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What Is a Surge Protector and How Can It Help Me at Home?

What is a surge protector? Surge protectors act as protective devices that prevent current spikes and power surges from damaging the electronics in a home. Learn more about these devices by reaching out to an electrician in Woodstock, GA

The team at Long View Lighting can answer all your questions about surge protectors. Call us at 770-790-3511. 

Defining a Surge Protector

Surge protectors are safety appliances. They protect electronic devices when you plug the devices into them. Many surge protectors look like long, thin strips of plugs for electronic devices. 

However, not every power strip acts as a surge protector. Power strips only provide you with extra outlets. They do not have a joules rating and therefore cannot provide protection from electrical surges. 

Check the product’s label to see if the company listed it as a surge protector. 

Different Kinds of Surge Protectors

Not all surge protectors offer the same protection against lightning and power spikes. You can examine the relative protection different surge protectors provide by checking out their joules rating. 

A higher joules rating means a surge protector offers more protection in a surge. You may want to purchase a protector with a higher joules rating, especially if you plan to use it with expensive electronic equipment. 

Functions of a Surge Protector

Electronic devices count on a constant electrical voltage to work correctly. If they get too little electricity, they stop working. On the other hand, devices that get a sudden rush of too much electricity can end up fried and ruined. 

Many people plug their devices directly into a wall outlet. These outlets provide energy, but they do not guarantee a consistent distribution of electricity. Instead, they simply deliver whatever amount of energy they carry, regardless of its potential to damage electronic devices. 

How Does a Surge Protector Work?

Surge protectors offer a layer of protection. You plug the protector into the wall outlet and your devices into the surge protector. The surge protector routes unsafe amounts of energy away from electronic devices, sending it to a grounding wire. 

Most surge protectors have a Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) that limits possible voltage to electronic devices. These protectors may destroy themselves if exposed to large enough jolts of electricity, but they prevent damage to electronics, like computers or game systems. 

Additionally, many surge protectors contact Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) batteries. These batteries may provide power in a power outage, keeping electronic devices working. Using a surge protector properly can help you avoid the need for electrical repair and troubleshooting services. 

When to Use a Surge Protector

What is a surge protector? It’s a device designed to protect electronics from damage caused by electric surges. Many property owners feel unsure when they need surge protectors, however. 

Generally, the experts recommend considering the nature of each electronic device before getting a surge protector. For example, you likely don’t need one of these devices for a bedside lamp. An electric surge could blow out the bulb on a light but not cause significant issues. 

A surge could cause significant damage to a computer, however. A single surge could erase data or reduce the life of the computer. Therefore, the experts recommend plugging any high-end electronics, including gaming consoles, into a surge protector. 

Risks of Not Using a Surge Protector

Surge protectors prevent high-voltage currents from reaching and damaging electronic equipment. Unfortunately, homeowners who do not use surge protectors can end up losing their devices in a single electrical event. 

Unregulated feeds of electricity also have long-term detrimental effects on electronic devices. These devices often slowly decline in efficacy as they get exposed to fluctuations in power levels and small surges that cause steadily increasing damage. 

Surge protectors typically represent a cost-effective way to protect electronics because homeowners can easily move them to outlets that need additional protection. 

Speak to the Experts About Surge Protectors

What is a surge protector? These devices protect electronics from power surges. Learn more about home rewiring services to mitigate the effects of electricity variance with Woodstock electrical contractors

Call the team at Long View Lighting at 770-790-3511 to discuss surge protectors in Woodstock, GA.