KCP&L Home Surge Protection
- What is an electrical surge?
- What causes surges?
- What is electronic rust?
- Do I really need surge protection?
- How does surge protection work?
- Can I tell if my surge protection is working?
- How is this different than lightning rods?
- Will Home Surge Protection guard against direct lightning strikes?
- Will surge protection save electricity?
- How do I protect against surges created internally?
- What is protected and what isn't?
- Will it keep my clocks from blinking?
- What happens if my Home Surge Protection is damaged?
- If it fails, will it disconnect power to the house?
- Can I tell if a surge has passed through the surge protector?
- Why doesn't KCP&L offer meter-based protection as part of their service?
- Is the surge protection program regulated by the State Public Utilities Commission?
- What does Home Surge Protection cost?
- What if I can't pay my bill?
- Can I buy a Home Surge Protection device direct and install it myself?
- When will the Home Surge Protection device be installed?
- Will I need to unplug equipment during installation?
- How is KCP&L's Surge Protection different that what I can purchase at a store?
- If I already have the Basic Surge Protection plan, can I upgrade my service?
- Is KCP&L's plug-in protector superior to others on the market?
Also referred to as "spikes," electrical surges are sudden, brief rises in voltage that enter your home. The damage they cause may not be noticeable at first. But over time, your equipment could start to malfunction.
They can happen anytime, and can be caused by a variety of reasons including trees that come into contact with power lines, severe weather and animals that get into electrical equipment.
Electronic rust is the decay or weakening of electronic components due to the cumulative effect of low level energy surges over time. Generally, this occurs in homes without adequate surge protection or to items that have been damaged and not replaced.
Without some type of surge protection, excess voltage goes into your appliances or anything plugged in and can cause damage. You may not notice damage at the time a surge occurs. However, over time it will shorten the life of your appliances.
Within any modern surge protection device is the Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV). An MOV is a round disk made up of metal particles suspended in a ceramic compound. The MOV begins to conduct electricity and allows the excess voltage to flow into the disk to the ground while safe levels of voltage continue to flow into the house or appliance.
Check your Surge Protection unit, which is located between your house and the meter. If you see a KCP&L label on your device, check for the following:
- A red light means it is working. If the light is off, then it is not working properly.
If you don't see a label on the unit, check for the following:
- Meter-Treater brand: Two green lights means it is working. If the lights are off, then it is not working properly.
- Eckstrom brand: A yellow or amber light means it is working. If you see a red light, then it is not working properly.
It's a good idea to check the lights periodically, especially following storms. This should be done in the evening because the lights might be hard to see in the daylight. If you believe the device is not working properly, please call KCP&L at 816-472-0432 to have your unit investigated.
Lightning rods do nothing more than divert lightning to the ground. Home Surge Protection creates a path for the excess voltage to go into the ground before allowing a safe voltage level to enter the house. In some cases, lightning rods without surge protection can cause surges to be induced into cable, telephone, electric and satellite wiring in your home, damaging equipment. Our level 2 plug-in suppressors also prevent this type of damage.
Nothing can protect your home from a direct lightning strike to your home, but the odds of a direct strike are very rare. The vast majority of lightning damage occurs from nearby lightning strikes, not from direct strikes. These nearby strikes can send surges into your home through cable, phone or electrical lines.
No, these devices protect against electrical surges only.
In addition to our Home Surge Protection, we recommend using additional surge protection power strips, extension cords and other similar devices that are designed to protect your appliances from internally caused surges. Plan participants receive a 15% discount on plug-in protectors for added coverage for sensitive electronics.
Home Surge Protection detects and blocks only those surges entering through your electric service line. All corded appliances and electronics are covered. Damage caused by direct lightning strikes is not covered. Surges entering through phone or cable lines must be blocked internally with plug-in a device.
No. It is not a source of energy so it has no effect on the normal flow of electricity into your house.
You should notify KCP&L at (816) 472-0432, and we will come out to replace it. Rest assured as long as your account is current, you are covered. If any of your appliances are damaged, you will be sent a damage claim form to fill out.
No. If the Home Surge Protection device fails it will no longer protect you from surges but your normal current will continue to serve your home.
No, you will not be able to tell if a surge has passed through the meter-based surge protector.
Despite many safeguards, power surges do occur. They occur for a variety of reasons, many of which are out of our control. To install and maintain Home Surge Protection for every customer would increase KCP&L's operating costs, in turn increasing the electric rates for every customer. Instead, we offer surge protection, as an affordable, optional service for those customers who choose it.
No, this program is not regulated by the Missouri Public Service Commission or the Kansas Corporation Commission. The surge protection program covers all of the operating and marketing expenses with its revenue. Ratepayer funds are not used for the program.
KCP&L has three different protection levels to meet any budget. The plans start at just $5.95 per month. For a list of all plans click here.
Payment is always applied to your monthly electric charges first and surge protection program last. Your account must be current to receive warranty coverage.
No. Installation is extremely dangerous and involves removing the electric meter. Power must be interrupted briefly therefore only trained, qualified personnel can install the device. In addition, the meter-based surge protector is serviced by KCP&L, so if it fails or has any other problems, we will replace it for you.
Once your order is received by KCP&L, the Home Surge Protection device will be installed within three to five weeks. It is not necessary to be at home when your device is installed. We will however, knock on the door to make sure you know we are there should you be home. If you are not home, we will leave a notice on your door to inform you that your device was installed.
No. It takes from two to 10 minutes to install your Home Surge Protection device to the outside electric meter on your home. The brief service interruption will not damage equipment, but you may want to save PC data files in advance and expect to reset digital clocks.
Our surge protection device has a larger surge component (MOV) which provides a higher grade of protection than what you can find at a retail store. And it is installed directly at your meter to protect all of your corded electronics and appliances from external power surges. It acts as your first line of defense against power surges that enter through your electrical service line.
We recommend an additional layer of protection for sensitive electronics. Plug-in protectors will act as your second line of defense, in the event a large power surge enters through your phone or cable line or isn't fully absorbed with your meter-based protection. It greatly reduces the risk of damage to your sensitive electronics that can be destroyed with the slightest variation of electrical voltage.
Our plug-in device provides up to six times the protection of many competitive plug-in strips available through local retail stores. It has an indicator lights that let you know it is still functioning properly. And it also has
built-in safeguards, to automatically disconnect power to your equipment during extreme surge conditions to prevent damage.