Surge Protection Frequently Asked Questions
Only single family homes in UI territory with 200 Amp electric service or less are eligible for Shield&Connect plans. In addition, customers with other electric service restrictions, damaged provisions, with homes using solar power, mobile homes or homes without three-pronged grounded outlets are not eligible.
No. Customers are required to own or purchase a compatible portable generator.
Shield&Connect devices are designed to work with portable generators that are temporarily connected to a home and provide a maximum continuous power output of up to 8500 watts or 30 amps. View full list of compatible generators (PDF).
During a power outage, Shield&Connect devices allow you to select the combination of loads you want to operate by simply switching breakers in the household circuit panel. You’ll need to purchase a generator that is powerful enough to run the largest appliances and motors you need during a power outage. You may run other loads in your house by simply turning off the breaker to large usage loads.
To determine what loads you can support with a portable generator, you must look at both the "running watt" and the "starting watt" requirements of the appliances you want to operate. In most instances, you will want to purchase a generator with a continuous rating of 4400 watts to 8500 watts.
If any covered home appliances or electronics are damaged by a power surge due to the failure of any Shield&Connect surge protection device, you are reimbursed for repair or market value replacement up to the preset warranty limits. See the Warranty Claim Procedures (PDF) for more information on specific coverage and limits.
Most major appliances are covered, including refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, washers, dryers and central heating/cooling equipment. Home electronics that are plugged into our advanced plug-in surge suppressors are also covered.
Yes. All multi and single outlet surge suppressors included in the Advanced Plug-in Surge Suppressors kit can be ordered online or by calling toll-free 877.44.SURGE.
Power Surges occur when there are sudden powerful increases in the electrical system routinely ranging from 100 to 6,000 volts. There are many causes of surges including lightning, trees, birds or other animals interfering with power lines, auto accidents involving utility poles and the turning on and off of large industrial pumps and motors. These causes account for approximately 35% of all surges.
Surges can also be caused right inside the home by a refrigerator, HVAC system and well pump motors switching on and off and many other factors that can result in momentary surges. These causes account for approximately 65% of all surges.
Regardless of the cause, power surges can occur on AC power lines, cable, and telephone or data lines. Power surges are a common, everyday occurrence, and not a one time "event". Surge damage can happen all at once or slowly, over time.
Any level of power disturbance, however small, can cause interruption or damage to the microprocessors in the sensitive electronics and appliances found in the home.
Low-level surges can cause stress on the circuits of your sensitive electronics, leading to early failure. This reoccurrence of low-level surges is often called electronic rust. High-level surges can result in immediate destruction of expensive circuitry. It is the surges that normally last less than one millisecond (0.001 second) that can damage or destroy household appliances and electronic equipment.
These power disturbances can damage almost any electronic device you own, not just your computer. Sensitive electronic equipment such as TVs, DVD players, surround sound receivers, video games, even microwaves and other appliances are all at risk. And the average cost of household damages caused by power surges can exceed $1,000 in repairs or replacement!
The diagram below shows the things that are likely to get damaged by an electrical power surge and how much it could typically cost to replace or repair these items. How would you cope if it happened to you? With UI's Shield&Connect, you won't have to worry about it.
How do I protect all these devices?
Any product that plugs into a wall outlet can easily be protected with a plug-strip or wall-mount surge protector. Larger devices such as appliances and "direct wired" equipment can be protected by a service entrance surge arrestor like those supplied through UI's Shield&Connect.
A meter-based surge arrestor is installed directly behind the electric meter to stop power surges right at the point where electricity enters your home. While this sounds complicated and costly, it is actually quite simple and surprisingly inexpensive in consideration of the amount of protection provided. This is also an excellent way of improving the overall protection of the point-of-use protectors.
By eliminating the bulk of the power surge at the service entrance, the plug-in surge protectors at the outlet are able to do a better job and eliminate more of the disturbance.
For more information, click here to read "Surges Happen: How to Protect the Appliances in Your Home".
A surge protector is simply a power diverter. It directs harmful power disturbances safely through a bypass path of least resistance to ground. A surge protector is designed to take in and handle high-voltage (surges) by delivering low clamping voltages combined with high surge-energy-handling capability.
Simply put - They take the "hit" from a high-voltage surge, let a safe and reasonable amount of voltage through and then send the rest to "ground".
There are many types of surge suppression devices. The Shield&Connect system is a dual-stage approach to surge protection, which includes a service entrance arrestor and an array of point-of-use secondary plug-in surge protectors.
The basic components of a surge protection system are:
- Grounding - this provides personal safety.
- Service Entrance Protection - which provides a "manageable" level of protection but offers electric line protection ONLY.
- Point-of-Use Protection - which provides a safe level of protection for sensitive electronics and appliances by protecting electric lines as well as telephone and cable/ satellite lines.
If you currently have a HomeGuard surge protection device attached to your meter but would like the option to connect your portable generator, we will need to replace your current equipment with a new Shield&Connect device. You will need to select either the Shield&Connect Ultimate or Premium plan and call us to set up an installation date.