Whole-House Surge Protection in San Antonio

Whole house surge protection devices are a necessity to shield home electronics and appliances from the violent power surges so frequent in the San Antonio region.

Is Your Home Truly Shielded Against Frequent Power Surges?

Do you have a whole-house surge protection system? If you don’t know the answer, chances are your home does not have an effective protection against the frequent power surges that occur in the San Antonio region.

What is a power surge? It is a sudden, large spike in electrical voltage. Not a small variation.

The power that comes to our homes is subject to frequent small variations of no consequences.

Power surges are different: they are sharp spikes occurring due to lightning strikes, power outages, and large appliances turning on and off. They can have a serious impact on our wallets because they can damage home electronics and appliances.

Surge Protection and Electronics

We have all seen a computer shut down during a thunderstorm. You may also have seen a hard drive die immediately after a surge, with a total loss of personal data.

Electronic components are very sensitive to voltage variations. A power surge can fry a phone. Modern home appliances feature complex electronics: fridges, dishwashers, washing machines, even small appliances have electronic boards directly exposed to power surges. We can’t ignore this risk.

A research study published in 2020 (“Impact of power quality issues in residential systems”) showed that maintaining power quality throughout our homes would extend the lifespan of our appliances. Researchers have shown that even minor but frequent surges will reduce both the lifespan and the reliability of our electronic devices.

Selecting a System: Whole-House Surge Protection?

As professional electricians in San Antonio, how do we improve the quality of the electricity coming to your home?  The answer is surge protection devices (SPDs).

Surge protectors come in 2 categories:

  • Whole-house surge protectors
  • Individual surge protectors.

We install whole-house surge protectors at the electrical panel. These devices provide a first, effective line of defense by blocking surges from entering your electrical system.

To select the whole-house surge protection system that matches your home requirements, we consider 2 key technical specifications: the surge current capacity (maximum surge current the device can handle) and the clamping voltage (voltage level at which the surge protector starts to block or redirect excess electricity). We do an assessment of your needs, and we match them with a system.

Some reliable SPDs

The Schneider HEPD50, whole house surge protection device with a $50K connected equipment 3-year warranty

The following surge protector models are reliable. We don’t automatically recommend them for your home though, because our recommendation would be specific to your situation.

  • Square D HEPD50: This surge protection device has an incredible warranty. Any connected equipment damaged by a surge during the 3-year coverage period would be covered under this warranty, up to $50K.
  • Square D HEPD80: This SPD is rated for larger surges, and benefit from a 5-year, $75K connected equipment warranty.
  • Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA: This model is a popular choice, noted for its effectiveness in handling frequent surges.
  • Siemens FS140: Features advanced technology. It has a high surge current capacity and is suitable for regions prone to severe electrical disturbances like San Antonio. It is also well-suited for homes with a wide range of electronic devices.
  • Intermatic IG2240-IMSK: This SPD has LED lights for status indication. It offers good protection against surges.

Individual Surge Protectors

The second category of devices — individual surge protectors — serve to shield specific appliances or electronic devices from surges. These are typically plug-in devices like power strips that only offer a local protection. Many off-the-shelf models don’t allow you to connect large appliances like electric ranges, washing machines, dryers,…

Cost of a Whole-House Surge Protection System

The cost of installing a whole-house surge protection varies based on these factors:

  • Which surge protection system you buy,
  • How old and complex your home electrical system is,
  • The electrician’s labor rate.

A whole-house surge protection system obviously costs more than individual surge protectors. But in our professional opinion, a whole-house solution offers several compelling benefits that outweigh the cost difference.

  • Comprehensive protection: You protect your entire home. Not just the electronic devices plugged into power strips.
  • Higher surge capacity: Whole-house surge protectors offer a much better protection against big power spikes (lightning strikes, major electrical grid disturbances).
  • Convenience and aesthetics: In 30 years doing electrical repairs in homes in San Antonio, we still have to meet a housewife delighted at the sight of a power strip! Not to mention mothers with toddlers who love to put their fingers in every electrical plug they can find…
  • Cost of replacing appliance electronics: Unless you have a comprehensive home warranty policy (and a very good one), if a power surge fries the electronic circuitry of your expensive dryer, the cost of fixed it is far from cheap. So we like to think of a whole-house surge protection system as a kind of “insurance” against the risks created by power surges.

Finally, the age of your electrical installation could increase the cost of installing a whole-house surge protector. If the installation is not up to code, we will have to complete additional work to upgrade it.

Side note: Installing a whole-house surge protection system is not a DIY job. Only professional licensed electricians like All Star Electric can do these jobs safely.

The Installation Process Looks Like This

When we install whole-house surge protection systems, we typically take these steps:

  1. We perform an assessment of your electrical system to determine the appropriate surge protector model and the installation requirements.
  2. We turn off the main power supply to ensure safety during installation. This is for a short while, and we will tell you in advance so that it doesn’t unduly disrupt your regular routines.
  3. The surge protector goes near the electrical panel. After installing it, we connect it to the panel circuit breaker.
  4. We test to make sure the surge protector works correctly.

Finally, we deliver it to you, and show you how it works.

Why Choose All Star Electric to Install Your Whole-House Surge Protection System

A whole-house surge protection system is like an insurance policy. The region of San Antonio is a very active thunderstorm area. We know these storms create spikes and power outages. We are also aware that our power grid is not always stable.

So is it wise to wait for the horse to bolt out before closing the barn door?

The team of electricians of All Star Electric has almost 30 years of experience as licensed electrical contractor in San Antonio. We serve San Antonio proper, Helotes, Alamo Heights, Selma and Castle Hills. We have a good rating in Google, and we guarantee our work for 2 years after completion.

Call All Star Electric at (210) 391-0274 or using our contact form to perform an assessment of your electrical needs, and receive a quote for the installation of a reliable whole-house surge protection system. 

Additional Resources

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