Is a Surge Protector required for a Whole House Generator?

Image of homeowner at electric panel with power outage

Surge Protectors for Whole House Generators

A power outage can create major problems to avoid those problems, you may have thought about installing a whole house generator. If you do, consider adding a surge protector to control the flow of power into your home.

Control the Surge

Surge protectors or surge suppressors are a necessity if you’re using a whole house generator. When a generator kicks on, it can often send an enormous amount of electricity into your home.

If the electricity overloads your appliances, you could lose power to them. Power excesses can also damage sensitive equipment like computers, televisions, and smartphones.

Computers, smartphones, and medical equipment need steady, even flows of power to avoid wearing out. Even your big, sturdy appliances can age prematurely if you experience frequent power problems.

What Causes Power Interruptions?

There are many things that can interrupt the steady flow of power to your house.

Power sags: These can happen when your large appliances start-up and overwhelm the power entering your home. This can cause a temporary slowdown or a brief period of no power. Sags are also known as brownouts.

Power spikes: These sudden increases in power often happen when there’s a major event like a storm, lightning strike or damage to a power station. Spikes send excessive electricity to everything that’s plugged in at your house. They are extremely damaging.

Power surges: When you’re running a high-wattage appliance, turning it off can sometimes cause a power surge. The surge can travel to other devices or appliances. Generators: Yes, whole house generators can cause spikes and surges in your electricity.

Protect Your Home from Generator Power Surges

A surge protector is the best way to keep your devices safe. When you buy a surge protector, keep the following tips in mind.

Make Sure It’s a Surge Protector

Many people mistake power strips for surge protectors. They are different. A power strip allows you to plug several items into one outlet. It looks like a long strip. A surge protector may look like a solid, rectangular box.

While we’re on the subject, using a power strip is not a good idea. Plugging many items into one outlet is a good way to overload that outlet. If you need more outlets, ask an electrician to install them for you.

Plug It Into Your Generator

Attaching the surge protector to the generator will protect your items from the sudden rush of power the generator sends through your home.

The average generator comes with a standard outlet. You can plug the surge protector directly into it.

Don’t use a power strip to connect to the generator. For safety’s sake, use an extension cord that is rated for outdoor use.

Check the Joule Level

The joule rating tells you how much voltage your surge protector can absorb. You want a protector with a high joule rating that can take on the power of a whole house generator.

Replace the Surge Protector

You should plan to replace your surge protector every two or three years. Some experts recommend changing it after every power surge or spike. Every surge weakens your surge protector’s ability to keep absorbing power.

Look for Extra Features

Some surge suppressors come with features like indicator lights that show you how much power the protector absorbed. They can also show you that the protector is working.

Get Help for Your Spikes and Surges

Are you looking for a whole house generator or a surge protector, SESCOS is here to help. We sell and install the best generators available today. Our technicians can help you choose the one that’s right for your home and install it safely. We’ll also advise you about choosing the right surge protector. Count on SESCOS to keep you safe.

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