Understanding Electric Surges
A surge is simply a brief period of higher than normal voltage. Lightning, auto accidents involving utility poles or failed equipment can create surges sufficient to damage or destroy electric devices.
Beyond a direct lightning strike, which is nearly impossible to provide protection against, there are three basic paths for surges:
- Electrical circuits
- Telephone lines
- Coaxial/cable television lines
Electrical components with connections to multiple paths are much more vulnerable. A surge entering the home on one path can go through a common point and follow the other two paths.
The Importance of Grounding
Proper grounding is vital in surge protection. Every home should have at least one driven ground connected to the main distribution panel and the meter base and a maximum earth resistance of 20 ohms. Newer homes or those with sandy soil may need multiple driven grounds. Through your home's electrical system, this ground is connected to every electrical outlet and every permanently attached electrical device. All outlets should be of a three prong type. If you have experienced many surges, hire a licensed electrician to inspect and if necessary, upgrade your home.
Point of Use Protectors
The best protection for sensitive electronics devices, especially those connected to multiple paths, is through a point-of-use protector. These stand-alone protectors are available in multiple configurations with protection for electrical, telephone, and coax. Designed to stop a surge before it can cause damage, these point-of-use devices carry a lifetime warranty for both the surge suppressor and the device it is designed to protect.
Major Appliance Protection
Installed at the meter-base, SurgeGuard Major Appliance Protection is a shield for motor driven or major household appliances. For $5.95 per month, placed on your electric bill, all major appliances (electronic devices are not covered) located inside your home are protected. Should an appliance covered under this program be damaged by a surge, it will be repaired or replaced, up to $10,000 per incident. A minimum term of 36 months is required.
A package of five point-of-use protectors and a meter-base protector, SurgeGuard MAX provides complete protection for every electrical product in your home. This protection is backed up by a $1,000 per-incident warranty should any electrical device or appliance in your home be damaged by a surge. Products directly connected to a point-of-use protector or covered by the Major Appliance Protector have additional manufacturer's coverage (see warranty information below). SurgeGuard MAX is available to Tri-County EMC electrical customers for $12.95 per month, charged to your electric bill. A minimum term of 36 months is required.
For more information on surge protection, please contact our Energy Services Department at 1.866.254.8100 ext. 8119 or 478.986.8119.