So over the last year, I've been adding smart bulbs and switches to my house and these devices are designed to have power on them all the time. Recently I've started thinking about how much money will go down the drain and how much work I will have to do if a surge or nearby lightning strike takes them all out. I've been doing some research and I think I am going to install a whole-house surge protector. The one I am looking at is at the link below. Does anyone have experiences using whole house surge protectors... good or bad they would like to share?

I have this one on my main panel:

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I go this route instead as it does the same purpose and the company provides a hefty warranty if items do get damaged by surge. But the main purpose is it provides the ability to use a generator to power the whole house, without having to have an electrician re-wire the panel box and add interlocks, etc.

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That's very nice. Unfortunately, my utility doesn't permit it. I had to wire in a manual transfer panel. This would have made life so much easier.

Really? That's odd, it's literally much safer and yes much easier. Took 5 minutes for the utility company to install (for free) to have the ability to connect a whole house generator.

Good price right now too. Great suggestion

Entergy Louisiana is the most back-asswards utility out there.

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My utility company allows those meter base ones, but only if you buy from them, have them install it, and you get the bonus of having to pay a monthly fee called a "protection plan" that covers damaged household items. It was outrageously priced and the fees were many times more than just adding homeowners insurance coverage.

Instead, I added a Square D/Schneider Electric whole house surge to my panel when I wired for the generator auto transfer switch.

Check with your utility company. They may offer one at a discount. As an example my utility company offers a whole house surge protector that they install and it only costs me $5 a month add to my bill. Long run it's expensive, short term it's cheap and I don't have to deal with 3rd parties doing install etc. On top of that my utility company offers "surge insurance" up to $10K for $6/month. Add those together and with their surge protection I'm covered nicely and they can't argue/fight the claim from damage as it's their surge suppressor they installed.

Ya that does add up in the long run. That was the other selling point of that meter mounted transfer switch that I posted above, in the even that I move somewhere else. I simply call up the utility company and have them remove it from the meter upon disconnect then call again to have it reinstalled at the new residence allowing for a generator transfer switch with surge protection for life at comparable install costs to other transfer switch methods short run and zero cost long run.

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I went digging through my email from 2012 to find the one where they responded to my request to have a GenerLink 40A meter transfer switch added. Here's what was in it:

2.6 Lightning and Other Surge Protection
Surge arrester protection is recommended by the Company. Customer surge protection equipment shall be installed behind the meter, past the disconnect, and not be connected to:

  • meter sockets
  • service drop conductors
  • service entrance conductors

Customers installing surge arresters should consult applicable codes, a licensed, professional engineer or electrician, or the manufacturer of protective equipment. Refer to §16 for Power Quality Parameters for Customer Equipment Specifications and Entergy’s Power Quality Standard for Electric Service.

It seems ludicrous that they recommend the use of an SPD, but don't permit installation of a Type 1 SPD at the meter. Someone told me its because they're wary of power theft.

I wonder, that appears to be just a blanket policy reply, for general device installs. It seems to maybe be outdated as these meter mounted devices are designed for that connection, most power companies accept them as they are "safety certified" (insert accredited government agency here).

Not to mention (especially here in rural areas) this device eliminates the possibility of any DIY'er INCORRECTLY installing a transfer switch and back feeding electricity from their generator to the grid. Which usually makes power companies happy.

I do remember when I placed my order on home depot's website, I had to provide my phone number. and like within a day Generalink actually called me as they wanted to know the particular generator I was using (or going to use) and my power company provider to verify compatibility before they would ship the order.

They would be correct, that is the only reason I could see this kind of blanket policy to prevent homeowner "access" to the meter sockets. My neighbor just retired from a power company he said they've came across people pulling their meter off for most of the month and using automobile jumper cables to connect the meter lugs stealing unmetered power. Now we have smart meters so they can't do that as the power company knows instantly when your meter isn't running.

We're getting newf meters this year. I'm going to check with the installers.

I'm sure you could probably call generalinks customer service and ask, they would know if anyone using your power provider has them already on.