Surge protection is essential for many U.S. homes since it is an inexpensive way to guard against electric surges and lightning strikes that can damage your electrical gear. However, surge protectors are not all the same. Here are 5 things you should know about surge protection and electrical safety before you start shopping for a surge protector.
Power Strips Are Not Necessarily Surge Protectors
Power strips are not the same as surge protectors. Power strips comes equipped with an overload device of some type but not necessarily surge protection. However, it does not mean that surge-protected power strips have to be expensive. It is possible to find very affordable and high-quality power strips that still protect your electrical devices from surges.
It is All About the Joules
Surge protectors provide protection in amounts known as joules. A joule is a unit of energy used for measuring power. Surge protectors always have an amount of joules indicated specifying the level of protection they offer. For example, a power strip that offers 200 joules of surge protection can protect from either one large 200-joule surge or ten 20-joule surges. Generally, the higher the number of joules, the better. Before choosing a surge protector, you need to think of how you plan to be using it, the level of protection you require, and the equipment that you will be plugging in.
What Does Warranty Refer to?
Some surge-protected power strips come with a warranty up to a particular level. For instance, if your surge protector has a $50,000 Connected Equipment Warranty, it means that should your electrical equipment be damaged from a lightning strike, spike, or surge while attached to the surge protector, you could be granted replacements or repairs up to $50,000.
Check the Amps Particularly for USBs
Surge protected power strips that come with USB port should be checked for their charging capabilities. The output amp rating is what defines how optimal your devices can be charged while plugged in. It is generally either 1 or 2 amps, but the higher the USB charging capacity, the quicker you will be able to charge your devices.
Power Spikes Are Not Reserved for Electric Wires
Cable and telephone lines can carry power surges too. If you need complete protection, you need to find a surge protector with connectors for these too. You really have no reason for failing to use a surge protector for your telephone and cable lines. They are a cheap, preventative solution to what could be a costly incident. Here is a news story from Austin where dozens of homeowners had problems with power surges and lost thousands of dollars. Their issues mainly stood with the power company but precautions were taken by many to better protect their valuables.
The Bottom Line is you really have no reason not to get a surge protector. The extent to which you need it will vary. If you live in an area with many thunderstorms, your electrical equipment is more susceptible to experiencing power surges. This article has listed 5 things you need to know about surge protection. Now that you know how important surge protection is, you need to think about getting it in your home and office to protect your electrical gear. Get a consultation about your electrical system from our before it’s too late you and lose power for an extended period of time because of the lack of surge protect.