best whole house surge protector

Best Whole House Surge Protector Reviews: Top 5 of 2024 Reviewed

Last updated on February 28th, 2024.

A good whole house surge protector is essential to stopping an electrical surge from doing damage to 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 or 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.

The cost of replacing all those broken electronics and appliances is far more than it would have cost to get spend a little extra on proper surge protection.

So to help you separate the best from the waste of money – we reviewed the Top 5 Whole House Surge Protectors of 2024.

Buy with confidence that you’re buying one of the best whole house surge protectors on the market.

Top 5 Best Whole House Surge Protectors

Preview Product Key Features
Square D by Schneider Electric HEPD80 Universal Whole House Surge Protection Device, 1-Phase, 3-Wire... Square D by Schneider Electric HEPD80 Universal Whole House Surge Protection Device, 1-Phase,...
  • The HEPD80 is easily connected to any brand of residential load center and provides the customer a green status LED to ensure proper protection
  • Includes an LED indicator
  • NEMA 4X rated for outdoor/indoor use, 80,000 amp Surge Current Rating, 25,000 amp SCCR. CSA and UL 1449 3rd Edition Type 1 SPD
Siemens FS140 Whole House Surge Protection Device Rated for 140,000 Amps Siemens FS140 Whole House Surge Protection Device Rated for 140,000 Amps
  • FirstSurge Surge Protective Devices (SPDs) are Type 2 and UL / cUL 1449 listed, meeting designated protection requirements
  • FirstSurge is constructed using our commercial grade NEMA 4X enclosure allowing for indoor or outdoor installations
  • FirstSurge Pro provides 140,000 Amp of surge current capacity per phase
EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection 3rd Edition, 2.38' Length, 5.25' Width 7.5' Height EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection 3rd Edition, 2.38" Length, 5.25" Width 7.5" Height
  • Universally connects to any manufacturer’s load center (breaker box)
  • Easy to use
  • High quality product
Intermatic IG1240RC3 Whole Home Type-1 or 2 Surge Protection Device,Gray Intermatic IG1240RC3 Whole Home Type-1 or 2 Surge Protection Device,Gray
  • SURGE PROTECTIVE DEVICE
Leviton 51120-1 120/240 Volt Panel Protector, 4-Mode Protection, Light Commercial/Residential Grade,... Leviton 51120-1 120/240 Volt Panel Protector, 4-Mode Protection, Light Commercial/Residential...
  • 120/240V Single Phase Panel Mount Surge Protective Device, 4-Mode Protection, 50kA Max Surge Current Rating, NEMA 1 Enclosure, UL 1449 4th Edition Type 2
  • Type 2 Single Phase Surge Panel with 4-Mode Protection
  • Real-time diagnostic visual indicator shows power and suppression status for each protected phase

What We Looked For in our Whole House Surge Protectors

There are a couple of things to look for when searching for the very best surge protector for your whole house. We’ve summarized these essential features below:

Surge Current Rating

The Surge Current Rating, or Surge Current Capacity, signifies the peak surge current a protector can handle, crucial for devices like refrigerators or washing machines. It’s a core metric indicating the protector’s ability to shield your home from electrical surges effectively.

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 protectors are categorized by Types 1 through 3, each offering different levels of protection. Understanding these types helps you choose the right shield for your home’s specific electrical setup.

  • 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).

Safety Rating

Navigating through numerous security standards can be overwhelming. However, focusing on the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) mark is essential, as it assures that the surge protector meets high safety benchmarks, particularly for whole-house protection.

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.

Warranty

A generous warranty isn’t just reassuring; it reflects the manufacturer’s confidence in their surge protector’s longevity and effectiveness. Aim for products with extended warranties for peace of mind and assurance of quality.

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).

Diagnostic LEDs

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

Clamping voltage is crucial—it’s the threshold where your surge protector starts to block excess voltage from reaching your appliances. Choosing the right clamping voltage ensures your devices stay protected without compromising their functionality.

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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About Thomas Hawkins

I run Electrician Apprentice Headquarters, a one-stop-shop for learning how to become a licensed electrician in the USA. I'm a licensed Master Electrician with over 20 years experience working in the Mining & Construction industries. Why do I do it? Well, because even plumbers need heroes.

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