Surge protect a washer?
June 4, 2008 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Do I need a surge protector for my new washer?

I just replaced my +20 year old washing machine. The old one had all mechanical electronics, I never had a problem with it.

The new one has all electronic controllers, naturally. When I bought it, the salesman tried to sell a bunch of add-ons, like new hoses and a service contract. I told him no thanks, but he insisted I need a surge protector, and expected me to buy the $100 Monster model. Besides being repulsed by all Monster products, I just automatically reject all appliance salesmen add-ons.

But after a few days, I've re-thought this. A blown up controller for this would suck, and probably cost a bundle. Do I need a surge protector for the washer? If yes, any recommendations?
posted by Marky to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Actually, the best approach would be to get a surge protector for your whole house, and it would cost about as much (even with installation, depending on rebates and your power company) as the salesman wanted you to spend on that useless Monster piece of crap.

Some power companies will even lease it to you for a dollar or two per month.

Refrigerators, washers, microwaves -- everything usually needs a surge protector. But if your new washer is 208v (twist-lock plug?) then you may have a tough time finding one that you can just throw in there behind it between it and the wall.
posted by SpecialK at 1:40 PM on June 4, 2008

2nding the whole house surge protector recommendation. Total cost with install should be around 500 bucks, they are terrific little devices.
posted by iamabot at 1:45 PM on June 4, 2008

I would be somewhat surprised if a washing machine - a device with a big honking motor that draws a huge amount of current and generates massive EMF - is not already hardened against surges.
posted by zippy at 2:01 PM on June 4, 2008

If it's a Maytag Neptune, my blown controller cost me $300 - but I have no idea if it was blown by a surge in house power or by an internal short.
posted by nicwolff at 3:05 PM on June 4, 2008

When I was researching washing machines a few months ago, I read many use comments on Consumer Reports and places like Sears. Many people who bought the newer washers with electronic controls told horror stories of power surges that fried the electronic control boards (essentially computers). If I had bought one of those machines, I definitely would get a surge protector. I don't know that it needs to be a monster, but it should probably be at least what you would use for any other computer.
posted by rintj at 9:01 PM on June 4, 2008

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