Monday, January 20, 2020

Protect your whole house from power surges

Power lines at twilight - Photo by Nicole Kohler/Pixabay
Most of these Tip of the Week articles are the result of brainstorming and some research. This one, however, is purely the result of learning an important lesson and learning it the hard way.
The lesson is simple: every home these days should have a whole house surge protector. They cost around $100 plus a few dollars more if you want a professional to install it. They can save so much more, though.

A little more than a week ago, the power went out in my house. It came back on approximately three seconds later. When it did, though, it did more than $500 in damage.

This is because, when the power came back, there was a surge of electricity. I had a surge protector for my computer, modem, and router. I’ve had them for decades and thought I was covered.

However, I forgot that there is a computer inside almost every appliance these days. Televisions, washing machines, dryers – about the only appliance in my home that doesn’t have a computer inside of it is my toilet and I’m sure there will be one there before too long.

And the power surge that happened when my electricity came back after being off for approximately three seconds was enough to destroy that computer that was inside of my washing machine. With that out of commission, my machine was nothing more than a large hunk of metal in my basement.

Plus, most manufacturer’s warranties don’t cover damage done by a power surge, which is another fun fact that I learned the hard way.

I had to replace my washing machine and, with delivery, sales tax, and everything else, doing so cost me approximately $500. I also had a whole house surge protector professionally installed for $180 because there is a computer inside of almost everything these days and things could have been so much worse for me.

A whole house surge protector does a lot to protect you. My electrician recommended keeping the old surge protectors on my home computer and the most sensitive of my electronics as an extra layer of protection for them. For everything else, there is now a surge protector installed right next to breaker box.

Please learn from my mistake. Protect your appliances with a whole house surge protector. You can also use individual surge protectors for each appliance. However, there are so many of them that installing a whole house one really is your best bet.

Whole house surge protectors are available on Amazon as well as at Loewe’s, Home Depot, and most larger hardware stores. I cannot recommend getting one highly enough. Getting one is your Tip of the Week for the week of January 20, 2020.

These tips are brought to you by the Warrendale Detroit Blog as part of our Tip of the Week series. Please check back next week for more advice on your home, money, and life. The rest of the tips are are avilable here.

Please feel free to follow the author Frank Nemecek on Twitter and Instagram as @fnemecek for more great content

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