Whole-house surge supressors


I'm in thunderstorm alley here in Northeast Kansas. We moved two years ago about 10 miles outside the city and last year during storm season we had a lot of "ghost" activity with our X10 modules. Lightning activity caused lights to turn on in the middle of the night and re-set many of my Lamplinc/Switchlinc modules back to factory defaults, and even fried a couple of the cheapy X10 wall switches I had.

We had our first good storm of the year last week and three Lamplinc modules on the same circuit all did their re-set thing. I don't want to spend my spring and summer reprogramming things every week this year so I'm looking at putting in a whole-house surge suppressor as a possible solution.

I've looked at these products at Smarthome:


Any feedback on these? Has anyone installed these for similar issues and had the problems disappear as a result?

I'm open to other products and vendors, the Smarthome links are just my starting point.

Thanks for any responses,



Active Member
I have the Panamax version. I didn't have problems prior to installing (we just moved in), but I installed it as "cheap insurance" for all the stuff I planned on installing. No problems since installing - but I have no idea if it's doing it's job or not... I just assume it is (both lights are still on).


Senior Member
I looked into this when I last moved. After speaking with two electricians, they both just recommended the $50 one that goes in the panel. I referenced these units but they did not seem to see any need for it.


Senior Member

The most popular one we sell the the Leviton one. Works pretty well and provides a areasonable amount of protection.


Active Member
I have a similar leviton unit (51120-PTC) . . . but it adds phone and cable protection as well . . . highy recommend it . . .

Pete C

I love my country, but fear my government.


Thanks for all the responses so far guys, seems mostly positive.

Martin, sent you an email.

Hey Pete, is that PTC model 2-way compliant? I have cable modem service and HDTV and occasionally purchase a movie through the PPV service on my cable box. I like the idea of having phone and cable protected too, though...



Active Member
I also live in NE Kansas and just wanted to point out that KCP&L will install whole house surge suppressor at the line for like $5 a month. That includes a pretty nice warranty package if anything is damaged.

If there was a $100 solution that was easy to install I would say go for it, but if you have to pay an electrician and the such, I am sure the payoff would be too long to justify not just using the power companies.

While we are talking about the power company, they will also give you a FREE $300 termostat for free, installed to help lower your bills. I am not taking this option because I want to interface to my little HA app, but for most people, it would be a good deal.

Definitly log onto KCP&L's web site and check out their options. Their reporting features are pretty nice too.



Active Member
several other whole house surge protector (TVSS) devices including mine which I bought from APC and installed myself were discussed on this thread. Its important to keep the lead lengths as short as possible on these things... Interestingly, square D makes one that installs as and looks just like a QO style double breaker.


Senior Member
ver0776 said:
I also live in NE Kansas and just wanted to point out that KCP&L will install whole house surge suppressor at the line for like $5 a month. That includes a pretty nice warranty package if anything is damaged.
Be sure to read the fine print on the warranty. I don't think you can count on a whole house unit as your only line of defense.

I put mine in primarily to protect hard-wired automation switches and major appliances while still using quality point-of-use surge devices for audio/video equipment, computers, and automation controllers. Monster makes some decent units for A/V stuff and Price Wheeler has a "Brick Wall" series mode protector that I use in front of Computer UPS units. For low voltage serial lines and such, be sure to use products based on avalanche diodes rather than MOVs.