surge protection

Surge Protection

Tips for Members

We want to help you protect your equipment. Follow these tips to protect against the inevitable power fluctuations.

OPALCO members are responsible for protecting their own equipment and appliances (see Member Service Policy 3.2.2).

The easiest way to avoid problems caused by power fluctuations is to unplug devices and equipment that you aren’t using. Take time before you leave your home for long periods of time and pull the plug on things not in use: televisions, cable boxes, stereo equipment, specialty equipment.

Most Important features for surge protection

As recommended by OPALCO engineers.

UL 1449 Listed
39,000 amps or more
420 joules or more

Good to have

LED diagnostic safety lights
5-year warranty with damage coverage
Telephone Line Protection
Noise Attenuation

Safety Matters: Surge Protection

Quick Fact: Surge Protection


Look that is UL 1449 Listed. This indicates the device conforms to the Underwriter Laboratory’s standards. (UL listing as a “power tap” is not sufficient)

When it comes to electricity, fluctuations in the power supply are simply unavoidable. About 80% of all power surges are created by electronic equipment inside your home (refrigerators, furnaces motors, power tools) because these devices use a lot of energy to turn on and off, diverting power from other appliances as motors start up or shut down.

OPALCO members are responsible for protecting their own equipment and appliances (see Member Service Policy 3.2.2).

OPALCO power is carefully monitored. Still, the first line of defense against damage from power fluctuations from outside or inside of your home is prevention. Surge protectors are recommended for all sensitive electronic equipment and appliances.

Now that microprocessors are common to more and more electronic devices, everything from washing machines and refrigerators to computers, phones, and of course, televisions, more of your electronics are vulnerable to fluctuations in power. The electronic “rust” that comes from low-level power fluctuations gradually degrades internal circuitry until the circuitry fails.

Installing a surge protector at your electrical service panel gives all your equipment a good degree of protection. Generally, whole-house surge protection is adequate for hardwired appliances like your wash machine, refrigerator or water heater. It may not protect sensitive electrical equipment (use a surge protector strip) and will need to be installed by a licensed electrician. A combination of the two will give close to 100 percent protection from most power disturbances.

It can’t protect you from power outages, black outs or brown outs. It can’t protect your equipment from nearby lightning strikes.

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