Cross Lightning Worries Off Your List With PQ+
Weather may become stormy as fall gives way to winter, but Henry and Barbara Swanson of rural Warrenton aren't too worried about it. They are celebrating eight years of worry-free lightning protection with Power Quality Plus (PQ+) surge protection at their home.
"If you'd like to cross lightning worries off of your list, too, consider leasing a PQ+ meter base adapter this month," says Member Services Representative Bob Hysong. Enroll by November 30 and receive one free month of protection plus the chance to win a multi-media surge protection strip.
Members who lease PQ+ equipment have had a lightning strike, a near miss, or know someone who did. Barbara learned how quickly lightning can derail your daily activities from an unlikely source - her physical therapist. “She didn’t show up for our appointment one day,” says Barbara. What kept her therapist from work? “Lightning hit her home and it burned up all the appliances in her kitchen," she adds. "She had to replace all of her kitchen appliances. I didn’t want that to happen to us.”
“When Cuivre River advertised surge protection in the Current Times, I thought ‘let’s do that’,” says Barbara. And they did. To her total satisfaction, nothing has happened since she and Henry had their unit installed.
“You don’t even notice it,” Henry says, adding, “We haven’t had any problems.” To make sure the unit is working, they can check the TESCO box (shown above on their meter base) at any time and see the red indicator lights burning steadily, indicating protection is active. He sums it up in just a few words, “When it’s working, you don’t know it.”
"We've had severe storms out here and they include a lot of lightning," Barbara recalls. "What happened to my young physical therapist might have happened to us if the device wasn’t installed. The cost is very minimal, and that’s a plus.”
Hysong, who coordinates the PQ+ program, says if you’re looking for some exciting testimonies about how PQ+ saved the day, you could be disappointed.
“Surge protection is designed to spare the items in your home from damage, and spare you the excitement and uncertainty that can follow a lightning strike. When I talk with members who have PQ+, they are happy to have little to say," Hysong says. Nothing much happens as the equipment works.
“We spot-check devices periodically to make sure the two red lights on the unit are still burning," he adds. However, he recommends those who have the equipment to check the red lights after any severe weather event.
"If the lights are still on, the surge protection device is still good to go. If the lights aren’t burning, the device took a hit. That’s a good time to call me, so we can replace the unit, which is likely the only damaged item,” he says.
He notes that lightning can hit other portals besides the electric meter, such as phone and coax cable ports. A multi-media approach to protection can prevent damage from a strike that enters through another path, such as a satellite dish. Incoming phone and coax devices are available upon request, as well as TESCO multi-media surge protection strips.
The PQ+ meter base adapter carries a 10-year connected-product warranty, including primary coverage for consumer white goods (i.e. HVAC systems, water heaters, refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, stoves). Secondary plug-in surge protection is needed to protect electronics.
If you lease the device, Cuivre River will maintain it, replace it following a lightning strike, and assist with claims, if needed, for no additional cost. The cooperative will automatically replace the adapter with a new model as the warranty wanes, securing the connected-product warranty for another 10 years.
The PQ+ warranty has no deductible, and steps ahead of homeowners insurance to help consumers avoid insurance claims and out-of-pocket costs.
Some insurers offer discounts for homes with PQ+.
Barring a lightning strike that damages their adapter, the Swansons will be scheduled to receive a new PQ+ adapter in two years. Approximately 1,830 Cuivre River Electric Cooperative consumers participate in the lease program.
“After working with PQ+ for 16 years, we know the meter base protection has helped prevent, slow down or stop lightning damage, and helped homeowners avoid paying insurance deductibles,” says Hysong. "When people realize they have cost exposure (e.g., a $1,000 out-of-pocket deductible for traditional home insurance), surge protection makes more and more sense. They can save immediately if damage occurs, or over time as they hold down the cost of their homeowners' insurance.”
Enroll by November 30 to receive one free month of protection and a chance to win an 8-outlet multi-media plug-in surge suppressor ($68 value). The monthly $5.95 fee will be itemized and added to your electric bill.
To enroll or learn more about PQ+ meter base adapters and multi-media plug strips contact Hysong at 800.392.3709, ext. 233, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Henry and Barbara Swanson, pictured here with their dog, Ellie, don't worry about lightning strikes.