Why You Need A Surge Protector?

We’ve always been asked this question!

It’s best to get a surger protector not only for your computer, but for all appliances. Why?

Electrical surges can cause serious damage to your home’s electrical systems and appliances. A surge protector is a device that helps protect your electronics from these high voltage spikes, keeping them safe from costly repairs or replacements.

Surge protectors are designed to absorb the excess power caused by electrical surges, diverting it away from your devices and preventing any potential harm.

They come in various forms such as wall outlets, power strips, and whole-home units that provide protection for all of the outlets in a single room or even an entire house.

By investing in a quality surge protector you can save yourself time and money on expensive repairs down the line.

What is a Power Surge?

A power surge is an unexpected and sudden increase in electrical current that can cause damage to your home or business.

Power surges are a common occurrence, especially during thunderstorms, but they can also occur due to faulty wiring or other issues with your electrical system.

It’s important to understand what a power surge is and how you can protect yourself from them. 

What Causes Power Surges? 

Power surges can be caused by natural events like lightning strikes, but most of the time they’re caused by man-made sources.

This could include faulty wiring, fluctuating supplies of electricity, or an appliance or device suddenly drawing too much electricity.

Surge protectors are designed to help protect electronics from these types of occurrences. 

What damages can I expect from a power surge?

When a power surge occurs, it can cause significant damage to your computer or laptop. All circuits within the device will be affected in some way, which could lead to permanent physical damage such as burned-out components.

Additionally, power surges can cause data loss due to corrupted hard drives or memory cards.

Furthermore, if any software programs were running at the time of the power surge they may become corrupted as well.   

How do I protect my appliances from a power surge?

Surge Protectors

The best way to protect your devices from the damaging effects of a power surge is with a surge protector.

A surge protector acts like a filter between your electronic device and the wall outlet, absorbing any sudden spikes in voltage before they reach your equipment.

It also provides additional outlets for you to plug in additional devices without having to use multiple extension cords which can be unsafe and unreliable (More on this below)                         

Install Surge Protection Devices 

Surge protection devices (SPDs) are designed to protect your electronics from power surges. They monitor the electrical current coming into your home and divert excess energy away from sensitive electronic components like computers and televisions.

The most common type of SPD is a wall outlet protector, which plugs directly into an outlet and provides protection for any device plugged into it.

It’s important to note that not all surge protection devices are created equal—some offer greater protection than others, so make sure to look for devices with high ratings before you buy one. 

Unplug Unnecessary Electronics 

Whenever possible, unplug any unnecessary electronics when they aren’t in use.

This will reduce the risk of those items being damaged by a power surge and also help you save on electricity usage costs.

When plugging in electronic items after a storm or other severe weather event, it’s best to wait until all of the power has been restored before doing so—this will help ensure that no residual voltage remains in the wiring that could potentially damage your device. 

You should also make sure that all connected devices such as monitors and printers have also been properly grounded.

Breaker box

Another way protect your home from power surges is by installing a whole-house surge protection device at your main breaker box.

This device acts as an extra layer of defense against incoming surges and will help protect all devices connected to your electrical system from any damage caused by an unexpected spike in voltage                              

Invest in Backup Batteries 

Investing in backup batteries is another great way to prevent damage caused by power surges.

Backup batteries supply enough energy to keep essential electronics running during short-term outages and provide additional protection against voltage spikes caused by storms or other unpredictable events.

Many surge protectors also come with built-in battery backup capabilities, making them even more useful when protecting your valuable equipment from harm. 

UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply)

UPS (uninterrupted power supply) devices are another option for protecting your electronics from a power surge.

These devices act like a battery backup and provide additional protection against voltage spikes and fluctuations in the electrical current.

They also give you time to safely shut down any computers or other electronic equipment before it is damaged, should a power surge occur.

Which Surge Protector should I buy?

Outlet Type 

We always tell our clients that one of the first things you will want to consider is the type of outlet. Most homes are equipped with three-prong outlets, so you’ll want to make sure that the surge protector you choose has two slots available for three-prong plugs.

If your home has two-prong outlets, then make sure that the surge protector comes with adapters for those as well. 

Joules Rating 

The joules rating tells you how much energy a surge protector can absorb before it fails.

The higher the joule rating, the more protection it provides. Generally speaking, look for a minimum of 1000 joules if possible; any lower than that and your appliances may not be adequately protected against power surges. 

Clamping Voltage 

This is another important metric to consider when choosing a surge protector; it tells you how quickly it will respond to an incoming power surge.

The lower this number is (generally anywhere from 130V – 400V), the quicker it will respond and protect your appliances from any damage caused by an unexpected power surge.

It’s also worth noting that some models offer adjustable clamping voltage settings, allowing you to customize this threshold according to your own needs. 

Conclusion

Surge protectors are a must in all countries, Australia included. Power surges can cause irreversible damage to your electronics and appliances, so it is important that you always have it in place to help protect your devices from any damages.

By following the tips above, you’ll be able to find the perfect surge protector for your home or office.

Remember – taking these preventative measures you give yourself the best chance of avoiding any catastrophic damage caused by sudden increases in voltage. 

Author:
I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...