Electrical Safety 101: The Importance of Surge Protection
Can your brand-new computer browse 6,000 volts of energy? Is your 65″ Class 4K Smart Full Array LED TV ready to handle 3,000 amps and keep that brilliant picture? Or, how about that gigantic smart refrigerator that you just had to have to order groceries from the door and take selfies with, is it ready to cool down 2,000 joules of energy?
Our electrical experts at J & A South Park know that chances are slim these above situations are ones you are willing to risk happening to your hard-earned electronic devices. Luckily for you, the incredible invention of the surge protector exists. But with so many options, how do you choose? Do you go with the classic surge protector power strip style? Or, opt for a more modern fix by having a whole home surge-protecting unit installed? Whatever you choose, there are a few tips that you should keep in mind when narrowing down your options.
Surge Protector vs. Power Strip
A surge protector functions like a power strip; however, a power strip has no comparison to a surge protector other than the fact that you can plug multiple outlets into it. When the voltage rises above the level that the surge protector is created to handle, it then suppresses the excess voltage to prevent the spike from harming the devices plugged into the surge strip. Varistors, an internal component that are also called Metal Oxide Varistors (MOVs) protect the sensitive circuits in your devices by absorbing the voltage surpluses and averting the extra energy safely to the ground wire. This prevents damaging joules from reaching the connected equipment that it is so dutifully protecting. A power strip allows extra outlets for small items, such as the devices on your night stand: a lamp, alarm clock that never works and small output items, but it’s not to be trusted with your over-the-range stainless-steel microwave.
What Devices are you Trying to Protect from the Surge?
The device whose life you are trying to save determines the extent of protection. Larger appliances like refrigerators that once didn’t need protection, now have motherboards to run that smart screen on the door. And, complex televisions that are just short of being computers also need to be plugged into a surge protector that is of high capacity. A protector that is created specifically for your home theater and its companion components, such as gaming console devices, is needed for protection from up to the highest joule ratings of 2,000 and above. The same rating should be used for anything electronic that you hold dear, the computer containing all the newborn photos of your now eighteen-year-old, to your most valued client’s files that would sink the finical ship if ever lost. A surge protector with a little less capacity of 1,000 joules will provide adequate protection for smaller items that still have sensitive electrical components, such as your favorite power tools. Small office equipment that is not as intricate as your hard drive housing computer, like printers, copiers and routers, would be sufficient with a protection of 1,000 joules, as well.
How many Devices will be using the Surge Protector?
The number of electrical outlets needed to be available on the surge proctor will be a deciding factor when choosing the right option. Often the protectors now have USB outlets so you can safely charge all your smart devices directly through the surge protector. Ethernet ports are another addition to a select design of protectors that would be ideal for an office setting since spikes can travel through your internet and phone line when rebooting after a power outage. If you are using the protector in a place in which you are going to have multiple devices plugged in at one time, then you would opt for a style that has a sufficient count of outlets; sizes range from three outlets to as many as twelve. Single plug surge protectors are available as well, just in case you have that one lone device that must be on its own plug …. C’mon, we all have them.
What is the Distance to the Wall Outlet?
Is your device directly near an electric outlet or will the protector have to travel away from the wall to power your device? Making sure the cord will be lengthy enough to reach its destination is often something that users forget to account for. Cords come in a few lengths ranging from three to fifteen-feet long. Perhaps if your unit were directly near an outlet you would prefer a Wall Mount Surge Protector? It is a cordless unit that plugs directly into the wall outlet and can transform a single outlet into up to six, helping to keep cords to a minimum and up off the floor, making your favorite chore of vacuuming that much easier.
Home Surge Protection Units
If buying all those cord hiders to place around your living room to create the illusion of a wireless entertainment system, isn’t really your thing, perhaps a whole house surge protection installation is more your speed. 80% of power surges that happen to your home come from within your home and not an outside source like the electric company, a blown transformer, or the rare but justifiably feared lighting strike. Power spikes can come from your current machines like AC units, appliances, back-up power generators and even the lowly hairdryer. Home Surge Protection Units protect the wiring in the entire house; every outlet will be protected from these power swells. With all our devices getting smarter and smarter, we also need to evolve as well. Considering that all devices are not made the same, determining the correct protector and wiring system to plug them into, will greatly extend the electrical life of your equipment.
Contact J & A South Park Today!
When it comes to electrical solutions for your home or office, contact our expert team at J & A South Park; we are here to help you equip all your electrical devices with the proper wiring and protection. Our licensed electricians have extensive experience in home surge protection units that will protect your entire home from nasty power surges. We can also help you to be informed and to rest easier knowing that you are prepared.
Don’t wait until the next power spike to act, call us today at 412-835-1010, your appliances, television and all your electronic devices will thank you!