LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative

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How do I order my surgeSENSE?

Contact Customer Care to have a Customer Care Professional contact you. surgeSENSE can only be purchased through LCEC and installed by an LCEC technician.

How can I pay for my surgeSENSE?

Payment is required within 15 days after installation and can be made by cash or check. Cash payments are accepted at our Immokalee Payment Center. Check payments are accepted online at, at our Immokalee Payment Center, or by mail using the enclosed envelope.

Why do I need surge protection?

Today’s electronic equipment contains sensitive microprocessors. Almost any power disturbance can cause interruption or damage. Low-level transient voltage surges can cause stress on the circuits, leading to early failure. High-level transient voltage surges can result in immediate destruction of expensive circuitry. Customers are faced with many choices for transient voltage surge protection and are provided with a false sense of security when they purchase a low-cost plug-in TVSS, thinking that it will provide them with adequate protection.

Why are there two stages of surge protection?

Stage 1 surge protection (meter base TVSS) redirects or reduces high-voltage transient voltage surges at the point they enter your home, the meter base. Stage 2 (plug-in TVSS) goes a step further by protecting sensitive electronics at the point of use.

What can I do to protect my home?

Utility-grade products provide the highest quality in transient voltage surge protection. LCEC’s surgeSENSE program offers you a way to help protect yourself against the constant danger of transient voltage surges. surgeSENSE components are specially manufactured to meet LCEC’s high engineering standards and are backed by the manufacturer’s product warranties.

Do all surges cause damage?

No, but they can wear away at sensitive electronics and other equipment within your home. An electronic device that is designed to last for 15 years may last only 8 years or less if it is constantly hit with small transient voltage surges.

Do surge suppressors protect against direct lightning strikes?

No. There is nothing that can protect against a direct lightning strike. However, about 95 percent of lightning-related damage to customer equipment is from “indirect” lightning strikes, such as something occurring down the street. Quality TVSS equipment is designed to protect against transient voltage surges often generated from indirect strikes.

Why doesn’t the utility take steps to reduce surges?

We do! Lightning arresters are installed throughout the distribution system. They reduce the risk but cannot completely eliminate the risk of damage.

How do “utility-grade” plug-in suppressors compare with those from local retailers?

Utility-grade TVSS’s are built to perform under high energy transient voltage surge conditions, they use large surge elements in multiple stages, and they handle up to six times as much surge energy as locally available products.

What types of appliances are protected by a meter-base surge arrester?

The meter-base TVSS is designed to capture and send approximately 85% of a transient voltage surge or “spike” to ground (earth) before it enters your home. It will help protect the electromechanical components of motor-driven appliances, such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers, during transient voltage surge events. Meter-base TVSS’s cannot guarantee protection from a transient voltage surge that occurs when lightning physically strikes a home (direct strike) or in situations where lightning physically strikes an object or structure very close to the home (power transformer, tree, satellite dish, antenna, pump house, well), which we consider a near-direct strike. The extreme intensity of these surge events creates a large electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that induces surge energy directly onto home wiring, cables, telephone lines, appliances, and sensitive electronics.
Meter-base TVSS’s are also not designed to protect against damage caused by short-cycling of electrical equipment (motors, compressors, etc.), sustained over-voltage, or sustained under-voltage conditions.

How do I know surgeSENSE is working?

When the indicator light is on, the device is working. Checking the indicator light when it is dark outside works best; direct sunlight can make it difficult to verify. The color of the light may vary. If the light is completely off, contact LCEC for assistance.

Are sensitive electronics located within equipment protected?

Sensitive electronics located within equipment can be protected ONLY by Stage 2 TVSS’s (power strips, battery backups, hard-wired suppressors, etc.), which are specifically designed for that purpose. Some equipment, such as appliances like stoves, refrigerators, washers, and clothes dryers that contain electronics, unfortunately cannot be protected by secondary devices because of their amperage requirements and plug design.

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