When you visit a hardware store or a home depot, you may at some time be offered a surge protector by one of the salesmen. As with any consumer, this may seem like a ploy to get you to buy something from the store that you may end up not using at all. In other words, it may only be another unnecessary purchase. The truth is, all homes and offices should definitely use surge protectors for the safety of their appliances and machines, as well as for the safety of the people living and working in those spaces. To understand this better, it is best to get to know how a surge protector works and why it is important.
The Threat: Electrical Surges
At the event of a thunderstorm, lightning can hit the ground and this high voltage of energy can travel several miles and affect power lines. As a result, there could be surge of electricity in homes, offices, or other structures. This surge can last for a split second or more and could be as high as several thousand volts. For a power supply of 120 volts in most countries, this surge can be extremely dangerous and damaging. Computers and other electronic devices that are currently plugged in when this happens can have their microprocessors fried and leave them broken beyond repair. As a result, owners will have to buy new ones, which will still be vulnerable to such risk.
Power surges are not only caused by lightning. Certain machines, particularly those that run on high power requirements, can trigger a surge that can affect small appliances. Plugging in several appliances on a single outlet has also been blamed to cause an electrical surge. Fallen trees that hit power lines can also interrupt the flow of electricity causing them to be erratic. Even blackouts can cause a surge because after a power interruption, there usually will be rush of current when the power comes back, which some electronic devices may not be able to handle, especially those that have microprocessors in them.
As you can see, an electrical surge can happen any time to any home or building. Some machines are able to handle them but frequent surges will eventually damage them, too. This is the threat that is present anywhere and for all you know, that old TV of yours that will not turn on anymore may have been damaged by it. Hence, it is time to find a solution and avoid the expenses of having your appliances repaired or replaced. Most of all, in order to avoid any incident of fire that may also be caused by power surges.
The Solution: Surge Protectors
A surge protector is a component that functions as a line of defense to prevent these high power current from reaching your appliances. It does so by diverting the excess current to the ground so that only the allotted maximum power designed for every home will be supplied in your outlets.
There are different type of power surge protectors, namely the primary type and the secondary type. The primary type surge protector is installed in the main electrical panel to ensure that only the standard voltage reaches every outlet in a building or home. However, as a second line of defense, there are so-called secondary protectors, which are generally plug-in types that are used for every outlet and where appliances are plugged in instead. This could be a single outlet or a power strip with multiple outlets. UPS or uninterruptible power supplies may also be considered a surge protector if it carries that feature, as not all UPS have it.
It is true that some stores will over promote an item just to make a sale, but in the case of surge protectors, it is actually a clever idea to buy some for your home. The secondary type are not expensive at all, so you can install this protection for every appliance that you have and be able to eliminate any worries on your mind to the impending cost of the damages caused by electrical surges.