Protect your appliances and electronics. Whole-Home Surge protection saves you money and gives you peace of mind.
Many homeowners are familiar with surge protection, but not enough actually use it in their homes. You may be wondering what surge protection even is and if it is necessary. The most basic explanation is this: a surge protector prevents your electronic devices and appliances from experiencing damaging surges. This may lead to yet even more questions.
What is a surge and why is it dangerous?
A surge is essentially a spike in your electrical current. This spike is short-lived, lasting around one thousandth of a second, however don’t let its fleeting nature deceive you. A spike has enough power to ruin your electronics and devices.
What Causes a Power Surge?
If you are familiar with power surges, then you’ve probably been told that lighting is the most common cause. It might be the most well-known cause, but you’re more likely to experience a surge when your refrigerator, air conditioner or portable heater switches on. This is because they require a great deal of power. When switched on, they experience a short yet high demand for power, resulting in an upset of the electrical flow. Alone a surge like this will not destroy your beloved electronics and appliances. Over time, however, surges will slowly damage components, which can eventually lead to the demise of your home electronics and appliances.
Other leading causes of power surges are tripped circuit breakers, faulty wiring, downed power lines and problems with the utility company’s lines. If the problem lies within your electrical system, schedule an appointment with our licensed electricians as soon as possible.
How to Protect Your Devices & Appliances
24/7 Electric offers solutions to protect your devices and appliances from devastating power surges. We are experts in installing point-of-use surge protection devices (SPDs) and whole-house surge protection. Instead of suppressing or arresting, an SPD redirects the surge to the ground. If your home is not up to electrical code standards, our electricians will recommend installing whole-house surge protection so that you can have peace of mind.
Types of Surge Protectors
With the market carrying multiple kinds of surge protectors, it can easily feel overwhelming. Here are simplified definitions for the four main types of surge protectors.
1. Primary Surge Protectors – Large in size and installed where the power lines and building meet. Given its sheer size, it carries substantial power. It can also use a building’s internal ground wires to maximize performance.
2. Secondary Type Surge Protector – Significantly smaller in size and plugged into electrical outlets. Because they are smaller, they also hold less power than their primary surge protector counterpart. However, their compact size makes it easier to use and relocate.
3. Power Strip Surge Protector – A type of secondary surge protector that is a power strip. You can plug this surge protector into any electrical outlet. When there is an electrical surge, the power strip will block power to the devices.
4. Uninterrupted Power Supply Surge Protectors – A type of secondary surge protector that comes in several kinds and styles. It can be a power strip or one with just a single outlet. Whatever type you choose, all are battery-operated. This battery is essential as it keeps your devices powered when a surge happens. Other surge protectors cut off power to your devices, but an uninterrupted power supply surge protector kicks in when there is a surge.
Recently changes to the electrical code in the United States made surge protection mandatory. The history of the Canadian Electrical Code has always consider the changes made the NEC.
The rational for the change:
“The surge requirement change is all about usability; the NEC has made the requirement easier to navigate and implement, which increases the likelihood of proper installation.
Protecting people is table stakes and a key driver for surge protection clarification and expansion. The requirements provide for life safety products like AFCIs, GFCIs, smoke detectors and other protection devices. But I could make an argument that the Code goes beyond life safety to include protection of property. Loss isn’t always devastating; something as small a losing a TV or appliance to surge isn’t life-threatening, but it is a nuisance. Insurance companies take the brunt of surge losses. While insurance companies don’t often publish payout amounts due to proprietary information, my best guess is that it’s millions of dollars. This, of course, results in higher insurance premiums paid by homeowners, something these requirement changes look to help prevent.”
Sources: NEC Article 90.1(A)|Article 242 |Article 230.67|Eaton https://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/products/backup-power-ups-surge-it-power-distribution/surge-protection.html
Types of Surge Protection
Leading causes of power surges are tripped circuit breakers, faulty wiring, downed power lines, and problems with the utility company’s lines. If the problem lies within your electrical system, you will need a certified electrician to review it. Here are 4 ways to protect your electronics and appliances from costly surges:
- Primary Surge Protectors – A whole-home system found at the entry of the power source
- Secondary Type Surge Protector – Typically located at the wall outlet.
- Power Strip Surge Protector – A power bar with a surge protection
- Uninterrupted Power Supply Surge Protectors
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