How to Protect Your TV From Lightning

How to Protect Your TV and Other Expensive Electronics from Lightning and Power Surges

How to Protect Your TV From Lightning

Your television is expensive and it's important to protect it from lightning and other common electrical enemies like voltage sags, and voltage surges. But you also most likely own other expensive appliances which are also easily damaged. These include your Heat Pump, Refrigerator, Washer and Dryer, Microwave, and more.

A lightning strike can release 30 million to 1000 million volts. And sensitive electronic appliances, computers, TVs, streaming and television equipment, or any other household gadgets are no match for a transient voltage surge hit by lightning.

There are two levels of surge protection you can use for protecting your home. You will need to do a self-risk assessment of all your electronic equipment. This will help to determine what your needs are for your particular application.

Level One Surge Protection

Whole House Surge Protection

Level One Surge Protection will protect any equipment or appliances like a Dryer or Heat Pump that runs on 220-volts. Typically, this consists of hard-wired equipment. Or it may have a plug that uses a much larger outlet than the typical 120-volt wall outlet used for television, computer, or other household small appliances.

You can add level one surge protection that will protect sensitive electronic equipment by having an electrician add a 30 amp dedicate double pole breaker. Installed inside your main electrical panel with a panel wired surge protector attached.

Be Careful! Even though they may often refer to this type of protection as a "Whole House Surge Protector." It's still not a replacement for Level Two Surge Protection. Electrical spikes or voltage surges caused by lightning can enter your home by a cable TV, or telephone wire. And while this will protect you from spikes caused by the power grid, it still may not fully protect your home from lightning.

Level Two Surge Protection

Level Two devices a cord strips that plug into 120V electrical outlets. They usually contain 4 - 6 outlets to plug electronics or other appliances into. These devices are then further protected. The higher quality units have outlets for Network data and cable TV cables. Protecting multiple levels of equipment from costly voltage spikes.

These surge protectors as they are often called can be found in most department stores or found online like this Panamax M4300-PM Home Theater Power Management 9-Outlet Surge Protector model which you can find some fantastic deals on eBay. Make sure that whichever type of surge protector you buy, it has a “Type 3, UL 1449” listing.

While owning these devices won't guarantee everything would survive a direct lightning strike. It is cheap insurance that's certainly better than nothing to protect sensitive electronics. Some companies offer thousands of dollars of free insurance when you buy their device. Read the small print, and see what is covered and how to submit a claim.

For items like computers or NAS boxes that you would typically leave running all the time, a UPS contains the same surge protection, with the addition of batteries that will keep your devices running for a short period of time until they can be safely shutdown.