Protecting Your Electronics Protecting Your Home

The 2020 National Electrical Code now requires Surge Protective Devices in new or renovated homes. Learn how these devices protect your home and your electronics.

What is a Surge?

A power surge is a brief overvoltage event that can damage electrical devices and is a common cause for the failure of electrical equipment. Surges can damage and reduce the lifespan of:

  • Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
  • Washers and Dryers
  • Water Heaters
  • Ranges & Refrigerators
  • Lighting
  • Entertainment Systems


According to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the average home has $15,000 worth of equipment that can be damaged by surges.

Common Causes of Surge:
It is estimated that 80% of surges are caused by internal sources

Internal Sources:

  • Large appliances turning on / off
  • Faulty wiring or loose connections
  • Overloaded circuits, short circuits, or ground faults
  • Power recovery


External Sources:

  • Lightning
  • Damage to power lines
  • Utility power grid switching


NEW 2020 National Electrical Code Requirements
All new and renovated homes are required to be protected by Listed and Approved Type 1 or Type 2 Surge Protective Devices.

Type 1:
Permanently connected Surge Protective Device.  Protects against external and internal surges. May be installed inside or outside the home.

Type 2:
Permanently connected Surge Protective Device installed in, or next to, breaker box. Protects again internal or external surges.

Type 3:
Extra protection. Point-of-use Surge Protective Device. Must be used in conjunction with Type 1 or Type 2 SPD to meet 2020 code requirements.

Use Type 1, 2, and 3 SPDs for the best level of protection.