A power surge is a sudden momentary increase in the normal household voltage. Surges can be caused by power stations switching from one source of electricity to another or by a close lightning strike. They are generally produced when electricity is restored after a power loss. As many as 100 surges per day enter the average home, causing stress or damage to the delicate circuitry inside your appliances and equipment.

Power plants and lightning can be the source of surges that can damage your appliances and electronics.

A Limited Solution

The typical surge protectors found in retail outlets do provide a small amount of protection. However, when large amounts of energy caused by lightning or utility surges enter the home, they cannot be conditioned by a small suppressor. These store-bought protectors have a joule rating, which means they have limited energy storage capabilities. It is not always obvious If the storage on these units is full, in which case they will not protect your electronics.

Whole-house surge protection includes three-point protection:

Whole house surge protectors with no joule rating have what we call a “let-through” voltage. This means that any surge over 250 volts is “let-through” to the ground. Since this unit does not store any energy, it cannot be exhausted and therefore comes with a lifetime guarantee! These protectors keep the flow of energy to your electronics even, thereby saving on the wear and tear of surges.

• A suppressor installed at the main electrical box that covers all house outlets, appliances, and wiring.

• A telephone line suppressor installed at the main telephone box that covers all phone line-connected equipment.

• A cable TV, antenna or dish suppressor that covers all equipment that is connected to the TV cable.

A whole-house surge protector has a one-time cost that will protect the thousands of dollars you have invested in your home electronics and appliances. It is the one of the most overlooked and affordable insurances you can buy for your home.

For more do-it-yourself tips, go to rosieonthehouse.com. An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program, heard locally from 10 to 11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790AM) in Tucson and from 8am 11 a.m. on KGVY-AM (1080AM) and -FM (100.7FM) in Green Valley. Call 888-767-4348 with questions!