How to protect your home from an electrical surge

What are electrical surges, what can they do to my appliances & how do I make sure my home is protected? Our electrician Morris has the answers on surge protection.

How to protect your home from an electrical surge – video transcript

[0:04] Mick
So, Morris, you’re installing a whole home surge protection system into the switchboard. What does that exactly mean?

[0:11] Morris
Mick, what we’re doing is installing these surge protection devices down here. That’s going to cover the whole entire home and all your electronic appliances from any power surge. Conventionally the old sport plug in surge protectors like this used to plug these in and it would protect whatever’s plugged into it but that still leaves all of your expensive electronic equipment like solar, air conditioning, hot water, etc still at risk.

[0:30] Mick
Yeah, I remember people recommending these for computers when you’re first back in the day.
Okay, so what is it actually protecting it from?

[0:37] Morris
So it’ll protect against any indirect lightning strike or any power surge or similar event like that.

[0:41] Mick
Okay, and so how does it actually do that?

[0:44] Morris
So when it registers an over-voltage situation it’ll disperse all of that excess power down to ground instead of through your electronic equipment.

[0:50] Mick
Sounds great. It’s going to protect all my expensive appliances right through the home. And so what if I’m not here and there is an indirect lightning strike or there’s been a power surge? How do I know it’s still working?

[1:02] Morris
Good question Mick. So these little green indicator windows down here will tell you that they’re still in good working order. If they’re any other colour than green they’re bad and need to be replaced.

[1:09] Mick
Okay, green good, red bad, okay.

[1:12] Morris
Also, good practice would be to have your switchboard looked over every year by an electrician. That’s just going to ensure that your safety switches are working and your surge protection is in good working order.

[1:20] Mick
Yeah, okay great and I see this here, tell me about what that is.

[1:24] Morris
So this is just an Energex lock. We put this on the switchboard so that just means that only you, Energex and meter providers have access to your switchboard. Just stops anyone coming in and tinkering with it that shouldn’t be. A good thing to note as well, if you and your neighbour have the same lock, you can’t open his switchboard and he can’t open yours.

[1:39] Mick
Okay, so this is just for me, Energex and the metre readers. It means that no one can actually get in there and actually muck with my switchboard.
This beautiful switchboard that’s been done here. Okay, that sounds like a good idea.

[1:50] Morris
I’ll get that on there.

[1:51] Mick
Sounds good.