8 Best Whole House Surge Protector Reviews in 2020

Power surges can happen due to a variety of reasons and if your household does not have a power surge protector, then all your electronic appliances are liable to the devastating effects ofthe extra flood of electricity

It’s for this reason you need a surge protector to safeguard your appliances from harm.

After our research, we found out that Siemens FS140 is the best surge protector.

Our Pick

A dual voltage unit, Siemens FS140, has the highest power rating protection on our list and the market in general.


Offering a voltage blockade of up to 140,000 amperes, Siemens FS140 goes far and beyond to protect your appliances.


It will cover your appliances against voltage spikes that normally would pass the ordinary surge protectors.

Siemens FS140 Whole House Surge Protection

In the comparison table below, we shall highlight the top 8 whole house surge protectors in the market.

Here, we shall have a breakdown of their features as well as prices.

From here, users can easily compare between the existing models, and see what protector best fits their needs.

Im​age

Product Name

Features

Price

Availability

Siemens FS140 Whole House Surge Protection

Siemens FS140

Surge Current Capacity: 140,kA
Voltage: 120/240V
Item Weight: 2.7 pounds
Product Dimensions: 10 x 6 x 4 inches

$$$

Intermatic IG1240RC3 Whole Home Surge Protection Device

Intermatic IG1240RC3

Surge Current Capacity: 60 kA
Voltage: 120/240V
Item Weight: 1.1 pounds
Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 8.3 x 8 in

$$$

Square D by Schneider Electric SDSB80111 Surgebreaker Plus Whole House Surge Protector

Square D by Schneider Electric SDSB80111

Surge Current Capacity: 80kA
V
oltage: 120/240V
Item Weight:
7.1 pounds
Product Dimensions:
2.9 x 5.4 x 11.7 inches

$$$

Leviton 51120-1 Panel Protector

Leviton 51120-1

Surge Current Capacity: 50kA
Voltage: 120/240V
Item Weight: 4.3 pounds
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 8.4 x 5.1 inches

$$$

Eaton BRSURGE Br Series

Surge Current Capacity: 36,000 amps
Voltage: 120/240V
Item Weight: 9.6 ounces
Product Dimensions: 5 x 4 x 2 inches

$$

Siemens FS100 Protection Device Whole House Surge Protector

Siemens FS100

Surge Current Capacity:
Voltage: 120/240V
Item Weight: 2.3 pounds
Product Dimensions: 10 x 6 x 4 inches

$$$

Intermatic Smart Guard IG2240-IMSK Whole Home Surge Protector

Intermatic Smart Guard IG2240

Surge Current Capacity: 100kA
Voltage: 120/240V
Item Weight: 7 pounds
Product Dimensions: 10.75 x 3.75 x 10 in

$$$

EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection

EATON CHSPT2ULTRA

Surge Current Capacity: 108kA 

Voltage: 120V / 240V
Item Weight: 1 pound
Product Dimensions: 2.38 x 5.25 x 7.5 in

$$$

Top 8: Best Whole House Surge Protectors

Most of the household appliances are always at risk of damage due to constant power surges.

Ordinarily, power surges usually result in a sudden spike in the supply of electricity in the system.

The spike increases the current flowing to wall sockets and into your devices with voltages that exceed the normal threshold.

Often, a spike in voltages results to the damage of your appliances.

Sure, while some of the electronics usually come with in-built control boards, they’re not sufficient enough and will not stop electrical surges from happening.

In the worst case, an electrical power surge can lead to an electrical fire.

A surge protector, however, will protect your household appliances from random power surges and spikes.

It’s for this reason we’ve scoured through the internet to bring you a comprehensive list of the best whole house surge protectors in the market.

1. Siemens FS140

Topping our list is one offering from one of our usual suspects Siemens.

Siemens FS140, a product of the infamous Siemens, is a robust, reliable, and performance-ready whole house surge protector that is ideal for both commercial and residential use.

Quick Summary

  • Surge Current Capacity- 140,000A
  • Voltage-120/240V
  • Item Weight:-2.7 pounds
  • Product Dimensions- 10 x 6 x 4 inches
Siemens FS140 Whole House Surge Protection

Undoubtedly, this surge protector is one of the bulky units in the marker, and the price point is a little on the high side.

However, this unit comes with a slew of features and benefits that are worth more than the replacement cost of fried appliances.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Versatile Protector

Typical of a Type 2 surge suppressor, Siemens FS140 is highly versatile and is capable of working with any load center brand.

Suitable for use for both commercial and residential households, Siemens FS140 will provide you with a complete solution for all your appliances.

3 Stage Commercial Grade Notifications

The departure point between FS140 and other protectors is the commercial class three-stage notifications diagnostic that entails LEDs, Alarm, and Red flashing light.

Once the protector is unable to provide more protection, it immediately notifies you through the three channels.

This means that you’ll never miss replacing the surge protector and that all your appliances will always be protected.

Fast Response Time

With less than a nanosecond response time, you can be guaranteed that your appliances are in safe hands.

The swift response time means that even when a nasty power surge comes through the load center, it’s neutralized almost immediately.

NEMA Type 4 Enclosure

Easy to install, this unit is intended for use either on the outdoors or indoors inside the load center.

Whatever place you choose to install, it carries no risk to your home appliances because it's a commercially grade NEMA 4X enclosure.

To a certain extent, this surge suppressor will protect against splashing water, dust, rain, and even damage from ice formation.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Versatile and can be used for both commercial and household protection
  • Solid surge protection
  • Fast response time

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • A tad expensive

2. Intermatic IG1240RC3

For a long time, Intermatic has been a global leader in energy management.

Intermatic IG1240RC3 lives up the brand legacy and will protect your entire household against power surges and spikes.

Quick Summary

  • Surge Current Capacity-60 kA
  • Voltage- 120/240V
  • Item Weight-1.1 pounds
  • Product Dimensions-6.5 x 8.3 x 8 in
Intermatic IG1240RC3 Whole Home Surge Protection Device

Sporting an array of features and functions, this unit offers individual components for thermal protection and monitoring.

A highly versatile surge protector, IG1240RC3, is ideal for use both in the residential and commercial applications.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

TPMOV® Technology

A major highlight of this surge protector is the proprietary TPMOV® technology.

TPMOV® technology builds upon what standard MOV technology offers, and it addresses the dangerous failure modes that come along with MOV.

As such, this technology will drastically reduce instances of your unit, failing to sudden heat overload.

And according to Intermatic, the technology allows IG1240RC3 to manage all 10,000V of plus-sized surge effectively.

Performance

Offering a peak surge capacity of 60K amperes, this protector is an all-rounder and is more than sufficient for covering a majority of the common electrical transients.

Versatility is further underlined by the NEMA 3R polycarbonate plastic enclosure that makes the unit perfectly suited for both indoor as well as outdoor use.

Versatile

A highly versatile unit, IG1240RC3 supports both Type 1 and Type 2 locations, letting you use it for both commercial and residential applications.

Ease of Use

A dual voltage suppressor, IG1240RC3, supports both 120/240V panels and comes alongside mounting feet too.

The addition of a green LED status indicator light also makes using IG1240RC3 a cinch as it lets you know whether it’s still providing surge protection for your appliances or not.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Superiors surge protection
  • Versatile usage
  • Clear cut indication on surge protection

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • A bit pricey

3. Square D by Schneider Electric SDSB80111 Surgebreaker

Square D is a premium surge protector that will safeguard your entire household against the high-energy power surges as well as low-energy repetitive surges.

By suppressing the power spikes, this suppressor will protect your entire household devices, including those not plugged in the surge plug strip.

Quick Summary

  • Surge Current Capacity-80kA
  • Voltage-120/240V
  • Item Weight-7.1 pounds
  • Product Dimensions-2.9 x 5.4 x 11.7 inches
Square D by Schneider Electric SDSB80111 Surgebreaker Plus Whole House Surge Protector

Featuring removable modules for cable and telephone, this suppressor is highly flexible and will let you install and customize according to your needs.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Surge Suppression

Offering maximum surge suppression, Square D includes HEPD80 for long-lasting protective solutions and will cushion your appliances even against the more powerful surges up to 80kA.

Though it's quite modest in size and stature, it's a high-performance unit and will function even better than some of the bulky and heavy SPD in the market.

With this suppressor, you can be guaranteed that it will take care of your HVAC system, dishwasher machine, microwave, Lighting system, and more.

Versatile

As we had mentioned earlier, Square D is a highly flexible unit as it comes with removable modules for telephones, cable, and Ethernet, making it easier for users to install and customize.

The flexibility offered by this unit is one of the reasons Square D is an ideal choice for whole-home residential use, as it lets you set up what you need and leave the rest.

The modules easily snap into place, though you will require screws for the overall installation.

Versatility on this unit is further manifested by the dual voltage function that lets you use this unit either on 110V or 240V power outlets.

Installation

A compact and lightweight unit, Square D is the ultimate power surge for household owners looking for ways to save on installation space.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Versatile
  • Easy to use and install
  • 80kA protection

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Short warranty period

4. Leviton 51120-1

Founded in 1906, Leviton has been at the forefront of manufacturing reliable electrical products.

Leviton 51120-1 is a clear testimony to the superiority of this brand, and users love the performance of this unit.

Quick Summary

  • Surge Current Capacity-50kA
  • Voltage-120/240V
  • Item Weight-4.3 pounds
  • Product Dimensions- 8.4 x 8.4 x 5.1 inches
Leviton 51120-1 Panel Protector

A fully functional unit, Leviton 51120-1, offers protection against both external power surges like lightning bolts and internal power voltages like transient surges.

A capable Type 2 suppressor, Leviton 51120-1, will effectively block the damaging currents and voltages with ease.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

UL Certified

Leviton 51120-1 is definitely in the same league as some of the premium and high-end models, regarding UL certification.

Besides the UL certification, this voltage suppressor is also listed as a Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor (TVSS) and will provide much-needed protection against both the internal and external power surges.

Performance

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for performance and protection.

Contrary to some of the models we’ve already listed, the protection mode on this unit is only supported for L-N/L-L.

The protection mode leaves some of the more crucial aspects such as Neutral to Ground or Line to Ground.

The absence of such critical modes is eye raising and a deal-breaker, especially when you consider what you're paying for this unit.

Nonetheless, we were pleased by the real-time visual indicator that accurately shows the performance metrics such as power and suppression status from a single glance.

Max Surge

With a surge capacity of 50kA, Leviton 51120-1 is on the lower side of the protection performance.

Nonetheless, it doesn't matter because the rating is still within the acceptable and recommended IEEE capacity ranges.

NEMA Enclosure Type

Despite the price, we were again concerned with the fact that Leviton 51120-1 features enclosure type 1.

What this means is this suppressor is plainly for indoor usage and will is not effective at blocking some of the external components such as water, dust, and dirt.

WHAT I LIKED

  • 50kA
  • Lightweight and compact
  • UL Certified

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Indoor use alone

5. Eaton BRSURGE Br Series

A budget option, the core specifications of the Eaton BRSURGE Br Series, are nominally sufficient and will help to protect your appliances.

Quick Summary

  • Surge Current Capacity- 36,000 amps
  • Voltage-120/240V
  • Item Weight-9.6 ounces
  • Product Dimensions- 5 x 4 x 2 inches
Eaton BRSURGE Br Series Whole-Panel Surge Arrest Breaker

Though not a premium model, Eaton BRSURGE Br Series will ensure that your household is protected from the moderate surges of electricity.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Design

Overall, BRSURGE Br Series is built with space-saving in mind.

A compact and lightweight unit, BRSURGE Br Series, will only occupy two 1" spaces, therefore letting you use multiple units besides one another.

An easy to use surge protector, each of these units are designed to seamlessly plug in and remain stable, even when suppressing up to 36,000 amps of electricity.

Performance

For such a compact unit, you might wonder how it stands up to the electric surges.

Well, this unit leverages on the internal 2-pole thermal-magnet breaker that works alongside the slightly longer-than-average leads.

The combination of the leads and the magnet breaker ensures that your device is protected against the undesirable surges and that your appliances are protected all through.

Mode of Protection

Admittedly, we were disappointed to learn that Eaton uses two modes of protection.

However, the existing modes L-N and L-L are the most useful in a household, and users will find the surge protector quite handy in the protection quest.

Again, contrary to the regular surge protectors, Eaton has gone a step further to differentiate their VPRs. For instance, the manufacturer has placed more distance between the two modes, letting you choose a preferred setting, and this allows optimization of the BRSURGE Br Series performance.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Compact
  • 36kA protection
  • Budget option

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Only two modes of protection

6. Siemens FS100

Siemens FS100 is yet another incredible surge protector from Siemens, and the presence of a second unit from the same manufacturer goes ahead to underline the superiority of this brand.

Expectedly, this unit comes with a slew of desirable features that will go a long way to guarantee the safety of your household appliances.

Quick Summary

  • Voltage- 120/240V
  • Item Weight-2.3 pounds
  • Product Dimensions-10 x 6 x 4 inches
Siemens FS100 Protection Device Whole House Surge Protector

Though Siemens FS100 is relatively inexpensive compared to the Siemens FS140, it has plenty of common grounds with the premium model.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

3 Stage Commercial Grade Notifications

Like the FS14, this suppressor comes with a fault indication.

Usually, the fault indication, which is manifested through a red flashing light, an audible sound, and alarm, is an indicator that FS100 did its job on a surge hit, and it needs replacement.

This way, you can never fail to notice when your protector needs a replacement, and this ensures that your appliances will always be protected against voltage spikes.

Versatile

Versatility at its best, Siemens FS100 is compatible with any breaker and can accommodate various load centers.

The versatility of this unit is further underlined by the fact that it is effective at protecting both the commercial as well as residential households.

Performance

This surge suppressor is a Type 2 protected, and it’s UL listed for safety.

Further, this surge protector comes with an enclosure rated for type 4 outdoor, meaning it can either be installed outdoor or even inside the load center.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Versatile and can be used for both residential and commercial purposes
  • Can be installed either indoors or outdoors
  • Compatible with any breaker

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Does not counteract low voltage

7. Intermatic Smart Guard IG2240 

Intermatic Smart Guard IG2240 is a premium whole house surge protector that utilizes the latest technology to deliver optimum performance.

Quick Summary

  • Surge Current Capacity-100kA
  • Voltage-120/240V
  • Item Weight-7 pounds
  • Product Dimensions:-10.75 x 3.75 x 10 in
Intermatic Smart Guard IG2240-IMSK Whole Home Surge Protector

Boasting of TPMOV surge protection technology, this unit will exceed your performance expectations by far.

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Maximum Continuous Operating Voltage

Despite its appearance, this surge suppressor packs a punch, especially when it comes to surge suppression capabilities.

Offering a decent performance, this whole house surge protector will provide you with industry-standard MCOVs across the four modes of protection, including L-N/ N-Gand L-G/ L-N protection.

TPMOV Surge Protection Technology

At the core of this surge suppressor is the world-class TPMOV technology that allows individual modules within the unit to be replaced safely in the event of a power surge.

Speaking of modules, this unit boasts of a proprietary “iModule” system that is easy to use and will let beginners manage Type 1 or Type 2 installation with ease.

Further, the built-in module switch lets you replace the modules without risking a painful shock.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Performance-oriented
  • Easy to install

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Does not protect against direct lightning strikes

8. EATON CHSPT2ULTRA

Eaton needs no introduction; the popularity of this brand has been on the rise, especially when it comes to surge protection devices.

EATON CHSPT2ULTRA is one of the EATON offerings, and expectedly, it’s a reliable unit that will provide your entire household with solid protection.

Quick Summary

  • Surge Current Capacity-108kA
  • Voltage-120V / 240V
  • Item Weight-1 pound
  • Product Dimensions- 2.38 x 5.25 x 7.5 in
EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection

Already at its 3rd generation, this unit brings new levels of performance, innovation, and features.

Here is what this unit has to offer;

WHY IS THIS A TOP PICK?

Maximum Surge Current Capacity (MSCC)

The standard requirement for whole-house surge protection is set at 30,000 amps.

Eaton, however, exceeds this capacity by far as it comes with a whopping 108kA.

It's by far the largest metric we've come across, and with such a capacity, this surge protector will block a couple more surges than what the standard surge protectors block.

Modes of Protection

For comprehensive household protection, surge protectors must come with four modes of protection.

Fortunately, the Eaton surge protector tick on all the boxes as it includes the four critical modes of protection, which include:

  • L-N
  • L-G
  • L-L
  • N-G

Short Circuit Current Rating

Eaton Chspt2ultra comes with a decent 22kA SCCR.

This is a good metric because the currents emitted from the short circuit are never as high as those from power spikes.

NEMA Enclosure Type 4

As you're already aware, NEMA Type 4 enclosures are the best in the industry, and having this on the Eaton means that your suppressor is protected against dirt, water, dust, and other debris.

This makes this unit an ideal choice for use both indoors as well as outdoor.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Easy to install
  • Light and compact
  • Upgraded performance
  • Lifetime warranty

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • Requires additional phone and cable add-on modules

Whole House Surge Protector Buying Guide

Choosing a whole house surge protector is quite challenging.

After all, surge protectors are available in different forms, come with varied specifications, and offer different features.

Fortunately, we've compiled a buying guide below, and hopefully, this should let you make a more informed choice in your next purchase.

Before we look at the factors to consider when purchasing a whole house surge protector, let’s look at the types of surge protectors in the market.

3 Common Types of Surge Protectors

Whole house surge protectors are available in various forms, and the three popular types are:

Type 1

Type 1 surge protectors usually offer protection of up to 80% of all the external voltages surges.

The external surges may be as a result of natural phenomena such as lightning strikes, grid accidents, power grid maintenance, and so.

Typically, Type 1 surge protectors are installed between your power meter and power utility pole.

They act as the first line of defense against the catastrophic power spike that would otherwise come rushing your household whenever voltage fluctuations arising from the external sources.

 In most cases, type 1 surge protectors are installed by your provider, and it's not something that household owners need to worry about. 

Type 2

Type 2 surge protectors are usually set up at the breaker panel in the house.

Most of the surge protectors on our list are type 2 protectors and are typically wired directly to a dual-pole breaker in your main breaker.

Unlike a Type 1 protector, Type 2 protectors will protect your household appliances against the internal surges that originate from within the house.

Type 3

Type 3 protectors are the last line of defense, used at the point of contact. In most cases, they are manifested in the form of power strips that users plug all their electrical devices into.

It’s a standalone SPD that will only protect the electrical device sit’s plugged into and will not protect everything at home except for those connected to its power outlets.

Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Whole House Surge Protector

Buy the Right Number of Ports

A critical consideration when investing in a surge protector is determining the number of outlets.

Ideally, the number of ports should be sufficient enough to protect all your household equipment.

This number should not necessarily correspond to the number of appliances you can plug in because many of the appliances usually feature oversized power outlets that can block adjacent outlets.

Again, some of this unit is designed with a large plugin and will let you offset them from their outlets.

Whatever design you choose to go with, you must ensure the surges have an appropriate number of outlets for all your appliances and enough space for accommodating the oversize power adapters.

Consider the Nature of your Appliances

The second factor to consider is to determine th nature of the appliances that you plan on plugging into the surge protector.

Sure, you can just go all out and purchase the most expensive protector in the market, but it would be of little to no use if it doesn't match the requirements of your appliances.

For instance, a home theater entertainment system will require a more robust surge protector as opposed to that of the charger or lamp.'

Check for UL Seal

 It’s always crucial that you ensure your surge protector is certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories and that it at least meets the UL 1449 standards.

The above certifications guarantee protection against voltage spike and that it will protect the equipment you plug it into.

Energy Absorption Rating

The absorption rating refers to the amount of energy a surge protector can take in before needing replacement.

For a regular household, you would want a surge protector rating of at least 6-700 joules, but the higher the rating, the better.

Besides the energy absorption rating, you also need to consider the clamping voltage.

Clamping voltage is the surge required to trigger surge protector before it starts absorbing energy.

Ideally, you should look for a surge protector with a clamping voltage of around 400 V or less.

You also need to consider the response time and see whether it’s listed on the surge protector. Ideally, the lower the response time, the better and more effective the surge protector is.

Battery Backups – UPS

Some of the premium models usually come with a built-in battery that prevents your appliances from losing power in case of a power interruption.

This device, also known as an Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS), is ideally used for devices that store important information such as computers.

When the power goes off, the UPS acts as a standby backup power source, giving you ample time to shut down your computers safely.

Price and Warranty

Finally, it’s always a good idea to check on the price of the surge protector.

While most of the surge protectors are not expensive, there exists a significant disparity in the prices, with some models costing a couple of hundred dollars.

The key is to choose a model that you can afford, and more importantly, one that is within your budget range.

Besides pricing, it’s always a good idea to check on the warranty and see what is covered and how you can file a warranty in case your surge protector doesn’t work as expected.

Conclusion

Whole house surge protectors are critical components in any household and will play a crucial role in preserving the integrity of your appliances.

By providing a blockade against the voltage spikes, you can be assured that your appliances will always be safe.

And now that you have a list of the best surge protectors in the market, you should have no reason to worry about the safety of your appliances.

David Hughes
 

Hey, I’m David Hughes - a free spirit with a passion for power tools blogging. With more than a decade in the construction field, my mission is to help the everyday workers realize their dream by sharing on creative ideas, tips, and reviewing products.

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