How Much Does a Whole-House Surge Protector Cost?

Typical Range:

$70 - $700

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated October 21, 2022

Reviewed by Salvatore Cutrona, Angi Expert Review Board member and founder of Cutrona Electric, LLC, in Sherman, CT

Written by HomeAdvisor.

A whole-house surge protector costs on average $300, with a typical range between $70 and $700. Hiring a local electrician to install one of these devices ensures every device and appliance connected to your home's electrical system is protected from internal and external power surges, whether that's another appliance malfunctioning or a lightning strike.

“A whole-house surge protector is no doubt one of the best investments a homeowner should look into,” says Salvatore Cutrona, Angi Expert Review Board member and founder of Cutrona Electric, LLC, in Sherman, CT. “It is one of those safety items you don't think much about, but if you experience a damaging surge, you wish you had it.”

Average Cost to Install a Whole-House Surge Protector

Average Cost High Cost Low Cost
$300 $700 $70

Whole-House Surge Protector Prices

Whole-house surge protectors cost between $70 and $300, which includes parts and labor. While you may think power strips with surge protectors will keep your electronics from getting fried from a sudden power surge or a lightning strike, they only offer minor protection from low-level surges and only protect the few devices connected to the strip.

On the other hand, whole-house surge protectors do a better job of protecting from power surges because they're built to handle a huge jolt of electricity and can cover more entry points to the house. After all, the electricity may get through your phone or cable line and bypass a surge protector strip altogether.

Note: Most states don’t allow DIY electrical work, so you’ll need to hire a pro to handle the job safely and accurately. 

Whole-House Surge Protector Installation Costs

To meet local authority requirements, hire an electrician to install a surge protector. Electricians generally charge $50 to $100 per hour, and the installation may take a couple of hours. 

If this installation is part of a larger project to upgrade your home's electrical system, you may also want to factor in the cost of installing an uninterruptible power supply battery as a backup if your area is prone to power outages. Remember that a whole-house surge protector prevents power loss due to electrical surges in your home's circuits, but it doesn't offer any backup if you lose power due to a fault with the incoming electrical supply.

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Pros and Cons of Installing a Whole-House Surge Protector

If you're wondering whether a whole-house surge protector is worth it, you need to consider all of the pros and cons along with your home's electrical setup. 


The biggest advantage of installing a whole-home surge protector is that it protects your entire property against high-level power surges compared to strip protectors that only protect connected devices against low-level surges. For unprotected devices, even unnoticeable, low-level surges take a toll over time, with each surge causing a small amount of damage that accumulates and reduces the life span of your appliances. Additionally, a single high-level surge, like a lightning strike, can take out every appliance connected to your home's electrical network in one fell swoop. 

Installing a surge protector is also a relatively simple job for a qualified electrician. It only takes a short time, so the inconvenience and price are fairly minor compared to the cost and hassle of having all of your appliances replaced. It's also less expensive than the cost of installing a home lightning protection system that only guards against lightning strikes.

Lastly, surge protectors give you peace of mind, as they offer protection to the whole house, including hardwired items like HVAC units and your telephone line.


The one significant drawback of a whole-home surge protector is the cost. Compared to power strip surge protectors, which can cost as little as $10, installing a surge protector costs $300 on average. However, you also need to consider that power strip surge protectors can only protect the devices plugged into it, and you can't plug major appliances like your HVAC system or oven into a power strip since they're hardwired. 

Any device connected to the electrical system but not protected by a surge protector can be wrecked with a single surge event in your home, whether a lightning strike or an erratic voltage surge. This can potentially set you back many thousands of dollars. In this case, installing a whole-home surge protector may be a small price to pay to protect all of your expensive appliances and devices. 

Another drawback is the method of installation. Strip surge protectors work right out of the box. You need to plug them into an outlet and connect your devices. On the other hand, a whole-home system requires professional installation by a licensed electrician. This is a little inconvenient and costs more, but less so than replacing all of your appliances. 

DIY Installation vs. Hiring an Electrician

When dealing with electricity, trying to do it yourself is generally a bad idea unless you have experience doing this kind of work. All the electricity in your home runs through the electrical panel. While these are designed to shut down automatically if there’s a short or an overload of electricity, older panels may put you at risk.

As a result, surge protector manufacturers typically advise people to hire a professional. The cost of hiring a professional electrician to install the system is well worth it, not just because it avoids a safety risk but because it also ensures the job is done right. In many states, it's a legal requirement that all electrical work, including surge protector installation, be carried out by a suitably qualified, licensed electrician, in which case you can’t attempt the job yourself. If in doubt, check with your local authority.

Cost to Install a Whole-House Surge Protector Yourself

Since this project has you handling electricity, DIY work isn't advised unless you're already a licensed pro. Remember that most states require a licensed electrician to handle electrical work. If you can safely do the job yourself, the project cost is the surge protector plus any electrician's tools, including the following:

  • Screwdriver: $10–$20

  • Screws: $5–$10

  • Wire strippers: $10–$20

  • Electrical tape: $5–$10

  • Voltage detector: $10–$30

  • Flashlight: $5–$10

  • Two-pole breaker: $10–$20

It'll cost you about $55 to $120 to acquire the materials necessary to do the job. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I install a surge protector?

A surge protector makes a good lightning protection system and can protect your electronics from a far more common danger: other appliances in your home, which can suddenly "surge" and fry your other electronics. Refrigerators and AC motors are powerful and use a lot of electricity, and when they switch on and off, it can cause a big surge that can overwhelm your other electronics.

What brand of whole-house surge protector should I choose?

Some of the top surge protector brands include Eaton, Siemens, Leviton, and Intermatic, but there are other quality brands. The best option is to talk to your local electrician about which brands perform the best in their experience and what they can get the best prices on at the time of the installation. Going through your electrician rather than buying your own surge protector ensures you get the right system for your property.

How long does a whole-house surge protector last?

Whole-house surge protectors last two to three years. Even if you never experience a high-level power surge, your home will likely experience many tiny low-level surges that eventually wear out the surge protector. These surges are so small you'll probably never notice them, but they do take a toll on the surge protector. 

Will a whole-house surge protector really work?

Yes, whole-house surge protectors really work. A surge protector gets to work as soon as it's properly installed, protecting any electrical device or appliance connected from power surges, however big or small. They work against lightning strikes as well as surges from other appliances and the electrical grid, diverting excess current away from your electrical system and safely into the ground.

Where is a whole-house surge protector installed?

You install a whole-house surge protector on your property's electrical panel. It then detects surges in current, however small, and diverts the excess away before it reaches your home's electrical circuit. The excess is harmlessly diverted into the ground, where it dissipates, and the remainder travels safely into your home to continue powering your electronics.