About Morrissette Electric

Morrissette Electric
Learning Center:

AC vs. DC Electric: Why Should You Care?

Your Solar IRA

Low Hanging Fruit

"A Thousand Points of Light" Going Green

Lighting: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

What You Should Know about Flat Screen TV's

What Is T.V.S.S. and Why Do I Need It?

Surge Strips vs. Plug-in Power Conditioners

Generators: Why and How Much?

How to Read Your Power Bill

How to Read Your Power Bill, Part II

The Wichita Lineman is Run Over By A Mac Truck

Stay the Course

Electrical "Snake Oil"

Four Birds, One Stone

What Is T.V.S.S. and Why Do I Need It?

T.V.S.S. is the acronym for "Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor". Surge Suppressors have been around for many years and have gotten better and more affordable with every new generation of products.

T.V.S.S. protects your electric household items from both lightning strikes and surges from the Power Company's voltage (a quite common occurrence). It was not too many years ago that you did not have to consider installing these units on your home. Then we were hit by the "Microprocessor Revolution" that placed hundreds of circuits on small chips in items such as computers, TVs, stereos, kitchen appliances, air conditioners and phones.

If you are reading this article you probably live in an older home that has absorbed hundreds of surges over the years without any damage. The alternating current wires in your home are big, fat wires that will take an enormous surge without damage. The items in your home, however, may have hundreds of circuits that are only visible through microscopes. These microprocessor circuits can be wiped out from static electricity only and do not stand a chance against a surge, which can exceed 200,000 volts.

How much do these units cost? Depends on how much investment your trying to protect. Small plug in units can be purchased at hardware stores for under $20.00. We have installed units in homes and businesses that have exceeded $5,000.00. So obviously you get what you pay for.

T.V.S.S. units are rated by words like joules, clamping voltage, modular and non-modular. In short unfamiliar terminology that can confuse most of us. For good quality home electric service T.V.S.S., you should plan on spending $1,000.00 to $1,500.00. In addition you should consider additional downstream protection on other panels as well as on equipment. The joys of living in this digital age.

Before installing these units, make sure your electrician checks to make sure your electrical service is properly grounded. Code mandates 25 ohms or less, but if you have high-end electronics, it should be much less than 25 ohms.

If you have questions regarding T.V.S.S. or other electric related items, I can be reached either by e-mail at

© 2008 Jean Morrissette