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A permanently installed surge protection device

Surge Protection Device Installation

Dear Mr. Electrician: How do I install a surge protection device for my whole house?  What is the best surge protector that will protect my computer from lightning? Answer: Methods to install a whole house surge protector vary slightly between devices.  However compared to other electrical wiring tasks installing a surge protector on your main electrical panel is relatively easy, though hazardous because of the live electrical components that you have to work around.  NOTE: Text links below go to applicable products on other websites or my own posts. Finding a surge protector that will protect your computer from lightning will involve looking at the various specifications of the many brands of surge protection devices.  I think that it is best to do some homework before making a surge protector purchase.  Read reviews from other purchasers, compare the product ratings, check the price ranges for your budget.  Read the manufacturer's installation instructions before purchasing.  Many installation instructions are available online. A type 1 surge protection device is rated for the line side of an electrical service before the main disconnect.  This type would most likely be installed by the power company. A type 2 surge protection device is rated for the load side of an electrical service after the main disconnect.  This is what would normally get installed inside of, or attached to your main electrical panel. A type 3 surge protection device is typically the point-of-use plug-in modules or power strips, and surge receptacles.  They must be at least 30 feet or 10 meters away, as measured by the wiring distance from the main electrical service.  If less than 30 feet they should also be rated for type 2. A type 4 surge protection device shall only be installed by equipment manufacturers on, or inside of their distributed appliances and machines. How to Install a Whole House Surge Protector In my area a surge protector new installation is required to be inspected by the town's electrical inspector.  An electrical permit must be applied for at the building department.  I submit a copy of the surge protector installation instructions with the permit application. If it is a complicated job or there are unusual circumstances I will also submit a typed, one page "Scope of Work" briefly explaining the planned installation and the materials to be used.  If there is something that the inspector doesn't like, I prefer to know about it in advance rather than after the job is done.  Surge protection device installations are covered by article 242 in the 2020 National Electrical Code (NFPA 70). When working with electricity safety is paramount and precautions should be taken.  Do not wear any jewelry including watches and rings, tie back long hair, use insulated tools, and cover exposed bus bars.  Read my post on safety.  Shutting off the main circuit breaker will help, but I am sometimes reluctant to do that on older panels because there is a possibility that the main circuit breaker will not turn on again. Also, just because the main circuit breaker is off does not...