Power Surge Protection

Jim Sellers and special guest electrician, Rob Dollard, are In the House today talking about Florida lightning and power surges. What is the best way to keep your computers and appliances safe from surges?

Jim: Here’s a question from Bruce in Kissimmee. He said he's lost two computers due to lightning induced power surges, and power strips don't seem to help. Is there anything he can do – maybe to his outlets or circuit panel or something - to stop this from happening?

Rob: Yes, there are a few different options. As far as the power strips go, if you go buy and eight dollar power strip at a big box store, it doesn’t have any surge protection to it. All that plug strip is doing is giving you more space to plug things into. If you're going to buy a plug strip, spend forty or fifty dollars,  read the directions on the plug strip, and make sure that it has lightning protection or lightning protection/surge protection.

Another option is have an electrician put surge protection on your service of the house, which will help protect the entire house. But it's the same scenario, if you buy a twelve dollar surge arrester, that's about what it's worth, not much. If you spend four or five hundred dollars on a surge arrester, you're going to end up with a lot more protection. Some of those companies will even warranty your appliances, computers, and TVs; so if something did burn up, you could get it replaced.

Jim: That's definitely one of the times that you want to get a better product for the job.

Rob: Yes, exactly. You certainly don't want the cheapest.

Jim: That's good to know; I've lost a couple of appliances myself and in the long run, it would save me money.  Lightning is a real problem, especially here in Florida; we get our share. Thanks for the info, Rob.  

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Listen Saturday mornings to "In the House". Get more Home Tips and show info at the In the House website. For a free inspection and estimate on your next Home Improvement Project, visit Universal Roof & Contracting or call now. Orlando: 407-295-7403 Jacksonville: 904-647-3907. *Certain restrictions may apply.

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