Surge Protectors: What They Do And How To Choose The Right One
Also known as a surge protection device, spike suppressor, or surge diverter, a surge protector helps to control voltage through your home and prevent spikes in electricity that could damage appliances or electronics in your home. They are typically applied to power distribution panels and control systems to protect your home from hazards.
Surge protectors redirect large spikes of electricity into the ground and away from devices that could spark or explode with too much electricity. Redirecting this electricity will prevent fried appliances or electric shocks around your home.
Electrical spikes can occur when lightning hits a transformer/your home, your fuse blows, or the electricity is stopped abruptly and started again.
How To Find The Right Surge Protector For Your Home
There are many different models of surge protectors. The first thing to consider when purchasing a surge protector is what degree of protection you need. If you want to protect your expensive appliances, you will need a more costly protector. For things such as computers, you will want a joule rating of at least 1000. The highest joule rating is 2000.
You will also want to count how many appliances or electronics you want to plug in and ensure that you pick out a surge protector with this many outlets. Consider if you will also be charging cell phones through USB with the surge protector as well and find one with USB-A charging ports.
The last factor to consider when you are going to install a surge protector is where it will be installed. If you are unsure, you can ask our professionals at Connect or have them install it for you! Typically, surge protectors can be mounted to the wall, along the side of a desk, or to your electrical panel.
Power Strips Vs. Surge Protectors
Some power strips and surge protectors look very similar, so homeowners may not understand the differences between the two devices. A power strip often has multiple outlets and a cable that plugs into the wall. This gives you the freedom to plug in multiple devices in one place. It is similar to an extension cord without the extra length.
Power strips can be overloaded though, so you should work to keep them under 1800 watts at a time. A power strip is easy to turn off and on or unplug specific devices that are not currently being used to prevent power surges.
Surge protectors have similarities to power strips, but they also serve a large purpose for the entire home or office. They focus on preventing those electrical spikes while also helping send electricity to different appliances in your home. When you have multiple items plugged into a surge protector, you will prevent damage to these items. Surge protectors also only kick on their protection when a higher-than-normal electric rate is detected.
Preventing Electrical Power Surges
A surge protector can’t stop power surges from happening entirely, but it can prevent you from having to buy new electronics. Power surges occur more often than we realize, but strong ones that can fry your electronics happen less frequently. You can prevent smaller surges in your home by limiting the number of appliances and electronics that are pulling power at one time.
Lightning storms or problems with your city’s transformer are the most common power surges that happen on a large scale. Having a surge protector for your home or business will give you peace of mind about your devices without too much extra work.
Electricians with Connect Building Services can help answer your questions about surge protectors or install the best one for your home.