How to Install A Whole House Surge Protector: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Install A Whole House Surge Protector: A Step-by-Step Guide

A whole house surge protector offers tons of electrical protection. But installing it isn’t easy. So, learn how to install a whole house surge protector easily here!

A whole-house surge protector is necessary to protect your home electronics against power surges. It is a device that can safeguard your house against voltage spikes and surges.

This article will show you how to install a whole house surge protector for optimal protection. We’ll review the tools and supplies you need, the installation procedure, and some troubleshooting suggestions in detail. Let’s get started right away!

 optimal protection

What is a Whole House Surge Protector?

A whole-house surge protector protects your home’s electrical system and equipment against power surges or lightning strikes. A whole house surge protector is an electrical device in a home’s main service panel. It can protect against lightning strikes, power outages, and other events that create a rapid spike in voltage.

When a power surge occurs, the whole-house surge protector directs the extra voltage to the ground, avoiding damage to the home’s electrical system and equipment. It can protect your phone, cable, and ethernet wires from surges. You can also look at what is surge protector to strengthen your basics.

How Does a Whole House Surge Protector Work?

Before learning how to install a whole house surge protector, let’s learn how does a surge protector work. A whole-house surge protector functions similarly to a pressure relief valve by controlling excess electrical current and preventing flow or shorting it to the ground. It comprises three major parts: a metal oxide varistor (MOV), a thermal fuse, and an indicator light or alarm.

The surge protector’s heart is the MOV. It functions as a switch, allowing normal electricity to flow while blocking or diverting aberrant voltage to the ground.

The clamping voltage of the MOV is the threshold at which it activates. The more sensitive and efficient the MOV is, the lower the clamping voltage.

The thermal fuse is a safety device that disables power to the MOV if it overheats because of frequent or significant surges. The indicator light or alarm displays the surge protector’s status and informs you if it needs to be changed.

thermal fuse

How to Install A Whole House Surge Protector: A Step-by-Step Guide

So, how to install a whole house surge protector? First, let us tell you that it isn’t as straightforward as many might have told you. Installing a device like this requires practical skills and an understanding of electronics.

To help make things easier, we have compiled a step-by-step guide here on how to install a whole house surge protector. Let’s first look at the tools and supplies needed for such a task:

Note that a homeowner should not perform the solutions mentioned in this guide. Try taking the expert’s help if you believe you cannot do it.

Tools Needed to Install a Whole House Surge Protector

  • Pair of pliers, a nail punch, and a hammer
  • Wire strippers
  • Power drill or a screwdriver
  • Cable clamp
  • Double pole circuit breaker rated for your surge protection device (SPD)
  • Contact voltage tester

Personal Supplies Needed to Install a Whole House Surge Protector

  • Eye-protection glasses
  • electrical safety gloves
  • insulated work boots

Step 1: Shut Off The Main Power

Before doing any electrical repair, turn off the electricity to your main service panel. Locate the primary breaker switch in your panel and turn it to the “off” position to turn off the electricity.

Label the switch with a warning sign or tape to warn people not to turn it on while working. After you have turned off the power, use a non-contact voltage tester to ensure no power in the panel.

A non-contact voltage tester monitors electrical current without contacting the wires. Place it near the wires or breakers and listen for light or sound indications.

You may continue with the installation if the tester does not indicate voltage. If the voltage tester indicates voltage, you may have a defective breaker or wiring and should contact a certified electrician.

 service panel

Step 2: Preparing the Main Panel for Installation

After turning off the power and ensuring no voltage in the panel, you must prepare the panel for surge protector installation.

Choose a surge protector site near the main breaker with appropriate installation and wiring room. It would help if you also chose a double-pole circuit breaker with two open slots that meet the amperage rating of your panel.

A double-pole circuit breaker is a device that uses one switch to regulate two circuits. It will power the surge protector and keep it from overheating.

To install the breaker, remove the panel cover and snap it into position on the bus bar. The bus bar is a metal strip that sends electricity to the breakers. The cable clamp should then be installed in one of the holes at the bottom or side of the panel.

The cable clamp will attach the surge protector’s cables to the panel, preventing them from ripping out or being damaged. A hammer and a nail punch are required to make a hole.

A nail punch is a tool used to drive nails into wood or metal without causing damage to the surface. To use it, insert it in the middle of the hole and pound it until it pops out.

ripping out or being damaged

Step 3: Mount the Whole House Surge Protector for Installation

After prepping the panel, you must attach the surge protector to it. The surge protector is a device that protects the electrical system and equipment in your house against power surges or lightning strikes. It comprises three major parts: a metal oxide varistor (MOV), a thermal fuse, and an indicator light or alarm.

The surge protector’s heart is the MOV. It functions as a switch, allowing normal electricity to flow while blocking or diverting aberrant voltage to the ground.

The thermal fuse is a safety device that disables power to the MOV if it overheats because of frequent or significant surges. The indicator light or alarm displays the surge protector’s status and informs you if it needs to be changed.

To install the surge protector, use a screwdriver or drill to secure it to the panel using screws or bolts. For correct installation and spacing, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

significant surges.

Step 4: Connect Wires

After installing the surge protector, connect its wires to the panel. The surge protector has four green, white, and black wires.

The green wire serves as a grounding line, providing a safe conduit for excess electricity to be discharged to earth. The white wire is neutral, completing the circuit and balancing the voltage. The two black wires are for hot current, which travels from the breaker to the surge protector.

To connect these wires, use wire strippers to remove about half an inch of insulation from each wire end. Then, with a screwdriver or pliers, insert each wire through its corresponding cable clamp hole and tighten it.

Then, using screws or lugs, connect each wire to its terminal on the breaker or bus bar. You should follow these connections:

  • Green wire = Ground terminal on panel
  • White wire = Neutral bus bar on panel
  • Black wire 1 = Load terminal on the breaker
  • Black wire 2 = Line terminal on the breaker

Step 5: Reassembling the Main Electrical Panel

The last step in installing a whole-house surge protector is to replace the electrical panel cover and switch on the electricity. Align the cover with the panel and secure it with screws or bolts using a screwdriver or drill.

Ensure that the cover fits snugly and securely over the panel. Remove any warning signs or tape that you may have put on the main breaker switch to prevent anyone from turning it on while you are working. Turn the main breaker switch to the “on” position to restore electricity to your panel and your house.

Check your surge protector’s indication light or alarm to see whether it operates correctly. The indicator light or alarm is a feature that displays the surge protector’s status and informs you if it needs to be changed.

If the indicator light is green and the sound is normal, the surge protector works properly, protecting your house from power surges. If the indicator light becomes red or the sound is strange, the surge protector is broken and should be replaced immediately.

surge protector is broken and should be replaced immediately

What is the Whole House Surge Protector Installation Cost: An Industrial/Market Analysis

The cost of installing a whole house surge protector is based on different industrial factors. The average cost of installing a whole-house surge protector is $300, with a normal range of $70 to $700.

The cost is determined by various variables, including the kind, quality, and features of the surge protector, the location and size of the panel, the electrician’s labor rate and expertise, and the local market circumstances.

Pros and Cons of Whole House Surge Protector

Let’s explore some pros and cons of “how to install a whole house surge protector:.”

Pros

  • Provides surge protection for the whole house.
  • Offers peace of mind and convenience.
  • Long lifespan and durability of electronics.

Cons

  • The biggest drawback is the installation cost around $500-600.

Can I Install A Whole House Surge Protector Myself?

Installing a whole-house surge protector is a difficult task that requires working with your home’s electrical panel, which can be tough and requires specialized knowledge and abilities.

Installation requires working with your home’s main electrical panel. In addition, improper installation can render the surge protector ineffective.

Although some DIYs may be confident in their ability to install a whole-house surge protector, they hire a licensed electrician. They possess the knowledge and training to install the surge protector securely and efficiently.

If you are uncertain about the installation process, it is preferable to look for professional help instead of risking property damage or personal injury.

A quick online search for “whole house surge protector installation near me” can help you locate a qualified electrician in your area who can ensure that your surge protector is correctly installed for maximal protection.

your surge protector is correctly installed for maximal protection

Conclusion

Well, there you have it – a complete and thorough answer to how to install a whole house surge protector. Installing a whole-house surge protector is critical in safeguarding your home’s electrical gadgets from surges.

It may bring peace of mind and convenience, but you should examine the advantages and downsides before installing one.

If you are unsure about the installation procedure, it is preferable to use a qualified electrician. Let us know in the comments about your whole house surge protector installation experience. Did you hire a professional, or did it yourself?

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Install A Whole House Surge Protector

Is it worth getting a whole house surge protector?

Yes, a whole-house surge protector is worthwhile. Surge protectors may shield your home’s electrical wiring and equipment against power surges. Lightning strikes, power outages, and other events that create a rapid spike in voltage may all cause power surges.

How much surge protection do I need for whole house?

A surge protector with a surge current rating of at least 40,000 amps, a voltage protection value of less than 700 volts, and a reaction time of less than 1 nanosecond is a good starting point.

How to Install surge protection device at home?

Step 1: Turn off the power to the electrical service panel and remove the cover.

Step 2: Locate a vacant slot in the panel and install a double-pole circuit breaker with the same amperage rating as the surge protector.

Step 3: Connect and secure the surge protector wires to the circuit breaker terminals using fasteners.

Step 4: Attach a fastener to the connection between the green ground wire from the surge protector and the ground bus bar in the panel.

Step 5: Mount the surge protector with fasteners or brackets to the panel or the wall.

Step 6: Close the panel cover and activate the primary power source.

Step 7: Check the surge protector’s functionality by observing the indicator lights or alarms.

What is a whole house surge protector breaker location?

The slot in your electrical service panel where you install a circuit breaker that connects to your surge protector is known as a whole home surge protector breaker placement.

What is a type 1 whole house surge protector?

A surge protector of type 1 entire house is intended to safeguard your home’s electrical wiring and equipment from damage caused by power surges. Type 1 surge protectors are commonly placed in the main service panel of your house.

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