Common Issues

March, 30 2022 Published by London and Area Chapter - By Don Burgess

Benefit of a Whole House Surge Protector

From the CCI Review 2021/2022-3 March 2022 issue of the CCI London Chapter

Our trouble started in the middle of the night with an ear piercing boom and a bright flash, which made you wonder if you should be heading to the basement to ride out the storm! Yes, we had a lightning strike that was so close that you didn’t have time to count micro seconds between the flash and the thunder. I got out of bed and did a quick walk around the house to check for fire and the electrical panel to make sure that everything was in order. It all LOOKED GOOD!!

In the morning, it was business as usual until I tried the garage door opener. The door went up, but regardless how many times I pressed the button, it would not go down. I thought that it was just something that was out of adjustment, so I called the repairman. After his inspection, he reported that a circuit board inside the unit had blown and with the age (approx. 11 years) parts may be hard to find. We opted for a new unit, at a cost of $600.00+. I chose not to report to the insurance, because with a $500.00 deductible on the policy, and a claim, your yearly premiums would rise, which would soon cancel any benefit.

Nearly a month had passed since the storm and I still thought that everything was fine and in working order. We have a floor heating system in the basement and with the warm Fall, didn’t require heat in the basement until now. I turned on the switch, nothing happened!! I called an electrician. On his inspection he found that a small fuse inside a controller had blown and that after a couple of days he could have it replaced. Cost, with service calls $160.00. Well, that was something that I could live with, because now everything is fine. WRONG!! Now, there is a thermostat that is not working. To order one on line, cost $200.00, if I did the installation.

I am now getting to the whole point of this article. After noticing the thermostat needing to be replaced, the electrician told me that if I installed a whole home surge protector that all the electronics in the home would be protected against any kind of surge, whether storm or company street repairs. Cost installed was $600.00. Many insurance companies will offer a discount on content insurance if you have one installed. When you think of the number of articles you have in the home that has electronics, it can be worth its weight in gold. Refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, computers, TV, phones and yes heating systems and garage door openers. The whole home surge protector is installed on your electrical panel and can be installed in a matter of minutes by an electrician without turning off your power. It even came with a ‘Mike Holmes’ endorsement.


Don Burgess an owner and a member of the Board of Directors of a vacant land condominium unit in St. Thomas. As a retiree, Don also volunteers in the community as a VON Driver. His experience as a farmer, salesperson, truck driver and Fire Prevention Officer provides value in the community.

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