Surge Protection and Back-Up Power Sources

15 May

147274160It’s a perfect time to turn our attention to some easy and relatively affordable remedies to electrical surges and power interruption.

Surge Protection

Many of us have a power strip for computers or other appliances. While a power strip is a good idea for surge protection, it’s usually not enough to protect from a close-up lightning strike.

Whole-house surge protection can protect the electronic devices in your home from sudden increases in electrical current that can cause damage. In new construction, this level of protection can be included as part of the mortgage and generally runs less than $1,500 to add to an existing home by a licensed electrician.

Back-Up Power Sources

A few days without power in the heat of the summer – or the cold of the winter – often inspire the purchase of a power generator. There are two types of generators: portable and standby.

  • Portable generators are intended for short-term, limited use. They are manually operated and use approximately 15-20 gallons of fuel per day.  While you can purchase a portable generator at your local home improvement store, you will also need an electrician to install a connection box at the power meter to insure safe use. Expect to pay about $2,500 total for the installed connection box and a generator that will run the basics.
  • Standby (or stationary) generators are permanently integrated into your electrical system and automatically take over when the power goes out. They are powered by natural gas or propane, and have unlimited running time. Cost varies by the amount of kilowatts needed – whether you want to power a few items like a refrigerator and television, or the whole house, but on average, runs about $1,000 per kilowatt, or $8,000-$10,000 for most homes.

A licensed electrical contractor can help you evaluate what level of generator is most appropriate for your needs and budget. For a list of contractors in your area, please contact Allen Tate Home Services at 877-780-6601 or visit

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