A good whole house surge protector is essential to ensuring that you and your appliances are safe in the event of a power surge.
The best home surge protectors will be rated for indoor and outdoor use, are easy to install inside of any residential load center, and come with an extended manufacturer’s warranty.
On the other hand, a poor-quality surge protector is a safety incident just waiting to happen. Surge protectors are not something to go cheap on.
To help you separate the good from the bad – we’ve reviewed the Top 5 Whole House Surge Protectors of 2022. Buy with the confidence that you’re buying high-quality surge protection for your home.
We review the pros and cons of each whole house surge protector, its surge current rating, and whether it’s rated for Type 1, Type 2, or Type 3 use. Let’s dive straight into the reviews.
- Top 5 Best Whole House Surge Protectors
- Square D HEPD80 Whole House Surge Protector Review
- Siemens FS140 Whole House Surge Protector Review
- Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection Review
- Leviton 51120-1 Panel Protector
- Intermatic IG1240RC3 Whole House Surge Protector Review
- Whole House Surge Buying Guide
- What does a Surge Protector do?
- What should I look for when buying a surge suppressor?
- What are Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 Surge Protectors?
- How to install whole house surge protector?
- How does a surge protector work?
- Do all the surge protector devices come with manufacturer’s warranties?
- Do surge protectors work? Why don’t these devices last longer?
- Wrap up
Top 5 Best Whole House Surge Protectors
Preview Product Key Features Square D - HEPD80 Universal Whole House Surge Protection Device, 80kA,... CHECK PRICE Siemens FS140 Whole House Surge Protection , Gray CHECK PRICE EATON CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection 3rd Edition, 2.38" Length,... CHECK PRICE Leviton 51120-1 120/240 Volt Panel Protector, 4-Mode Protection, Light... CHECK PRICE Intermatic IG1240RC3 Whole Home Type-1 or 2 Surge Protection Device,Gray CHECK PRICE
- Equal protection to circuits and receptacles throughout home. Protects appliances/equipment that are not plugged into a surge strip
- Includes an LED indicator
- NEMA 4X rated for outdoor/indoor use, 80,000 amp Surge Current Rating, 25,000 amp SCCR. CSA and UL 1449 3rd Edition Type 1 SPD
Schneider Electric’s Square D HEPD80 provides excellent whole house surge protection at an amazing price. It is a Type 1 SPD (Surge Protection Device), and protects your whole home from lightning or utility-related surge events. The Square D comes is NEMA 4X rated for both indoor and outdoor usage (Note: The National Electrical Manufacturers Association [NEMA] provides rating standards for electrical enclosures. The higher the NEMA enclosure type, the better they are at keeping out dirt, water, and other elements).
The Square D HEPD80 has a massive 80,000 amps Surge Current Rating (SCR) along with a 25,000 amps Short Circuit Current Rating (SCCR). The surge protector is UL 1449 and CSA 3rd Edition Type 1 SPD approved as well. The Square D can be easily linked with any residential load center, and you can confirm that your house is protected from the surge by having a look at the LED indicator.
This surge protector is covered by a five year manufacturer warranty and a $75,000 connected equipment warranty for residential applications, which gives you the piece of mind that your home will be safe from any electrical surge issues. The Square D is very easy to install and provides superior performance. Its dimensions are 2.7-inch x 3.8-inch x 3.6-inch while the weight only weighing 2 pounds.
Overall the Square D HEPD80 whole house surge protector is an amazingly underpriced product. If you’re looking for an exceptional Type 1 whole house surge protector, the Square D HEPD80 is the product for you.
- Comes with a 5 year warranty and a $75,000 connected equipment warranty for residential applications.
- With a HUGE 80 kA Surge Current Rating, Square D HEPD80 utilize high-energy suppression circuitry to protect household equipment from internally and externally generated surges.
- Very easy to install
- NEMA Type 4X rating suitable for installing both indoors or outdoors
- Each of its Metal Oxide Varistors are fused individually with both thermal and overcurrent fusing.
- LED light indicates the current working status of the surge protector.
- The LED indicator is a bit too dim
The Square D HEPD80 whole house surge protector is easy to install, delivers exceptional performance, and has been quality tested and approved. It has much to offer at a great price, and comes with a generous five year product warranty and $75,000 connected equipment warranty for residential applications. For this reason we believe the Square D HEPD80 is the best type 1 surge protector on the market, and is an excellent choice to surge-protect your home.
- FirstSurge Surge Protective Devices (SPDs) are Type 2 and UL / cUL 1449 listed, meeting designated protection requirements
- FirstSurge is constructed using our commercial grade NEMA 4X enclosure allowing for indoor or outdoor installations
- FirstSurge Pro provides 140,000 Amp of surge current capacity per phase
The Siemens FS140 is a fantastic whole house surge protector, and has been safety certified by the UL 1449. The Siemens FS140 comes with a huge ten-year warranty, and can take a maximum surge current of 20 kA.
Its enclosure is rated NEMA Type 4 for outdoor usage, making it a great purchase for home surge protection. The Siemens FS140 is also equipped with an alarm system as well as an integrated three-stage commercial grade notification system.
That said this surge suppressor is ideal for both business and residential purposes. This Surge Protection Device (SPD) from Siemens is compatible with any branded breaker or load center. It weighs just over 2.5 lbs, and the dimensions are 6-inch x 10-inch x 4-inch.
Although a little pricer than some alternatives, the Siemens FS140 is an excellent purchase for those looking for a premium product to protect their home from surges. It offers Type 2 indoor surge protection or Type 4 outdoor surge protection which is second to none.
- Massive 10 year warranty
- Massive 20kA surge current protection rating
- The Type 2 indooor surge protector device, with UL 1449 safety certification.
- Enclosure rated for NEMA Type 4 outdoor protection, and can also be installed inside the load center
- Get 3 stage commercial grade notification for your commercial or residential applications
- Compatible with any brand of load center and breakers
- Gives both visual and audible alerts in the case of any issues.
- Slightly pricier than alternatives
The device from Siemens function well but the size is too big. The good thing is it can be used on the outdoors, and you can use a conduit with the device and in that case size doesn’t matter. The device can be used anywhere and is equipped with some mortification mechanisms to alert regarding a power surge.
- Universally connects to any manufacturer’s load center (breaker box)
- Easy to use
- High quality product
The Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA Ultimate Surge Protection is an excellent value buy, and even comes with its own mounting panel. The Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA surge protector is a Type 2 SPD and is rated NEMA 4X for both indoor and outdoor use.
It has a massive 108kA maximum surge current capacity and 22kA short circuit current rating. It is safety UL safety certified under the UL 1449 3rd Edition.
- It has an operating voltage of 150V L-N (Line to Neutral) or 300V L-L (Line to Line)
- Operating temperate of -40 to 50 °C
- Voltage Protective Rating (VPR) L-N: 600V / L-L: 1000V / N-G: 800V (Neutral to Ground) / L-G: 600V (Line to Ground)
- Dimensions 2.4-inch x 5.2-inch x 7.5-inch with a weight of 1 pound
Overall the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA is a high-quality type 2 whole house surge protector and a fantastic choice for surge-protecting your home.
- Fantastic low price
- Type 2 SPD with added mounting panel.
- The product is UL approved and has NEMA 4X rating.
- Universally connects to any manufacturer’s load center (breaker box)
- High Surge Current Capacity and Short Circuit Current Capacity
- It’s supplied cable is not too long for various applications.
The Ultimate Surge Protection offers excellent value for money. It is quality assured product and provides excellent whole-house surge protection. If you’re looking for a low cost type 2 surge protector for your home, the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA is a fantastic choice.
- 120/240V Single Phase Panel Mount Surge Protective Device, 4-Mode Protection, 50kA Max Surge Current Rating, NEMA 1 Enclosure, UL 1449 4th Edition Type 2
- Type 2 Single Phase Surge Panel with 4-Mode Protection
- Real-time diagnostic visual indicator shows power and suppression status for each protected phase
The Panel Protector from Leviton is of 120/240V capacity and comes with 4-Mode protection. The metal box comes with a real time visual indicator for diagnosis of suppression and power status of all the phases. The metal enclosure of the device is a standard J-Box.
The whole house surge protector is fully compatible with Decora Home Controls, and it comes with a ten-year lifetime warranty as well. The device is designed to divert the high voltage or energy away from the sensitive equipment within the household and it ideally suitable for apartments, homes as well as services entrances.
The device can also work well in the small scale commercial buildings. This surge protector is highly compatible and very simple to install. The product dimensions are 14.4-inch x 8.4-inch x 6.9-inch, and it weighs 4.7 pounds.
- The surge protector device comes with 4-Mode protection and 120/240V protector for panels.
- The device comes with ten years warranty.
- The steel box keeps it far more durable than any other device of this category.
- The visual indicator shows the suppression and current status of all the phases that are protected by this instrument.
- The unit is specifically designed for indoor use only.
- Slightly expensive because of the metal design.
The product is built to last long. For this reason, you can expect the price to be slightly higher than the previous products. However, if you are looking for a surge protector that protects your house indoors, then this is the ideal device for you as you can keep all your appliances and equipment safe from many power surges.
Leviton is a reputable company, and has made a serious effort to make a durable whole home surge protector. They have a solid reputation for making high-quality products (making one of the best light switch timer and wall outlets with USB on the market). Overall this makes the Leviton 51120-1 Panel Protector a great buy for those who want an extremely high-quality surge protector and don’t mind the higher price.
The Panel Guard from Intermatic is also a type 2 whole house surge protector and has a greater capacity as compared to the various plug-in strips. You can install it on 120/240V panels and singles as well. It also has a green light indicator to notify when a surge strikes. The best part about this surge device is if you need some wires to work with then this device comes with four different 12 gauge leads all 30-inch in size.
The device is CSA listed and has NEMA 3R rating. It is also made of plastic and only weighs around 2 pounds. The dimensions of this surge protector are 6.5-inch x 8.3-inch x 8-inch. In case you have any issue with this surge protector than the product from Intermatic is cover by five years of warranty as well. However, make sure that the green light stays on because it indicates that the device is working properly.
- The whole house surge protector from Intermatic is a type 2 device that has better capacity than the regular plug-ins.
- It also comes with permanent mounting feet.
- The device comes with four 30-inch long 12 gauge wires as well.
- The product is quality assured by CSA and NEMA as well.
- For some people, the quality of this device might be cheap, but it goes well with the price.
- NEMA ratings are low as compared to other devices as well.
This device is developed to provide essential features, and it does that pretty well at the prevailing price.
Whole House Surge Buying Guide
What does a Surge Protector do?
A Surge Protector is a device designed to control high-speed, high voltage transients or surges that are common in electrical systems. Voltage transients, both large or small, can degrade electrical equipment instantly or will degrade the components on the circuit boards over time, resulting in shorter life expectancies of electrical equipment. Surge Protectors act as an insurance policy against electrical transients caused by voltage surges generated within the home, lightning surges, and utility-related surge events.
Whole house surge protectors act as the first line of defence when lightning or utility-related surge events occur outside of your home. The next line of defence are surge protectors that exist at the power points within your home, such as a surge protector for washing machines or a surge protector for refrigerators.
What should I look for when buying a surge suppressor?
There are two components that you must look for when buying a surge suppressor or surge protector device. These two elements are safety and performance. When it comes to safety, you must look for the individual suppression circuit must be fused to remove MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor) that is inoperative in case an extreme event occurs. It must also provide over current protection when the suppressor is in faulty condition. Regarding performance, you must look for the clamping voltage and the surge current capacity.
What are Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 Surge Protectors?
Type 1 surge protectors are the first line of defense against the surges from the grids, and are designed for use at the origin of the electrical installation in the main switchboard or for high risk areas that are at risk of a direct lightning strike. Type 1 surge protection devices (SPDs) discharge very high currents to earth, providing the best possible peak voltage protection to the installation.
Type 1 surge protectors are ideal in situations where the occurrence of the direct lightning strike to the overhead lines between the last pole and the entrance of the installation is to be taken into consideration, or where the structure is equipped with lightning rods.
Type 2 surge protectors are fitted on the branch panels or the breaker panels, and are also known as the panel protector. Type 2 surge protectors are generally designed for:
- distribution switch board located downstream from a Type 1 surge protector
- to protect against switching overvoltages
- at the origin of the electrical installation in the main switchboard, in areas where electromagnetic fields caused by lightning currents are dominant (excluding a direct strike)
Type 2 SPDs discharge high currents to earth, preventing the spread of medium overvoltages in the electrical installation and protecting equipment that is connected to it.
Type 3 surge protectors are the surge strips or the backups for batteries. Type 3 SPDs are always installed downstream of a Type 2 SPDs. They are designed to protect sensitive equipment or equipment located more than 20m downstream of a Type 2 SPD.
How to install whole house surge protector?
There are a few simple steps that you need to consider. First turn off the electricity from the main board and then remove the front of the panel which will expose the circuit breakers. After that remove the knockout plug from the side and install the surge protector. It is better to have a professional handle this task for added safety and accuracy.
How does a surge protector work?
A surge protector is a device that keeps the appliances and electrical equipment in the house out of the harm’s way. The harm’s way we are referring to is the spikes in voltage. The surge protector limits the voltage that goes to an appliance or equipment. It is done by either blocking the current or shorting it to ground. The surge protector treats any voltage above the safe threshold in the same manner.
Do all the surge protector devices come with manufacturer’s warranties?
No, not all manufacturers’ provide this facility to their customers. However, those who give warranty, cover everything connected with the device. For instance, Belkin US offers warranty for every equipment connected to their device. You might not need it at all, but it is always a good decision having this warranty to keep everything on the safe side.
Do surge protectors work? Why don’t these devices last longer?
Yes, they do work, these devices are designed to take the hit from the energy burst and during the process protect the appliances and equipment in the home. If the whole house surge protector is working fine, then it means that there has been no energy spike of any kind. Otherwise, it would have taken the hit. It all depends on the time that has passed between the two waves, nothing else.
After assessing each of the above options, the winners turn out to be the Square D HEPD80 from Schneider Electric. This device is not only efficient but also checks other constituent parts like safety and performance. The protector can be used for both indoor and outdoor use. For this reason, we have ranked it at the top of our list of recommended whole house surge protectors.