Protect your appliances from power surges

Protect your appliances from power surges

Has this ever happened to you? The power goes out and when it returns, you turn on the

TV only to discover it doesn’t work?

Most homes today have high tech appliances and expensive home entertainment systems. A power surge, or spike in voltage, can damage your items, or lead to an electrical fire.

It does not matter how old or new your home is. All new appliances/electronics are made with circuit boards that control the functions of the items. Depending on which item takes a surge, the repair bill can range from a few hundred or several thousand dollars.

“If an electrical mishap has zapped your computer, you know how frustrating, and expensive, that can be,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. Investing in various levels of protection from power surges can protect your appliances and computer.”

Where do power surges come from?

  • Lightning
  • Power outages
  • Appliances, such as refrigerators or air conditioners, cycling on and off
  • Tripped circuit breakers


Angie’s List tips for protecting your home

Make a list: Take an inventory of your appliances and electronics. Make a note of how old the item is as well as how much it will cost to replace it. Then compare that with the cost of adding the surge protection.

Talk to your agent: Check with your homeowner’s insurance to see if your appliances and electronics are covered in the event of a power surge.

Hire a pro: Electrical work can be dangerous - only a licensed electrical contractor should install and perform maintenance on a whole house surge protection system. These systems are easy to forget about once they are in place, but it’s important to have them serviced regularly by a pro.

Types of protection

Surge outlets and power strips: These are a good first step towards protection. Prices can range from $20 to $150 - look for ones with a warranty that will cover any damaged items connected to the device – some only cover the surge protector itself. They should also have an UL 1449 rating, which shows they have undergone testing.

Whole-house surge protection: Stops the influx of voltage before it can come into your house. They are ideal for protecting the home against major power surges like lightning strikes. Whole-house units protect all incoming phone, data and cable lines. The cost is based on how many electrical panels and phone/cable lines need protection.

Electrical work is dangerous and mistakes can be fatal, so it’s important to hire a professional for any type of electrical work. Sign in to Angie’s List to read consumer reviews on highly rated electricians nationwide.