We have some pretty terrible storms and a pretty terrible power company where I live. We experience power surges quite often. So I'm interested in installing a whole-house surge protector. Is this something I would probably want an electrician to install, or is it something I could do myself?
It partially depends on your competency with electrical work, and what kind of surge protector you get. There are two basic models I know about:
If you're comfortable opening the panel and installing a new breaker, then really either of these methods is okay, though the first is definitely easier.
The "type" I referenced above boils down to (and this is new to me, correct me if I get it wrong):
Note, having this doesn't mean you don't need surge protection on individual devices. It certainly takes a way a lot of the risk, but it doesn't eliminate it. For expensive items or things that are very sensitive (eg, computer, home entertainment system) it's worthwhile to put a powerbar-style surge protector right at the equipment).
I got one, looked at the instructions and the insides of the breaker panel, and decided to let a pro handle it. It required working on the main leads where the power comes in, as I recall.
I cut the drywall where it would sit, but let the licenced electrician plug it in.