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Meter Based vs. Whole Home Surge Protection

Florida- the Sunshine State- also happens to be the lightning capital of the world. In Southwest Florida, we see our fair share of severe weather, from hurricanes and tropical storms to afternoon thunderstorms. Severe weather and an abundance of lightning mean one thing: increased risk of power surges in your home.

sign for not using the spike guardMany things we use and need in daily life are susceptible to damage from surge:

  • Computers
  • Printers
  • TVs
  • Stereos
  • Appliances
  • HVAC Systems
  • Water Heaters

Many people have outlet strips that their important electronics are plugged into because these strips promise protection. You might be surprised to learn that these strips, more often than not, are not enough to protect your valuable electronics from a surge.

When in the market for surge protection, it is important to note the two different types you will come across: meter-based surge protection and whole home surge protection.

Meter-Based Surge Protection

Power companies like FPL have begun offering surge protection for a low monthly fee. The type of protection that they offer is referred to as meter-based surge protection. This means the surge arrestor is installed at the meter and protects the home against surge coming into the house from the grid.

Meter-based surge protection guards against the surge from:

  • downed power lines
  • storm damage
  • lightning strikes to transformers or other electrical equipment outside the home
  • Regular maintenance that might send a surge down the grid.
Whole Home Surge Protection

While the meter-based surge does protect against external surge threats, you may be surprised to learn that only 20% of surges are generated outside of the home. A whopping 80% of surges within a home are generated inside. This means that even with a surge arrestor at the meter, your home is still in danger.

Whole home surge protection mitigates this by diving the home into three zones:

  1. Meter Zone: a surge arrestor at the meter, much like the surge available from the power company. This stops the surge from entering the home.
  2. Branch Zone: this is a surge arrestor installed in the panel to mitigate surge within the home. It guards against the internally-generated surge, and serves as a second line of defense should the surge arrestor at the meter fail.
  3. Point of Use Zone: this is where surge strips to plug in appliances will be useful. Point of use surge protection is the last resort, should the surge get past both the meter level and branch level arrestors.

As you can see, whole home surge protection provides more comprehensive protection for your home’s electrical systems and electrical appliances.

Finding The Right Surge Protection For You

Here at Best Home Services, we offer whole home surge through Eaton. This zoned system protects your home using primary and secondary defenses. Primary arrestors stop the surge from entering the home, and secondary arrestors provide an extra line of defense for internally-generated surges—a whole 80% of total surges!

Don’t take any chances when protecting your home. Have one of our qualified professional and licensed surge specialists to come out to your home and assess the right surge to fit your needs. Give us a call at 239 284-1472 (Naples/Fort Myers Area) or 813 862-2378 (Sarasota/Bradenton area)!

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