Siemens FirstSurge Pro and Leviton 120-Volt/240-Volt Whole House Surge Protection Installation | KB Electric LLC
The team at KB Electric LLC performs many whole house surge protection installations. We recently did a whole house surge protector install with a Siemens FirstSurge Pro 140ka type 2 SPD (Surge Protection Device), which prompted this informational blog. Many of our surge protector installations, if not all, utilize the Leviton 120-Volt/240-Volt type 2 SPD. Both do the same job for protecting your home’s appliances and electronics from damage due to power surges entering the home from your utility lines. Let’s go over the features of each type 2 SPD to better understand which is the right choice of surge protector for your home, and why hiring a licensed and insured electrician is needed for any whole house surge protection installation.
FirstSurge Pro 140kA Whole House Surge Protection Device
The Siemens FirstSurge Pro 140kA is a type 2 SPD, meaning it is installed/mounted next to your main electrical panel. This type of SPD is another layer of protection next to your meter based (type 1) SPD that is installed onto your outside meter of your home. The FirstSurge Pro has a higher initial cost compared to the Leviton which we will discuss later, which factors into a higher installation cost for a licensed and insured electrician who is providing the device.
Key Features of the FirstSurge
- Provides 140,000 Amps of surge current for your standard residential 120/240V system.
- The FirstSurge can absorb 4700 joules, meaning it has a very high energy absorption rating that will protect a lot of electronics and appliances with a lot of data/sensitive data and/or expensive equipment (think gaming consoles, computers, etc.).
- Indoor and outdoor rated installation.
- Features a commercial-grade notification system to alert the homeowner in the event the surge protector stops working. When your FirstSurge is on and working properly, two green LED lights will be emitted. Once the device is no longer working, the two green LED lights will turn OFF, and a red flashing light will emit. The system will also use an audible alarm that will beep.
- Commercial-grade 3 stage notification system will also alert the homeowner of a neutral to ground fault in the electrical system. The green LED lights will stay lit, but the alarm will beep and a red light will flash.
- 10 year manufacturer warranty
Leviton 120-Volt/240-Volt Residential Whole House Surge Protector
The Leviton Whole House Surge Protector is our go-to surge protector we install for our customers. It is light in weight, installs next to your main electrical panel, and has a low price point compared to the Siemens FirstSurge. The low cost comes with a lower joule rating, with 3400, but that is still a substantial amount of energy absorption for the protection of residential home appliances and electronics. The Leviton doesn’t have a 3 stage notification system like the FirstSurge, which is also why the FirstSurge is higher in cost.
Key Features of the Leviton
- Indoor and outdoor rated installation.
- Provides 100,000 Amps of surge current for your standard residential 120/240V system.
- The Leviton can absorb 3400 joules.
- Two green LED light indicators that shows protection of 2 phases until there is no protection.
- 10 year manufacturer warranty.
Siemens FirstSurge or Leviton 120-Volt/240-Volt Whole House Surge Protector: Which One Should I Choose?
It all comes down to price and features when it comes to choosing the Siemens or the Leviton surge protector for your home. The initial cost of the FirstSurge is a little under four times higher than the Leviton (as of 8/24/23 via Home Depot’s website), but it also comes with a 3 stage notification system to alert you when the device no longer works and when the device detects ground to neutral faults. The FirstSurge also can absorb more joules (4700) vs the Leviton’s 3400 (both have a lot of energy absorption in general for a handful/variety of electronics and appliances). Lastly, the FirstSurge compared to the Leviton is rated for 140,000 amps of surge current, while the Leviton is rated for 100,000 amps.
In conclusion, the Leviton 120-Volt/240 Volt is easier on the wallet, but has a slightly lower joule and amperage rating, and doesn’t offer a 3-stage notification system.
Hiring A Licensed Electrician For Whole House Surge Protection Installation
No matter what brand of whole house surge protector you are looking for, it is crucial for a licensed and insured electrician to perform a whole house surge protection installation. Because electricians know the ins and outs of everything electrical, it is very important for an electrician to install a type 2 whole house surge protector. Electricians have the latest NEC (National Electrical Code) knowledge, the hands-on training and experience with installing surge protectors, and are equipped with the proper tools and equipment to perform a safe and efficient installation.
***In order for the warranty of the manufacturer who made the device (Siemens, Leviton, etc.) to be valid/binding, a qualified electrician must be the person who installed the device.*** Meaning, if there were ever an instance where the device was faulty (and not a faulty installation) and a surge destroyed your electronics/belongings, the manufacturer (Siemens, Leviton, etc.) won’t cover the cost of your damaged items if an electrician wasn’t the one to install the device.
Trust the guys at KB Electric LLC to install your new surge protector for your home. We provide whole house surge protection installation services for Montgomery County, Chester County, Bucks County, Berks County, and Delaware County, PA. Call us today for a consultation! (267) 467-3178