Surge Protection Basics

lightning

Surge protection basics

What is a power surge and why do I need to be concerned about it?

A power surge is a momentary over-voltage condition or surge of high-energy current. It can be caused by many conditions beyond an electric utility’s control, such as lightning. Power surges can damage or destroy electrical equipment. Expensive electrical appliances and sensitive electronic equipment should be protected against power surges.

How do I know if the Plug-In Surge Protector is working?

The Plug-In Surge Protector has lights to show it’s working. The protector will shunt minor surges with no noticeable effects. If a surge is high enough, the protector will shut off power to the plugged-in electronics. Reset the surge protector as outlined in the owner’s manual provided with the unit. If you’re unable to reset the surge protector, or if the surge protector does not turn on anymore, it is worn out. You can bring the surge protector to the SMUD Customer Service Center, and we’ll give you a new one in return.

How do I know if the Whole House Surge Protector is working?

The Whole House Surge Protector has a green LED light on the side which is lit when the unit is functioning correctly. When the green light is off, or if you hear an alarm, call SMUD at 1-888-742-7683 to schedule a service call.

Why do I need both levels of Surge Protection Service?

Both levels of surge protection service provide the maximum surge protection for your electrical appliances and sensitive electronic equipment. The Whole House Surge Protector protects “white appliances” against surges originating from outside your home, somewhere on the electrical grid. The Plug-In Surge Protectors protect sensitive electronics from surges originating from within the home. The two together provide the most effective surge protection solution.

Will the Whole House Surge Protector protect against low-voltage brown outs or “half power” conditions?

No. The Whole House Surge Protector is designed to suppress harmful spikes in voltage and current. It will not protect against low-voltage brown outs or black outs. If you experience brown outs, call SMUD at 1-888-742-7683.

What type of “inspection, testing and repair” will be performed at my electrical panel?

For the Whole House Surge Protector to function safely and correctly, a secure ground connection and tight electrical connections are required. Before the technician installs the Whole House Surge Protector, he or she will have to ensure the safe operation of the equipment. As a courtesy and requirement for safe operation, testing of the ground at the electrical panel is performed, and any loose connections will be tightened as required. If replacement of worn or defective parts and/or extensive repairs are required, the technician will not install the Whole House Surge Protector. The technician will advise the homeowner about the necessary corrective action(s) that will be required for proper installation of the unit. The ground connection as well as the electrical panel and components within are the responsibility of the homeowner.

I have a Whole House Surge Protector and /or a Plug-In Surge Protector installed. I think a power surge damaged my appliances or plug-in equipment. What do I do?

Call the warranty hotline found in the documentation provided when the Whole House and Plug-In Surge Protectors were initially installed in your home. Warranty service is provided by the manufacturer of the surge protector(s), and all claims must go through them. Here’s a copy of the EFI Electronics Warranty. And a copy of the EFI Whole-House Surge Protection Warranty.

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