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Dot It Yourself or Not: Add a whole house surge protector

By Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

All it takes is one lightning strike and the damage it causes to realize the value of whole house surge protection. When a surge occurs, the device responds within nanoseconds, diverting the destructive energy to ground; and when it is wired into your circuit breaker system, it absorbs excess voltage and allows only normal voltage to pass through to your equipment.

A voltage strike can cause a tremendous amount of damage, not to mention inconvenience to sensitive home electronics, appliances, computers, televisions and countless other electronics in your home, which are sensitive to voltage spikes caused by lightning and other power surges traveling over power lines. You can protect this valuable equipment by adding a surge protection device to the circuit breaker.

An electrician charges $374, which includes labor and material, to install a 24-hour surge protection device with main breaker panel capacities up to 400 amps. The device is installed next to the breaker panel and requires two dedicated 15-amp circuit breakers.

An electric-savvy homeowner with electrical tools can by the device for $105 and do the job saving 72%. But the job is best left to an electrician. Even considering the DIY saving, hire a licensed electrician, who has the skill and experience to do job, along with knowledge of local electrical building code requirements. You want this done once, and done right, so don’t do it yourself.


Pro Cost: $374 — DIY Cost: $105
Pro time: 2.4 — DIY Time: 3.3
DIY Savings: $269 — Percent Saved: 72%


To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.




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