800V NG voltage protection ratings make it an excellent purchase!
It’s easy to install and use, and will guard your appliances for years to come. You can connect your device permanently with its connector panel so it will be protected even when your appliances aren’t plugged in.
This product is UL and cUL listed for added quality and peace of mind. Like other surge protectors for homes, it features a LED visual green line surge protection indicator.
It complies with UL 1449 3rd Edition and the NEC Codes. This model is intended for both indoor and outdoor use and comes with a full manufacturer’s warranty to protect you against defects.
Summary: This unit is great at providing an additional layer of defense with high-energy events near the service entrance. but it’s NOT a complete solution. Be sure to “layer” your protection in accordance with the needs of your particular equipment.
PFC whole house surge protector for 200 amp service
With this compact PFC unit, you can take advantage of all the benefits of PFC technology at a low price. In addition, you can use this whole-house surge protector to protect 200-amp services. Especially suitable for large homes and motor-driven appliances.
Using this device will improve the efficiency of AC-DC conversion in the electrical system by fine-tuning the current flow through inductive devices, such as motors and lighting. Furthermore, it is a great unit for saving energy and money.
It protects your device from power surges, which is essential when using an Alexa-enabled device. The best surge protector you can purchase for an Amazon or any other digital device is this one.
- Reclaims and recycles electrical energy
- Provides reactive power (KVAR)
- Runs heavy appliances more efficiently
- Savings of 8% to 10% and 25% on your home or small business monthly power bills.
Whole House Surge Protector Installation – Things to Know
Installing a whole-house surge protector is not very complicated. It should come with instructions so you can install it yourself without needing to hire an electrician.
There are some things you need to know about installing a whole house surge protector:
- It should be installed high up on the wall where it is easily accessible.
- Make sure that you read the instructions on how to install it before you do so. You need to first disconnect your power before you start the installation.
- For some models, you will need a special outlet box which can be purchased at home improvement stores. You might even need more of these than one depending on how many outlets you need to install.
- You should never touch or try to plug in your surge protector while the power is on because this could be dangerous. This also goes for grounding cables as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no definite answer to this. The life of a surge protector depends on how much power it has to stop as well as the quality of the parts used.
Yes, they work even when the power is off. This is because they monitor the power and not the lights. That’s why surge protectors should always be installed high up and not near any plug outlets.
You probably don’t need to replace your surge protector unless it is getting old and not working as well anymore.
If you still think that its time to get a new one, you should check the quality of your old surge protector. For example, if it is melted or has any exposed wires then you should replace it with a new one.
Yes, they do. You can e-mail them or call customer service to ask about your warranty if it is still valid.
Yes, you do. Surge protectors are not limited to the power coming from your electrical panel. They work with all the appliances that are plugged in throughout the house.
You should still have surge protectors for appliances though. For example, you can place one on your AC unit or your oven. This ensures that the appliances will not burn out when a surge comes through the grid.
Type 1 whole house surge protectors have just a single point of protection that goes directly to the electrical panel.
Type 2 whole house surge protectors have a single point of protection and an additional line that sends the power back to the electrical panel through outdoor equipment like your meter.
Type 3 surge protectors have a single point of protection, another for household appliances, and one sent to the electrical panel.
If you are hiring an electrician, the costs depend on where you live. For example, in some areas, they can charge up to $100 per hour. There are some electricians who charge by the job instead of an hourly rate though.
If you are doing the installation yourself, the cost depends on how many things you need to install. For example, if you want to install a wall plate and it is done by wiring then this will cost more than installing a simple outlet.
If you want to install additional devices like GFCI or AFCI, this will also cost additional.
If the device has a ground fault, it means that there is an imbalance in the current. This does not mean that your house surge protector is not working. It just means that there is a problem with the wiring to your home or an appliance somewhere along the line.
The size of a surge protector depends on its voltage. It also needs to match the breaker in your electrical panel.
Surge protectors are a good investment for your home because they keep you from having to replace appliances that have been damaged by surges.
They also have the ability to block any surge coming through the grid and into your house, which is something that can’t be said about other types of protection devices.
This article has given you all the information you need in order to make an informed decision on whether or not this type of purchase is right for you.
You can choose any of the best whole surge protectors from the above list. They are the most reviewed and best surge protector of this year.
I hope it’s helped answer any questions and help guide you towards making a smart choice!
I’m Bobby Taylor, a tech lover, writer, and editor for Smart Home Protector. I am also a customer relationship officer of a well established electronics manufacturer company in the United States.