If you stuck your finger in an electrical socket, that provides electricity that turns on our electronics and makes them do fun stuff. You would receive a shock of electricity that is 120 Volts if you live in the U.S. A lightning strike can contain millions of volts. And sensitive electronic appliances, computers, TVs, streaming and television equipment, or any other household gadgets are no match. For any transient voltage surge to homes hit by lightning.
There are two levels of surge protection you can use for protecting your home. You will need to do a self-risk assessment of all your electronic equipment. This will help to determine what your needs are for your particular application.
What is Level One Surge Protection?
Level One Surge Protection will protect any equipment or appliances like a Dryer or Heat Pump that runs on 220-volts. Tyipically, this consists of hard wired equipment. Or it may have a plug that uses a much larger outlet than the typical 120-volt wall outlet used for a television, computer or other household small appliances.
You can add level one surge protection that will protect this equipment by having an electrcian add a 30 amp dedicate double pole breaker. Installed inside your main electrical panel with a panel wired surge protector attached.
Be Careful! Even though they may often refer to this type of protection as a “Whole House Surge Protector.” It’s still not a replacment for Level Two Surge Protection. Electrical spikes or voltage surges caused by lightning can enter your home by a cable TV, or telephone wire. And while this will protect from spikes caused by the power grid, it’s still may not fully protect your home from lightning.
What is Level Two Surge Protection?
Level Two devices a cord strips that plug into 120V electrical outlets. They usually contain 4 – 6 outlets to plug electroincs or other appiances into. These devices are then further protected. The higher quality units, have outlets for Network data and cable TV cables. Protecting multiple levels of equipment from costly voltage spikes.
These surge protectors as they are often called can be found in most department stores, or found online like this Panamax M4300-PM Home Theater Power Management 9-Outlet Surge Protector model which you can find some fantastic deals on eBay. Make sure that which ever type of surge protector you buy, it has a “Type 3, UL 1449” listing.
While owning these devices won’t guarentee everything would survive a direct lightning strike. It is cheap insurance that’s certainly better than nothing to protect sensitive elctronics. Some companies offer thousands of dollars free insurance when you buy thier device. Read the small print, and see what is covered and how to submit a claim.
For items like computers or NAS boxes that you would typically leave running all the time, a UPS contains the same surge protection, with the addition of batteries which will keep your devices running for a short period of time until they can be safely shutdown.