Surge Protectors: What are they and why do you need one?

Surge Protectors: What are they and why do you need one?

Power surges are hazardous. Over 1,000 power surges occur every year that can cause severe property damage or even death. Most of us don't think about things like power surges until it's too late. The fact is, anyone can become a victim of a power surge simply by using electronic devices daily. These devices are sensitive to fluctuations in voltage and can be irreparably damaged by a sudden rush of electricity. So how do we protect our electronics from these dangers? That's where a surge protector comes in! Read on if you want to know more about surge protectors and how they can keep your home safe from power surges.

A power surge is a temporary spike in voltage that can damage an electronic device. This increase in voltage can be caused when a storm hits your area and the power goes out, electrical outlet overload or even faulty electrical wiring. If you're lucky, this sudden change in voltage may only cause a brief interruption in power to your home or business. But if the problem is extensive and lasts long enough, it can create a surge that travels along all wires and circuits. These surges can be so powerful they result in huge increases of voltage within electronics plugged into the wall. And there's no such thing as being too careful. It's not just your electronics that are at risk of becoming damaged by a power surge. Power surges can also cause electrical fires and even electric shock! So take steps to protect yourself and your electronic devices from these dangers!

There are three types of surge protectors: Service entrance surge protectors, whole-home surge protectors and receptacle surge protectors. Each type protects your electronics differently, but all three will offer protection for your home against power surges.

Service entrance surge protectors are the largest and most powerful type of surge protectors. Service entrance surge protectors protect against damaging surges originating from elsewhere on the power grid and have the highest surge capacity of any type. They are often installed in condos and apartments, and some modern homes are built with them as well. These types of surge protectors need to be installed by a certified electrician as the power has to be disconnected before installation. 

Whole-home surge protectors are similar to service entrance surge protectors, but the installation isn't as complicated. This type of surge protector is wired into your main breaker and can be configured to protect a single circuit or all the circuits in your home. While the installation can be done by yourself, we always recommend calling a local electrician for any electrical wiring. 

Receptacle surge protectors are the most common and are probably the most familiar type to protect you from power surges. They are inexpensive and easy to install; you just have to plug them into an outlet! This type of surge protector can protect devices from electrical overload and allow one outlet to be used for multiple low power devices. While they are affordable, their functionality is a bit more limited. They can reduce the impact of a severe power surge, but they don't provide complete protection. 

It is recommended that you have a whole-home surge protector installed on the main breaker. It's also good practice to install a second dedicated surge protector on any circuit that operates high-current appliances such as dryers, air conditioners, or water heaters. These devices can call small surges, so a separate layer of protection can help protect all of the other circuits in your home, many of which may have sensitive electronics plugged in. It's important to note that some surge protectors come with built-in circuit breakers, which protect your home's wiring against power surges as well as other electromagnetic events. Surge protectors can ensure your circuit breakers will last much longer, which means you will save money in the long run! Whole-home and receptacle surge protectors can be purchased at home depot, while service entrance surge protectors need to be installed by a licensed electrician.

Power surges can be a significant threat to electronic devices and your home. But with a suitable surge protector, you can avoid costly repairs and protect your investment. When choosing a surge protector, ensure it is correctly sized for your appliance. The most common type of surge protector is a plug-in model, but power strips also work well. If you're unsure of the best type of surge protector for your home or business needs, consult your local electrician. If you are experiencing regular or constant power surges, you may have faulty wiring or need electric outlets replaced. The expert electricians at Bengert Electric can help you with all your electrical needs! Contact us today!