Meter Based Surge Arresters
From computers to microwaves and high-tech entertainment centers, the average
home has a huge investment in electronic equipment. Unfortunately, because of
microchip circuitry, this equipment can be easily damaged by changes in electric
voltage. To protect these sensitive electronics, the best offense is a two-step
First, a meter base surge arrester stops
external power problems before they can enter the home. The PUD installs
and maintains these devices for just $4.50 a month -- a bargain when you
consider the home's investment in electronic equipment.
How vulnerable is your equipment?
Up to 40 percent of home electrical problems are caused by external events --
power line switching and "bumps" caused by power lines slapping together, for
example. Not to mention line frequency problems, voltage spikes, high-frequency
"noise," short circuits, and the ups and downs when there are outages and then
power is restored.
All of these can cause surges (elevations in voltage than last longer than 10
milliseconds) that fry delicate electronic circuitry. And a meter base surge
arrester can stop all of them.
For added protection, the manufacturer offers a warranty against damage from
power surges that come through the home's electric meter after passing through a
failed arrester. The warranty covers electromechanical equipment including home
appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators and other motor-driven appliances)
and electronic equipment (computers, televisions, VCRs, stereos, microwaves and
heat pumps). The warranty is good for up to $50,000 for each event, as long as
building wiring and other connections to protect equipment conform to NEC codes.
It only takes our serviceman a half hour to install the device. During this
time the power to the home must be off.
That takes care of electrical disturbances from outside the house. What about
the 60 percent of power problems that come from inside the home? For
these kinds of surges, we recommend a plug-in surge suppressor connected to each
piece of electronic equipment. Each time an electric device is turned on,
transient voltage (either a spike or sag) may be generated. These split-second
disturbances come and go sporadically -- sometimes with disastrous results.
Surges can also come from ground wires connected to water pipes or telephone and
cable TV lines.
To take care of these in-home disturbances, the PUD is encouraging local
retailers to offer Panamax point-of-use surge protectors. These surge protection
products carry a lifetime guarantee -- if there is ever a problem, Panamax will
accept the old device and send a replacement. Should a surge (including a direct
lightning strike) get past the plug-in device, any equipment connected to it is
warranted against damage, up to $100,000. For the warranty to be effective,
equipment must be connected to the device and building wiring and other
connections to protect equipment must conform to applicable NEC code.
For more information, contact Anita, Klickitat PUD's Energy Services
Specialist, at 509-773-7622, or toll-free at 800-548-8357.