Nowadays, complaints regarding the loss of electronics used in homes increase due to sudden voltage or burnt. So appliances will not work correctly due to all of the sudden fluctuations within the input voltage.
As the voltage rises suddenly to an extremely high value quickly, it is named voltage surges. To overcome this problem, standard equipment is available, namely a surge protector.
Generally, this device is connected near to a computer system. There are different designs of protectors available. They allow us to plug numerous gadgets or devices into a single power outlet. This is a helpful device.
A surge protector is more than just a power strip to give you additional useable outlets; it is an affordable way to protect your electronics from random power surges that can cause permanent electrical damage.
Here is how surge protectors or surge suppressors work to protect your appliances and safely use them to prevent fires.
The main job of a surge protector system is to protect electronic devices from “surges.” So if you’re wondering what a surge protector does, the first question is, “What are surges?” And then, “Why do electronics need to be protected from them?”
A power surge, or transient voltage, increases voltage significantly above the designated level in a flow of electricity. In average household and office wiring in the United States, the standard voltage is 120 volts.
If the voltage rises above 120 volts, there is a problem, and a surge protector helps prevent that problem from destroying your computer.
To understand the problem, it is helpful to understand something about voltage. Voltage is a measure of a difference in electric potential energy. Electric current travels from point to point because there is a more incredible electric potential energy on one end of the wire than on the other end.
This is the same sort of principle that makes water under pressure flow out of a hose — higher pressure on one end of the hose pushes water toward an area of lower pressure. You can think of voltage as a measure of electrical pressure.
As we’ll see later on, various factors can cause a brief increase in voltage.
- When the increase lasts three nanoseconds (billionths of a second) or more, it’s called a surge.
- When it only lasts for one or two nanoseconds, it’s called a spike.
If the surge or spike is high enough, it can inflict some heavy damage on a machine. The effect is very similar to applying too much water pressure to a hose. If there is too much water pressure, a hose will burst.
Approximately the same thing happens when too much electrical pressure runs through a wire — the wire “bursts.” It heats up like the filament in a light bulb and burns, but it’s the same idea.
Even if the increased voltage doesn’t immediately break your machine, it may put extra strain on the components, wearing them down over time. In the next section, we’ll look at what surge protectors do to prevent this from happening.
How Surge Protectors Work
So how do surge protectors work? The electrical current flows from the wall to your surge protector and then to your electrical devices. When there is a surge, the extra voltage is diverted to the grounding wire inside the surge protector.
Usually, some device inside the surge protector handles this process of switching over to the ground when the voltage is too high.
It sounds simple, but it makes all the difference when it comes to the price for these devices. Three factors differentiate the level of surge protection and the cost:
A lower value here is better. This basically at what voltage the diversion will kick in. 330 V is an excellent low value, whereas 500 V is too high because your electronic equipment might be fried by then.
This rating tells you how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it burns out. It’s given in joules and ranges from 200 joules for fundamental protection up to thousands of joules.
Some surge protectors kick in with a little delay, thereby exposing your equipment to the surge for a longer time. You want a surge protector with a very low response time.
Another good thing to look for is an indicator light on surge protectors. If it gets fried and no longer can protect your devices, you don’t want to keep using it. If there is no indicator light, you may never know that your surge protector is already dead.
How to Protect Yourself Using Surge Protection
If you want to save equipment, even from lightning or from surges down power lines, there are a couple of things you need to do. Note that these will require calling your electrical provider/power company and asking for their help too.
At the point where the power goes from the power lines down to the box outside your house, there needs to be proper grounding. If the box doesn’t have appropriate grounding, any power surge from the power lines will flow right into your house and fry up everything.
You can call your power company, and they usually will come out and perform a test at no charge. I didn’t know this, but it’s true! You can also get an upgraded grounding if your power company offers the service.
The best situation is when your house never gets struck by lightning. You can do that with a lightning rod. You can buy these bad boys online and attach them to the top of your house or in other locations along with grounding.
Instead of your house getting hit, the rod will get hit and conduct everything down into the grounding. Again, something you’ll probably have to get professionally installed, but the only real way to truly protect against a lightning strike without having to unplug everything in your house.
This is what I had mentioned above. This could be the third defense against surge protection or a first defense if you can’t or don’t want to spend the money for #1 and #2.
In-line surge protectors
This is your final line of defense. You can buy Ethernet surge protectors, coaxial surge protectors, and more.
Remember, a whole-house protector will not protect from surges that occur within the house unless it reaches the main electrical board. So that’s why you need to have surge protection at all points in your house to protect your equipment truly.
Thus, this is all about the Surge protector. From the above information, we can conclude that by using these protectors, electronic appliances used in homes like refrigerators, laundry units, dishwashers will also be sheltered from harm.
It provides practicality by opening up additional obtainable outlets to you; however, they can conserve your money when you control the multiple devices by a flick of the knob only.