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Protecting electronic devices from transient voltage from power lines (above 240V) can be a lost battle without the right electronic equipment.

Yes, you guessed it right- we are talking about a transient voltage surge suppressor or surge protector, as it’s commonly known. So, today, we will tell you all about it and why you may need one immediately.

Surge Protection

What Does A Surge Protector Do?

Surge protectors provide surge protection to connected appliances, especially against threats like downed power lines. In other words, these devices direct the excess energy caused by a power surge from the appliances to the wall outlet’s grounding wire.

This means your electronic devices will maintain their usual flow of electricity, usually performing even during power spikes and electrical surges.

But how do surge protectors work? To answer that, we must take you to the technical side of the story!

Simply put, a surge protector uses a metal oxide varistor (MOV) inside the adapter or the power supply. The metal oxide varistor (MOV) within a surge protector works as a connective pathway between the device’s hot wire, the grounding wire, and the incoming voltage.

The biggest advantage of the MOV is its flexible resistance to electrical voltages, adapting to low or high voltages. In the case of the latter, it will redirect only the excess voltage generated suddenly to its grounding wire, thereby preventing damage to your appliances.

Power boards are one form of surge protection, or power strips can be found, but remember that not all offer power surge protection. The basic ones only include extra power point features for a single outlet, making them suitable for powering multiple electrical devices simultaneously.

Surge Protection Switchboard

Importance Of Surge Protectors

If you ask us, we’d say there’s no good reason you shouldn’t opt for surge protection. The importance of surge protectors is limited to protecting your electrical appliances during electrical surges and keeping them working normally during such an event. And electrical surges usually come unannounced, so it only makes sense to invest in surge protection.

However, you need not use surge protectors for every appliance in the house. For instance, you may want to leave out your desk lamp or other similar fixtures. , You should connect expensive electronics such as computers and air conditioners, which are usually more prone to damage from voltage increases. Power surges and the subsequent rise in voltage can "fry" the internal components of these electrical appliances (like the hard drive or motherboard, in the case of a computer). And repairing or replacing them can be pretty expensive.

Surge protectors are one of the most essential features for ensuring the best protection for your costly electronics. They act as a buffer, absorbing the voltage spikes and preventing them from reaching and damaging your devices. In the long run, this small investment can save you from the hassle and expense of repairing or replacing your expensive electronics.

Surge Protection Board

Surge Protectors And Lightning

Although lightning strikes are easily the most commonly known source of a power spike, a surge protection device cannot shield your electronic devices from them. This is because a single lightning strike can increase the electrical pressure on your sockets supplied by your electricity provider by millions of volts.

If the devices are plugged into the sockets during a lightning strike, a sudden surge in the sudden increase in voltage will be passed on to these devices, ravaging them in the process.

Hence, the best preventative measure to unplug devices during sudden emergency power surges (like those caused by lightning strikes) is to unplug them immediately. Long story short, even most surge protectors are essentially designed to protect your electronic device from lower voltage surges only.

Surge Protection Spark

How To Pick The Right Surge Protector?

While it’s clear that you may need a good surge protector, remember to aim for the best surge protection available on the market. A few crucial features make a surge protector excellent and worth investing in.

1. UL rating

One of the first things that define a good surge protector is that it adheres to the standard Australian voltage and has upheld a UL rating, which is decided by the independent Underwriters Laboratories (UL). It’s a formal body that tests the safety of surge protectors, among other devices. Avoid any surge protector that the UL doesn’t rate.

2. Clamping Voltage

Simply put, the clamping voltage is the lower threshold at which the surge protector engages to divert the extra electricity from the devices during electrical surges. The efficiency of a surge protector depends on various parameters, one of which is the lower clamping voltage, which demonstrates its level of responsiveness to voltage spikes. Hence, it will trigger earlier and offer better protection to your appliances.

3. Indicator Light

No matter how expensive your surge protector is, it has a limited lifespan depending on how frequently you need its services. Even when a fully functional surge protector safeguards your appliances from the implications of faulty wiring and power surges, there’s every chance it gets damaged. An indicator light on the device will help you detect if it’s defective or functional. If you notice the light has gone off, the damage is irreparable, and you must get a new surge protector soon.

4. Response Time

The response time is another measure of the sensitivity of the surge protector. So, the lower the response time, the faster the protector will jump into action to protect your plugged-in devices from any damage. Hence, we’d advise a unit with a maximum response time of one millisecond.

When protecting your expensive electronics, a high-quality surge protector connected to a power board or wall outlet is an essential investment. These key features will ensure the best protection for your devices during electrical surges.

Keep Your Home Safe With a Surge Protector

With that, it’s time for us to wrap up things for today.

But before that, here’s another pro tip: you can go for whole-house surge protection if you have multiple hardwired appliances like fire alarms and heating systems. It provides optimum protection power for the more expensive devices and gives insight into how much protection a single power strip surge protector can offer. However, you can only install it by hiring a licenced electrician.

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