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What Are Power Surges and How Can You Protect Your Appliances?

January 23, 2018

In today’s digitally run world, losing electricity, even for a moment, isn’t an option for most people.

We want to protect our home from power outages, so shouldn’t we also protect our equipment from damaging surges? Most homes today contain an average of over $15,000 worth of electronic equipment that’s unprotected.

Power outages can range from complete blackouts to surges. A power surge is simply an oversupply of voltage, and although they’re usually very short in duration, they can cause quite a bit of damage to your electrical appliances. Computers are commonly damaged by power surges. These surges are unavoidable, but it is possible to protect your appliances. Surge protection is similar to a bouncer who lets certain people into a bar while kicking out any troublemakers. A whole-house surge protection device only lets in the electricity your house needs, but it won’t let the over-voltages through. Here are a few things you need to know about surge protection:

Not all are the same

Power strips, surge suppressors and a surge arrestor may have the same end goal, but each is different. Power strips are the cheaper option. These are multi-outlet products that are an expansion of a wall outlet. These offer the least amount of surge protection, leaving your equipment subject to surge damage. Surge suppressors offer more protection from power surges and spikes, but there’s still a major qualitative difference between different surge suppressors. A Surge arrestor, also known as whole house surge protector. These are mounted inside your electrical panel and are the most protective option.

Surge protection works in joules

Remember your physics class and learning about joules? Well, a surge suppressor and surge arrestor offer their protection in joules. While searching for the right surge protection option, keep in mind that the more joules the better.

Check the warranty

Some surge protectors offer a warranty on a certain amount of gear connected to the protector. Hopefully, you’ll never need the warranty because the surge protection should be enough, but it will only give you more peace of mind knowing it’s covered.

Power failures and surges are becoming more and more common, which is causing more people to think about protecting their home from these power failures. There’s no reason not to invest in a type of surge protection. Especially if you have a standby generator, you’ll want to protect your electrical appliances from becoming damaged during a surge.

Layer your surge protection 

Surge protectors are additive, so having a surge protector where you use the power, such as a receptacle, is great, but having another one at the main service where the power comes in will reduce the amount of surge the second one has to handle. Appliances with motors, like vacuum cleaners or freezers, will create a power surge every time they’re turned on in your home, which can eventually cause a premature failure in sensitive electronics, like, your TV or computer. Because of this, it’s a great idea to have a dedicated surge protector for any expensive or special electronics that are sensitive to voltage.

At Northside Power, we’re happy to answer any of your electrical questions concerning your home power! We offer a full line of PSP surge arrestors that include a $100,000 downstream protection warranty. Protecting your home from a power outage isn’t just something we do, it’s all we do. Give us a call at 501-315-7213, and we’ll be happy to help.