Question:Would you suggest having a whole home surge protector installed in the main service electrical panel?
It’s a smart idea! Appliances, computers, entertainment devices, lighting controls, and HVAC are just some of the systems controlled by sophisticated and sensitive electronics. Replacing these devices that have been damaged in a power surge has become such an expensive issue for homeowners and insurance companies that there is a proposal for the upcoming 2020 National Electrical Code to require a Type 1 or Type 2 surge protective device at the service panel for every new dwelling unit. This proposed rule will also require a surge protective device to be installed when an existing service panel is replaced.
And as we transition to distributed generation resources (DER) like wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) it will be even more important to provide surge protection for our equipment and systems. More information about the different types of surge protectives can be found in the 2017 National Electrical Code in Article 285.
Always check with your local electrical inspector about the specific code requirements in your area.
Question Answered by John Williamson, Chief Electrical Inspector, Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
John Williamson has been in the electrical industry for 40 years and is a licensed master electrician and certified building official. John has worked for the state of Minnesota for over 23 years and is the Chief Electrical Inspector. For the past 25 years John has also provided electrical code consultation to various book and magazine publishers
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Learn more about electrical codes with our story on common electrical code violations.