The Home Hunter wrote:
We have a whole home surge protector, and I've never had a problem with power surges before.
First, potentially destructive surges occur maybe once every seven years. Less often in your venue.
Second, surge damage is directly traceable to a human mistake. Since well proven protection from all surges (including lightning) has been well proven and demonstrated over 100 years ago.
Third, many electricians have no idea what a protector does. Many others assume a protector does protection. It never does. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. So a 'whole house' protector protects from all types of surges. While plug-in protectors may even make damage easier.
Did your electrician (installer) upgrade earth ground to both meet and exceed code requirements? For example, a hardwire from protector to single point earth ground (all four words have electrical significance) must be low impedance. That means less than 3 meters. No sharp bends. Separated from all other non-grounding wires. Not inside metallic conduit. No splices.
Any layman (or their teenage kid) can inspect this. Find a bare copper quarter inch wire that connects low impedance to earthing electrodes. If that wire goes up over a foundation and down to earth, then it has high impedance. Is too long. Has sharp bends over a foundation. It should have been rerouted through a foundation to earth.
Expression is single point ground. That means every
incoming wire to Netgear, TV, dishwasher, etc must make a low impedance (ie less than 3 meter) connection to that one earthing electrode before entering. If any telephone, dish, TV cable, invisible dog fence, etc violates that rule, then surge protection is compromised.
Four, how did damage happen? A surge was all but invited inside to go hunting for earth destructively via appliances. We know that. Incoming to everything maybe on AC mains. What is a best outgoing path? Netgear, Tivo, and TV - especially if that TV/Internet cable is earthed to a different earth ground. Incoming on AC mains. Outgoing destructively via a TVs coax or HDMI port. Damage is often on the outgoing path.
A surge was also incoming to a dishwasher, washing machine, GFCIs, furnace, smoke detectors, dimmer switches, etc. But a better path to earth was via TV, Tivo, etc. So those damaged appliances protected others. Why? Protection is always defined by what makes a connection to earth - harmlessly via a protector or destructively via an appliance.
Start where mistakes are most often made. What is each connection to single point earth ground? Does every incoming wire connect low impedance to a same earthing electrode? Again, a protector is only as effective as the item that defines protection - a connection to and quality of earth ground.