As we get closer to spring and summer, the rainy season approaches. With the stormy season also comes lightning storms which can be very harmful to your homes and the things in them. Lighting poses a danger to your important appliances and many times your busy life won’t give you the opportunity or time to disconnect your electronic devices and appliances, making them susceptible to power surges and spikes. Cue the surge protectors!
Lightning isn’t the only threat to your home’s electrical system. Surge protectors will also protect your home from surges produced by utility companies. These surges are very common, occurring almost daily due to outdated and faulty equipment.
In order to combat these issues, try using a surge protector to keep your pricey appliances from being ruined. Without a surge protector, you could even lose important data you have stored on devices in your home. Keep reading to learn about surge protectors and what makes them necessary staples in your home.
What is a Power Surge and why Should you Care?
Before we move forward it’s important to understand exactly what power surges are. A power surge is when an electrical current is cut off and then starts up again. These surges can span between five to ten volts for most small electric devices when they’re turned on, to a few thousand volts in the event that lightning strikes and hits a transformer. Power surges, which last about 3+ nanoseconds, are different from power spikes which last less than 3 nanoseconds. There are a couple of surges to be aware of.
Internal Power Surge - Most of a home’s power surges take place internally. These kinds of surges can happen multiple times a day and may go unnoticed. Internal power surges can happen when motors turn on and turn off, or when they reroute power to and away from appliances like a stove.
External Power Surge - These surges originate from outside houses. Broken power lines, lightning strikes, or blown transformers can cause these surges.
No matter what kind of surge it is, power surges are harmful to your home. Don’t underestimate the damage they can cause. Any appliance or electronic device that has a microprocessor is vulnerable to fluctuations in voltage.
How do Surge Protectors Work?
Surge protectors prevent surges from hitting the plugged-in devices. They draw in extra voltage and then divert the energy safely to a ground wire.
Surge protectors don’t last forever. With every surge that the surge protector protects you from, the number of leftover joules (a unit used for the measurment of energy) it can absorb decreases. A surge protector with 2,000 available joules can prevent just one 2000 joule surge or 20 surges of 100 joules.
Although surge protectors generally don’t display specific amount for the number of leftover joules, most models do have an LED that tells you if your surge protector is still able to protect your devices.
Please note: There is no home device powerful enough to protect your house from direct lightning strikes. Surge protectors will help with proximity strikes, in other words lighting strikes relatively close to your house.
Power Strips and a Surge Protectors, is There a Difference?
Power strips are often confused for surge protectors since they have multiple outlets to allow for plugging in more than one electrical device. Power strips only have one function: Allowing multiple devices to use power from one outlet.
On the other hand, a surge protector does the same thing, but as mentioned above, also protects your appliances from spikes and surges.
Do I need Surge Protectors for my TV or Refrigerator?
The devices and appliances you want to make sure you plug in, are the expensive ones with microprocessors into your surge protector. This includes TVs, refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges, AC units, PCs, laptops, game systems, and phones.
Stay Prepared and Safe!
Prepare your home for lightning strikes, especially living in our great state of Florida. A surge protector, if properly installed, is a very affordable way to protect most of your valuable electrical devices.
If you suspect anything electrical is amiss in your home that may be causing internal surges, or that may be an electrical hazard, please feel free to call Team Tru-Line! We’re here and ready to help you with all your electrical needs. Remember, you’re fine with Tru-Line!