There’s nothing worse than going to boot up your computer or turn on an appliance after a big thunderstorm to find out that your electronics were fried due to an electrical surge during the storm. Beyond being out the money that you spent on the electronics and the potential work or information that you may have lost due to the surge, you now have to live with an uneasy feeling every time the wind blows and it starts raining.
Surge protectors can help with this problem dramatically and save your precious electronics from getting fried during a power surge, but what exactly is a surge protector and how does it protect electronics?
Normally when your power is on, a steady amount of voltage is being supplied to the outlets in your home – 120 volts in the US. When a power surge occurs, the amount of voltage in one or many outlets spikes. This can happen very briefly or for a longer amount of time, and depending on the length and strength of the surge, it can ruin your electronics.
Most power surges are caused by lightning strikes, but surges can occur from other sources as well: devices that use a lot of power like AC units or refrigerators turning on can cause a surge, as can faulty wiring, short circuits, and tripped circuit breakers. You can discuss how susceptible your home is to power surges by consulting with a professional electrician.
What does a surge protector do and how does it protect your electronics from a power surge? Surge protectors protect damage from power surges to your electronics by diverting the excess voltage to the ground line of your home. Have you ever wondered what the third prong on the plug is for? It connects to the ground line and protects you from receiving an electrical surge when you plug appliances and electronics in. This is where the grounding occurs.
There is some confusion about the difference between a surge protector and a power strip, particularly because they can look like one another. Both provide several power outlets, but they are not the same thing. A power strip simply allows for multiple devices to be plugged into the same outlet, but will not protect your devices or appliances.
The easy way to remember it is this: all surge protectors are power strips, but not all power strips are surge protectors. Unfortunately, no one surge protector can be 100% effective against power surges, so doubling up your surge protection is advisable. You can talk to your local Raleigh electricians about having a whole home surge protection system installed on your home.
Contact your Raleigh electricians Future Connections Electrical today
If you’re interested in surge protection for your home, contact us for more information by calling 919-854-1556 or filling out our contact form.