How Much Does It Cost to Install a Whole‑Home Surge Protector?
The cost of a professional whole-home surge protector installation in the Clearwater area typically ranges from $199 to $399.
Since that’s a wide price range, let’s take a look at some of the factors that can influence the cost:
First, it’s important to review how a whole-home surge protector works.
How does a whole-home surge protector work?
A whole-home surge protector protects all the electrical appliances in your home from sudden increases in voltage. Most voltage spikes can be traced back to major appliances that cycle on and off or by lightning strikes. Whole-home surge protectors are hard-wired to your electrical box and limit surges in electrical current caused by “cycling” or lightning. The surge protector blocks the flow of excess energy or diverts it to a ground wire.
The type of whole-home surge protector you choose
The price of a surge protector varies depending on the brand, model, and features it offers.
All the possible options can make the shopping for a whole-home surge protector confusing, especially if you aren’t sure what you need. So, what type of surge protector should you buy? Here are the most important things to look for and how they will affect the overall cost of your surge protector.
1. Voltage Protective Rating (VPR): The VPR (also called the clamping voltage) measures the maximum voltage a surge protector will allow to reach connected devices. The lower the VPR of a whole-home surge protector, the more protection it offers, but it will also come at a higher cost.
2. Maximum Continuous Operating Voltage (MCOV): The MCOV is the amount of voltage a surge protector will allow to reach your electrical system without tripping. If the surge protector you install has too low an MCOV, it may overheat, fail, or even cause a fire. However, the higher a whole-home surge protector’s MCOV, the more expensive it will be.
So, how do you know what MCOV your Florida home needs?
The nominal voltage, which is the voltage provided at your household’s outlets, is 110/120 volts in most Florida homes. It’s ideal for the MCOV to be slightly higher than your home’s nominal voltage because the surge protector will suffer unnecessary wear and tear if it trips every time the power hits 121+ volts.
It’s best to leave a margin of 15-20% for the MCOV. For example, you should choose a surge protector with an MCOV of at least 138V if you have a nominal voltage of 120V. If you need a professional recommendation, an electrician can advise what level of MCOV is correct for your home.
3. Maximum Surge Current Capacity: Using kiloamperes (kA), which is 1,000 amps for each kA, the Maximum Surge Current Capacity tells you the size of a power surge the protector can handle without failing. Once the surge protector absorbs a surge higher than its capacity, you’ll need to replace it. When buying a whole-home surge protector, get one with at least a 20kA Maximum Surge Current Capacity, which is what the IEEE recommends.
4. Brand: The price of a whole-home surge protector can vary quite a bit depending on the brand and the features it offers. But, generally speaking, the more reputable a brand, the pricier the surge protector will be. Examples of well-known, reputable brands of whole-home surge protectors include Siemens, Belkin, Eaton/Cutler-Hammer, and Square D.
Whether you have one or more subpanels
If your home has one or more electrical subpanels, you might need to install additional surge protectors on each of them, which will increase the overall cost of installation.
All homes have a main electrical panel, a large, rectangular metal box on the wall in your basement or garage. This main panel receives electricity from your utility company and distributes power to the different circuits in your home. Some homes also have one or more subpanels that receive electrical power from the main panel instead of directly from the grid.
In most cases, each subpanel will require a separate surge protector to protect its circuits. As a result, installing a whole-home surge protector in a Florida home with one or more subpanels will be more expensive due to the need for multiple protector units.
The Florida contractor you choose
When you hire a more experienced and qualified electrician, you’re more likely to pay on the higher end for a whole-home surge protector installation.
Hiring a contractor who charges modest prices may sound good, but may not be the best choice in the long run. Selecting a highly experienced and qualified electrician will ensure a job well done, the first time around, so you won’t have to pay for repeat work.
You don’t want to throw the dice when it comes to your home’s electrical system. Instead, you want to find a high-quality contractor. Look for a company that:
Want a quote for whole-home surge protector installation? Contact Climate Design today.
An experienced and licensed electrician from Climate Design will come to your home and offer an upfront estimate for your whole-home surge protector installation. When you choose Climate Design, you’ll know why thousands of customers rely on our responsive and knowledgeable service to take care of all their electrical needs.