Frequently asked questions About power surge protection


Q.  What’s a power surge?
A.  Power surges are spikes in voltage.  They are very brief, usually lasting a millionth of a second. Power surges can vary in duration and magnitude, varying from a few hundred volts to several thousand volts.

Generally speaking, externally-generated power surges can be caused by electric utility equipment failures or lightning.  Utility equipment failures that cause temporary line overvoltage conditions include events such as power sources being brought back online after an outage, transformer damage, substation switching activity, downed wires, and car accidents involving utility poles. 

Q.  What is the Power Surge Protection Program?
A.  The Power Surge Protection Program is administered by American Water Resources (AWR).  The Program comes with the FREE installation of a state-of-the-art surge-blocking device to your home’s electrical circuit breaker panel by a local, qualified electrician that provides protection 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  The device blocks power surges from penetrating your home’s wiring and causing damage to plugged in electronics, appliances and heating and cooling systems.  In the unlikely event the surge-blocking device fails to block a power surge which subsequently causes damage, the Program offers an industry-leading repair/replacement warranty of $5,000 per item and $50,000 per occurrence.

Q.  What exactly does the Power Surge Protection Program protect?
A.  The Program is designed to prevent damage from occurring via the surge-blocking device.  But if the device ever fails to prevent surge-related damage, you’re protected.  The Program provides protection that will repair or replace any power-surge-damaged consumer electronics (computers, DVD players, television sets, printers, security cameras, and more), appliances (refrigerators, dishwashers, washers/dryers, water heaters, microwave ovens, and more) and HVAC systems (heating furnaces/boilers, central air conditioning units, and more).  With a protection amount of up to $5,000 per item/$50,000 per occurrence, the Power Surge Protection Program delivers maximum peace of mind!

Q.  Why should I enroll in the Power Surge Protection Program?
A. Externally-generated power surges are unpredictable, and can produce significant and immediate damage. For customers who enroll, AWR will deploy a local, certified professional electrical contractor to install a surge-blocking device directly hard-wired to your electrical circuit breaker panel for maximum protection.  Our state-of-the-art device protects against power surges that can enter the home through the electric line, providing customers with peace of mind that their home’s electronic equipment, appliances and HVAC systems are protected.

Q.  What happens after I enroll?
A.  You may enroll in the Power Surge Protection Program by calling us toll-free at 1-877-532-5723, by submitting our online enrollment form, or if you’ve received a mailer, by mailing us the enrollment form attached to the mail piece.  In all cases, one of our customer service representatives will need to speak to you on the phone to qualify eligibility and verify your home address for the installation.  If you enroll online or have a physical enrollment form to mail, we’ll call you back once your application is received.  If you call us on the phone to enroll, one of our friendly representatives will ask you the pertinent questions right then and there.

After the brief phone conversation, your information will be passed along to one of our independent qualified, local electrical contractors.  The contractor will call you to schedule the device installation appointment.   Once the contractor arrives, the installation process should take no longer than 30 minutes in most cases.  As soon as the surge blocking device is successfully installed, your coverage will begin immediately.   Our goal is to complete your installation within 2 weeks after your enrollment.

Q.  Where is the surge-blocking device installed and how long does it take?
A.  The surge-blocking device will be affixed to the wall and will be hard-wired directly into your home’s electrical circuit breaker panel by a local, licensed electrician.  In most cases the device will be surface mounted to the wall via two screws, but we may also flush-mount the device to the wall upon customer request.  The entire process generally takes approximately 30 minutes.

Q.  How long will the surge-blocking device last?
A.  The surge-blocking device will last a minimum of 15 years.  If the device ever fails to function, or outlives its useful life, we will replace it at no cost to you.

Q.  Who does the installation?
A.  AWR hires fully qualified, professional electrical contractors to install the surge-blocking device, and 100% stands behind their installation services.

Q.  Is there an installation charge?
A.  No, AWR provides the surge-blocking device and installation at no cost to you.

Q.  When does my protection begin?
A.  Your protection begins as soon as the surge-blocking device is installed.  Installation generally occurs in approximately 1-2 weeks from when you enroll in the Program.

Q.  If I already have plug-in surge protectors, do I need the Power Surge Protection Program?
A.  In a word, yes.  Our state-of-the-art surge blocking device is hard-wired into your electrical circuit breaker panel, and is designed to prevent power surges from penetrating your home’s wiring and reaching your electrical outlets.  Our surge blocking device can handle surges up to 100 times greater than plug-in suppressors.  In addition, plug-in surge protectors do not typically protect major motor-driven appliances, and most do not come with warranty protection.

Q.  Wouldn’t lightning rods work just as well?
A.  Devices such as lightning rods divert lighting strikes away from your home and into the ground.  A panel-based surge protector such as ours is designed to divert electrical surges within the electrical delivery system that could be caused by lightning strikes that are not in the immediate vicinity of your home.  Plus, there is no warranty with lightning rods.

Q.  Does the surge-blocking device protect against direct lightning strikes?
A.  In a word, no.  There is nothing that can protect against a direct lightning strike.  However, about 95% of lightning-related damage to customer equipment and appliances is from "indirect" lightning strikes.  Our state-of-the-art surge-blocking device is designed to prevent surge damage from indirect strikes.

Q.  How can I know if the surge-blocking device is working?
A.  The surge-blocking device has two red external light emitting diodes, or LEDs, that are visible at day or night.  The energy needed to keep these lights illuminated costs on average less than 15 cents per year.  When they are both on, the device is working.  If the lights are out, the device needs to be replaced.  If these lights are out, call us at 1-877-532-5723.

Q.  Does the warranty ever expire?
A.  No, the warranty protection is valid as long as the surge-blocking device is installed.  If the device ever fails to function, we will replace it at no cost to you.

Q.  How long must I remain enrolled in the Program?
A.  You can stay enrolled as long as or as short as you wish.  Upon cancellation, we will send an electrical contractor to retrieve the surge-blocking device.  You may terminate your program at any time, however there is a $50 device removal fee if you cancel within the first 2 years.

Q.  I want to file a claim because my electronic equipment or appliance(s) was affected by a power surge.  How do I do that?
A.  Simply call AWR at 1-877-532-5723 and we will take it from there. 

Q.  Will the Power Surge Protection Program prevent me from having to reset my clocks after power interruptions?
A.  No.  Our Program provides surge protection, not battery backup or prevention of momentary power outages.

Q.  Can the Power Surge Protection Program help me to conserve energy?
A.  No, surge protectors cannot conserve energy.  The FTC has warned internet marketers about making misleading claims of energy savings from surge protection devices.

Q.  Can I buy the surge-blocking device directly and install it myself?
A.  No.  The surge-blocking device we use leverages state-of-the-art technology that is only available commercially.  The device must be installed by a licensed contractor hired by AWR.

Q.  Can I get a discount on my homeowners insurance?
A.  Possibly, but you would need to check with your insurance carrier.

Q.  What doesn’t the Power Surge Protection Program protect from?
A.  Surges beyond the device’s capability (40,000 amps per phase), sustained over-voltages, open-neutrals, voltage sags (commonly known as brownouts) and momentary power outages.  Additionally, the device is designed to block power surges coming from the incoming electrical service lines, which is the most common source, but surges can also enter the home through other means such as via phone lines, cable lines and even plumbing pipes and these events are not covered.  In terms of warranty coverage, networked home theater systems, medical or life-saving equipment, well pumps, pool pumps, items in detached buildings, sprinkler systems, electrical fences, and computer data recovery expenses, are not covered.

Q.  Will it cause the voltage to rise in my house or will it create an electromagnetic field (EMF)?
A.  No.  The surge-blocking device is not a source of energy.  The device is passive and surge components are in parallel with the lines, not series.