Last updated on September 4th, 2020 at 03:40 am.
A good whole house surge protector is essential to stopping an electrical surge from hurting your home.
They should be rated for indoor & outdoor use, be easy to install, and have multiple modes of protection. An extended manufacturer’s warranty/guarantee is a must.
A bad surge protector has a low surge protection rating and has a high probability of breaking in under 6 months of use. The result is a bunch of broken electronics and appliances.
So to help you separate the best from the waste of money – we reviewed the Top 5 Whole House Surge Protectors of 2020.
Buy with confidence that you’re buying one of the best whole house surge protectors on the market.
Table of Contents
Top 5 Best Whole House Surge Protectors (Reviewed)
Preview Product Key Features Square D by Schneider Electric HEPD80 Home Electronics Protective Device CHECK PRICE Siemens FS140 Whole House Surge Protection CHECK PRICE EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection 3rd Edition, 2.38" Length, 5.25" Width 7.5" Height CHECK PRICE Intermatic IG1240RC3 Whole Home Type-1 or 2 Surge Protection Device,Gray CHECK PRICE Leviton 51120-1 120/240 Volt Panel Protector, 4-Mode Protection, Light Commercial/Residential... CHECK PRICE
What We Looked For in our Whole House Surge Protector Reviews
There are a couple of things to watch on when searching for the very best surge protector for your whole house. We’ve summarized these essential features below:
Surge Current Rating
Surge Current Rating – also known as Surge Current Capacity – is the maximum amount of surge current that a surge protector (e.g. a refrigerator surge protector or washing machine surge protector) can pass for a single surge event. This level is used to indicate the protection capacity of a particular whole house surge protector.
The selection of a surge current rating for an SPD should be matched to the expected surge environment and the expected or desired useful life of the device.
For surge protection for your whole house, this can vary depending on the setup. For instance, a house with a huge home theatre system might need some additional protection. With that said, you will very rarely look for a whole house protector with a surge current rating (SCR) less than 50 kA (50000 amps).
Type of Whole House Surge Protector
Surge protection devices are classified according to their standard. These are known as Types – from Type 1 to Type 3 Whole House Surge Protectors:
- Type 1 Whole House Surge Protector – SPD which can discharge partial lightning current with a typical waveform 10/350 μs. Usually employs spark gap technology.
- Type 2 Whole House Surge Protector – SPD which can prevent the spread of overvoltages in the electrical installations and protects equipment connected to it. It usually employs metal oxide varistor (MOV) technology and is characterized by an 8/20 μs current wave.
- Type 3 Whole House Surge Protector – These SPDs have a low discharge capacity. They must therefore only be installed as a supplement to Type 2 SPD and in the vicinity of sensitive loads. Type 3 SPDs are characterized by a combination of voltage waves (1.2/50 μs) and current waves (8/20 μs).
There are a bunch of different security requirements by a bunch of various businesses and companies– so which of these applies to whole house surge protectors?. For the most part, you wish to take a look at UL– formerly Underwriters Laboratories.
UL is one of numerous companies approved to perform security screening by the U.S. federal company Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA has a list of approved testing laboratories, which are recognized as Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories.
Even within UL though, there are a bunch of security standards that could use. For appropriate whole house surge protection, you generally wish to be looking at the UL 1449 security standard.
UL 1449 is the Underwriters Laboratories Safety Standard for Surge Protective Devices (SPD)– i.e. ideal for whole-house surge protection.
So make sure your whole house surge protector conforms to UL 1449.
This one’s a lot easier to explain– the larger the warranty, the much better.
Not just for the obvious factor that if something goes wrong, you’ll be able to make a claim, but for the signal that a long warranty suggests about the quality of the whole house surge protector (or rather, the self-confidence the provider has for the whole house surge protector).
If suppliers gave out generously long warranties for whole house surge protectors that went bust after 2 weeks, they would not be around for long.
So you wish to wish for longer warranties and high insurance coverage payments on your whole house surge protector (from companies that have been around for more than 5 years).
It would be best if you had a way to verify that your whole house surge protector is working– and that’s what diagnostic LEDs are for.
Search for whole-house surge protection that includes diagnostic LED lights that validate power, protection, and line fault status at a glance.
Clamping voltage refers to the optimum quantity of voltage that can pass a surge protector before it limits more voltage from passing to the device it is trying to safeguard.
For instance, a whole house surge protector may restrict a 6,000 V surge so that only 600V is ‘noticeable’ to the load. Thus here the clamping voltage for this whole house surge protector is 600V.
If the clamping voltage is too expensive, then the surge protector will allow excessive voltage to pass to your whole house (which will break it).
INSPECT the maximum ranked voltage of your whole house prior to buying a surge protector, so make certain that the clamping voltage of your whole house surge protection device is LOWER than the optimum operating voltage of your whole house.
In general though, the clamping voltage needs to be LESS than 700V for a whole house surge protector.
EMI/RFI Noise Filtering
EMI = Electromagnetic Interference, while RFI = Radio Frequency Interference. Although these terms are used interchangeably, they’re technically not the very same thing. For the purposes of whole house surge protection though, we can treat them alike.
Many filters– e.g. low pass filters, high pass filters, or band pass filters– only allow particular kinds of frequencies through, meaning a set variety of EMI/RFI emissions will be transferred to the gadget being protected.
This is since particular EMI/RFI emissions will not interfere with the performance frequencies of different electric and electronic gadgets.
So the objective of EMI/RFI is noise filtering is to get rid of electromagnetic and radio frequency interference that will interfere with the whole house surge protection.
So search for whole-house surge protectors that have EMI/RFI emissions.
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