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How much surge protection do you need?

Nov 30, 2021

A gray powerline standing that has multiple electrical cords stemming out and into it.


A large percentage of all power surges occur within residential homes. While some of them may be minor, they can cause severe damage over time. Power surges shorten the lifespan of any device plugged into the wall during a surge. This becomes especially harmful for devices permanently plugged in since they experience multiple power surges over the years.


Unfortunately, not many home insurance policies cover damage caused by power surges. Adequate surge protection can be your solution to protecting your home from damaging surges and saving money on replacing expensive equipment. But how much surge protection do you need?

What is a Surge Protector?

Surge protectors might sound confusing at first, but they are a fairly simple appliance. Their main purpose is to provide multiple plug-in components out of a single outlet while protecting any attached device from high-voltage power surges. When you plug your laptop, TV, or cellphone into a surge protector, you can rest easy that it has more protection against a power surge, spike, or outage.


A whole-house surge protector is slightly different from a power strip. It protects all of your home appliances by limiting extra electrical currents, either by blocking the flow or directing it to the ground wires. 


Many major appliances that cycle on and off can trigger electrical problems or a power surge in your home. A whole-house surge protector keeps all of your appliances protected rather than just a few that can fit on a power strip.

How Do Surge Protectors Work?

Surge protectors shield your electrical equipment by managing a power surge and working with grounding wires to divert extra electricity. During normal operation, a power strip sends an electrical current to all of its outlets to give them power. Should the voltage surge above the predetermined level, then the surge protector will send any extra electric current to the grounding wire of the outlet. Grounding wires in your outlets are designed to create a path for electricity to run if there’s ever a break in the system. A whole-house surge protection system also sends extra electricity to grounding wires.

How Much Surge Protection Do You Need?

It’s recommended to have a minimum of 40,000 amps of protection from a whole-house surge protection system. Some homes can benefit by having even more. The typical lighting strike tends to be around 30,000 amps so you want to ensure you have plenty of protection. Keep in mind that even with a whole-house surge protector, it’s advisable to unplug large appliances and electric equipment anytime a large lightning storm is present or during power outages.


If you’re wondering how many joules are needed for a surge protector then you need to calculate the value of equipment in your home. If your equipment is more valuable, it’s better to protect it with more joules. Consult with a professional to determine what’s best for your home needs.

Need More Surge Protection?

If you’re hoping to protect your home from surges, then reach out to CroppMetcalfe for assistance. Our licensed team can walk you through the benefits of surge protection to help identify what level of surge protection will best benefit you and your home.



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