CEC sells Surge Suppression Devices (SPDs) designed to help protect against damage by power surges to sensitive electronic equipment.
Surges are very brief increases (spikes) in voltage. Many people equate surges with lightning, but there are many other causes that many people don’t even recognize. From outside your home, brief surges can occur when a tree branch falls into a line or a car hits a power pole. Internal surges can occur when motors or pumps turn off or when you turn your vacuum cleaner on and off.
SPDs are like pressure safety valves on a boiler, which release dangerous excess pressure from the system. SPDs are installed across the power supply in parallel with the equipment to be protected. At normal operating voltages, the SPDs do not affect the system. When a transient voltage occurs, the SPD diverts the transient energy/current back to its source or ground. This helps to limit (clamp) the voltage amplitude to a safer level. After the transient is diverted the SPD should automatically reset back to its original state.
CEC sells the meter-base surge suppressor for $145 with a $25 installation fee. It’s a high-energy surge protection device that is installed directly behind the electric meter at your home. Power coming into your home runs through the meter-base protector, helping to make it the first stage of protection against power surges. For consumer safety and to ensure proper installation, CEC employees MUST install the service entrance SPD. As part of the installation process, CEC employees test the ground resistance to make sure that it is within the proper range. Generally the power to your home will be off for less than 15 minutes during the installation process.
Additional plug-in surge suppressors may be purchased by CEC members to install themselves on indoor electronics.
Here are some common questions and answers:
Will the meter-base SPD protect all of the equipment in your home? No, which is why the product manufacturer recommends layered protection. The meter-base protector, the first layer of protection, offers protection for major appliances such as dishwashers, washers, dryers, refrigerators, and freezers. While this is designed to cover the majority of power surge protection, a small portion of power surges can still pass through interior wiring, where they can damage sensitive electronics. For these sensitive electronics, CEC sells a second layer of protection with premium plug-in protectors, which are up to six times stronger than those found in retail stores.
Will the meter-base SPD protect your home from a direct lightning strike? No; however, the vast majority of lightning strikes you can hear or see, occur nearby your home. These strikes may send surges into your home through electrical, cable, tree roots, or phone lines. Surge protection equipment is designed to protect against these common surges. Service entrance protectors are NOT designed to protect your home from a direct lightning strike, but fortunately, the odds of lightning striking your home are low.
How do you know if the SPDs are working properly? Both the meter-base protector and plug-in protectors have indicator lights to let you know that they are functioning properly. Blinking clocks and DVD players are caused by power interruptions, not electrical surges. Surge protection equipment will not reduce or prevent power interruptions.
If you are interested in purchasing a meter-base surge suppressor, and/or other surge protection devices, a purchase form can be completed at the CEC main office in Sanford or at our branch office in Enterprise. Members can also complete and submit the form below and you will be contacted by a CEC representative for payment and to set up the installation if purchasing a meter-base SPD.
The SPDs have a limited warranty through the manufacturer. If a CEC member needs to file a claim, they should contact Patty S. Seay at 334-427-3508 for further details.