Whether you are looking to increase the number of power outlets in your home or you just want to add a protection layer between the outside world and your devices, it’s a good idea to consider purchasing a surge protector. A surge protector does more than just increase your power outlet accessibility, it plays a major role in maintaining the safety of your electronic devices such as laptops and tablets.
How a surge Protectors Works
Electricity moves from an area of high electric potential to an area with low electric potential, that is, from one end of the wire to the other end. Voltage is the measure of the electric potential energy. When the voltage goes above the normal level for more than 3 nanoseconds, it is referred to as a surge. If the surge is too high, it leads to wear and tear of electronic devices or can possibly even destroy them. A surge makes the electric wire heat up and if it is too hot, it can burn the wire rendering it useless.
The main purpose of a surge protector is to detect excess voltage then divert it into a grounding wire. This explains why all surge protectors have a grounding pin and they must be plugged into a grounded outlet in order to work as intended.
When to Use a Surge Protector
Most people often think that the main culprit of electrical surging is lightning which is not true. Though lighting causes electrical surges, the voltage from lightning is too great and a surge protector will not be able to withstand the power. During a lightning strike, the only way to protect electrical devices from being surged is to unplug them.
Electrical appliances that require a lot of power to operate or those that make the lights flicker when the lights are switched on and off, such as an air conditioner, are the major causes of surges. This is because they use up a lot of electricity which in turn strains the grid causing surges.
You should be using a surge protector all the time, but which devices should you connect to a surge protector? To determine this, think of it this way, if an electrical surge destroys electrical devices in your home, which device would pain you the most if you lost it completely?
You may not need a surge protector for standing fan or a desk lamp but you will need to connect your expensive electrical devices like stereo systems, televisions, computers, high-tech kitchen appliances, and media centers to a surge protector.
Choosing the Right Surge Protector
The first thing that you should look for in a surge protector is an indicator light. It lets you know that the surge protector is working properly. As for the power, check for the UL rating on the surge protector. This rating is put out by Underwriters Laboratories and it tests the safety of the device. Do not buy a surge protector without a UL rating.
Other considerations to make when buying a surge protector include:
This is the measurement of voltage that prompts the surge protector to redirect the excess electricity away from the devices. A lower clamping voltage rating will protect your devices better
This is the time it takes for the surge protector to detect an electricity surge. The lower the response time, the faster the response which reduces the time the devices are exposed to a surge, thus providing better protection.
This is the maximum energy the surge protector can absorb. If the surge exceeds this limit, the product is damaged. The higher the joule rating the longer the lifespan of the product.
Electrical surges are common and they can damage electronic devices hence the need to use surge protectors to ensure your devices are safe. Use a surge protector for the valuable electronics and check to see that you choose one that is rated for your needs.
If you are in need of any type of electrical repairs or installation, call Penna Electric. Our knowledgeable, experienced staff will get your electrical work done right the first time every time.