What Is the Purpose of a Surge Protector and Do You Really Need One?
Today’s modern devices are much more sensitive as compared to those in the past. In other words, they are more prone to getting damaged by a power surge or spike. In fact, a string power surge has the ability to instantaneously damage your electrical appliances or devices, plugged in during the surge.
It’s common for you to be worried about your household appliances and electronics being harmed by a power surge. Most household appliances and electronics are rather vulnerable to both small and large power surges.
Small but continuous small surges deteriorate the lifespan of your appliances, and most of the time, you hardly notice such surges. This is exactly why it’s necessary to have a power surge protector at home.
If your area is prone to voltage spikes and power surges, a whole-house surge protector might just be a better option. In this article, we will be sharing with you the purpose of having a surge protector at home, and how necessary it is to have one.
What is a Surge Protector?
A surge protector is a small device or appliance that provides two important functions. Firstly, it gives you the ability to plug multiple devices into a single power outlet. Secondly, it offers a good level of protection against high-voltage surges for electronic devices plugged into the surge protector, such as your TV or computer.
The second function of a surge protector is by far the most important one. Also, if you are unsure what is a power surge or spike, it basically refers to an increase in voltage that is much height than the designated level of electricity running through your home.
What Causes a Power Surge or Spike?
One of the most common causes for a power surge or spike is lighting. That being said it is very uncommon to happen. Some of the more common reasons are high power appliances or such as refrigerators and air conditioners.
Why is that so? Well, the compressors and motors in such appliances need a heavy amount o energy to be switched on and off. When it does so, it often creates a sudden but brief duration of demand for power, which has the tendency to disrupt the current flow of voltage.
Other possible causes of a power surge or spike are faulty wiring, downed power lines, and issues within the utility company’s equipment, among other reasons. The list goes on, but the result remains the same if there’s no surge protector in place in your home.
How Does a Surge Protector Work?
This is a common question people tend to ask when purchasing a surge protector; how does a surge protector even work? A typical surge protector simply passes the electric current along with the power outlet to multiple devices plugged into a power strip.
If there’s an increase in voltage, the surge protectors divert all the extra voltage into the grounding wire of the power outlet. Grounding wires always run parallel to both the hot and neutral wires.
As a matter of fact, they offer a pathway for the electric current to flow if there’s a breakdown in the electrical system of the hot and neutral wires. That is because the hot and neutral wires are usually in charge of carrying the current.
When putting together a computer system, or any heavily-powered appliance or device, it’s important to buy a surge protector alongside. Most surge protectors are designed with the very same purpose, to allow you to plug multiple devices into one power outlet.
What Is The Difference Between a Power Strip and Surge Protector?
In all honesty, it’s pretty common to confuse a power strip and a surge protector. However, it’s important to stay mindful of the fact that not all power strips on the market are actually surge protectors.
While they look quite similar to each other, the main purpose of a power strip is to simply add extra outlet space for your appliances and devices. Sometimes, it does get a little tricky to differentiate between a power strip and a surge protector.
That said, if you were to take a look at the packaging of both of them, you won’t have much trouble figuring out whether you are buying a power strip or surge protector. The packaging of a surge protector has a joules rating.
Joules are used to measure energy. This measurement tells you how long will your appliance or device be protectors. Whenever a surge protector takes a hit. The joules slowly reduce. This is why it’s important to change your surge protector after a while.
Conclusion: Do You Really Need a Surge Protector?
Yes, you do. Surge protectors provide protection to your appliances and devices, and there’s no reason why you should risk having them damaged, even if there are barely any power surges in your area.
We hope you now have a better understanding of how surge protectors actually work!