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Get To Know: Surge Protectors

eaton surge protector installed in home

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In today’s digital age, our homes and businesses are filled with valuable electronic devices that we rely on daily. From smartphones and laptops to appliances and entertainment systems, these devices are susceptible to damage from power surges. That’s where surge protectors come in. 

In this edition of “Get To Know”, we will explore the importance of surge protectors, how they work, and why you should consider installing them in your home or business. Join us as we dive into the world of surge protection and discover how it can safeguard your valuable investments.

What is a Surge Protector?

A surge protector, also known as a surge suppressor, is a device designed to protect electrical devices from voltage spikes caused by sudden increases in electrical power. These spikes, which can occur due to lightning strikes, power outages, or electrical line disturbances, can overload and damage sensitive electronic equipment. 

Surge protectors act as a barrier between your devices and the incoming electrical power, redirecting excessive voltage safely to the ground, thus shielding your electronics from potential harm.

Types Of Surge Protection

When it comes to surge protection, there are different types of surge protectors available to suit various needs.

Top close view of a household surge protector on a wood table top.

Power Strip Surge Protector

One type of surge protector is the power strip surge protector. These devices not only offer surge protection but also provide multiple outlets, allowing you to connect multiple devices simultaneously. Power strip surge protectors are often used in home offices or entertainment areas where numerous electronics need to be connected.

Macro close up photograph of protected indicator light on electric surge protection device.

Whole-Home or Business Surge Protector

For comprehensive and robust surge protection, whole-home or business surge protection is highly recommended. These systems provide protection for your entire electrical system, safeguarding all connected devices and appliances. 

Whole-home or business surge protection is typically installed at the main electrical panel, serving as the first line of defense against power surges entering your property

By installing whole-home or business surge protection, you can ensure that every outlet and device in your home or business is protected, minimizing the risk of damage caused by power surges.

Whether you choose plug-in surge protectors, power strip surge protectors, or opt for whole-home or business surge protection, investing in surge protection devices is essential for protecting your valuable electronics and ensuring the longevity and reliability of your electrical system.

How Do Surge Protectors Work?

Surge protectors contain metal oxide varistors (MOVs) or gas discharge tubes that absorb and redirect excess voltage. When a power surge occurs, these components react quickly by diverting the excess voltage away from your devices. This process ensures that only the normal voltage reaches your electronics, protecting them from potential damage.

Why Should You Install Surge Protectors?

Protect Your Investments

Surge protectors act as a first line of defense, safeguarding your expensive electronic devices from electrical surges. By installing surge protectors, you can extend the lifespan of your equipment and save money on costly repairs or replacements.

Power surges can happen at any time, often without warning. Having surge protectors installed throughout your home or business provides peace of mind, knowing that your devices are protected against potential damage.

Beyond the protection of your electronics, surge protectors also play a crucial role in home safety. Electrical surges can lead to fires or other hazards, and surge protectors help mitigate these risks by preventing excessive voltage from overloading your electrical system.

In some cases, insurance providers may require the installation of surge protectors as a condition for coverage. Having surge protectors installed can help ensure that your property is adequately protected and meet the requirements of your insurance policy.

How Often You Should Replace Your Surge Protector

Surge protectors play a crucial role in safeguarding our electronic devices from voltage spikes, but like all protective equipment, they don’t last forever. Understanding when to replace them is key to ensuring your devices remain protected over time.

Wear and Tear

Surge protectors gradually wear out with each voltage spike they absorb. The lifespan of a surge protector depends on the number of surges it encounters and its overall quality. 

As a general guideline, it’s wise to consider replacing your surge protectors every three to five years. However, if you live in an area prone to frequent electrical storms or power surges, you may need to replace them more often.

Many surge protectors come with indicator lights that show whether the device is still providing protection. If this light goes out or changes color, it’s a clear sign that the surge protector needs to be replaced.

If your home experiences a major power surge or lightning strike, it’s a good practice to replace your surge protectors immediately. Even if the protector seems to be functioning correctly, its internal components may be damaged and less effective at protecting against future surges.

Technology evolves rapidly, and newer surge protectors often offer better protection and additional features, such as USB charging ports or energy-saving capabilities. Upgrading to a modern surge protector can provide enhanced protection for your devices and more convenience.

Check your surge protectors periodically for any signs of physical damage, such as frayed wiring, cracked casings, or loose outlets. If you notice any damage, replace the surge protector to ensure your safety and the protection of your devices.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how often you should replace surge protectors, being mindful of their condition and the factors mentioned above will help you determine the right time to make a replacement. Remember, the cost of a new surge protector is minimal compared to the expense and inconvenience of replacing damaged electronic devices.

Now you know, Surge Protectors.

In a world reliant on electronic devices, surge protectors have become an essential component of any electrical system. They offer reliable protection against voltage spikes, safeguarding your valuable investments and providing peace of mind. Don’t wait for a power surge to cause irreparable damage to your electronics—take proactive steps to protect them with surge protectors.

Need More Info?

Check out our surge protector F.A.Qs.

Can surge protectors handle all types of power surges?

Surge protectors are effective at handling most common power surges, such as those caused by lightning, electrical line disturbances, or power outages. However, they may not be able to protect against all types of surges, such as direct lightning strikes or major electrical grid failures. For ultimate protection, it is recommended to use a combination of surge protectors and whole-house surge protection systems.

Surge protectors have a limited lifespan and can wear down over time due to repeated power surges. It is recommended to replace surge protectors every 2 to 3 years or if they show signs of damage or wear. Additionally, if a surge protector sacrifices itself to protect your devices during a power surge, it should be replaced immediately.

Not all power strips are surge protectors. It is important to check if the power strip has built-in surge protection capabilities before using it as a surge protector. Look for power strips that are specifically labeled as surge protectors and have a joule rating, indicating their ability to handle power surges.

While some surge protectors can be easily installed by following the manufacturer’s instructions, it is recommended to consult with a licensed electrician for proper installation. An electrician will ensure that the surge protectors are correctly connected to your electrical system and provide guidance on the best placement for optimal protection.

When it comes to surge protector installation, hiring a professional from Haines Electric is crucial to ensure a safe and effective installation. With their expertise and experience, their electricians have the necessary knowledge and tools to properly install surge protectors and ensure that all electrical connections are secure and up to code.

By choosing Haines Electric for surge protector installation, you can have peace of mind knowing that the job will be done safely and correctly. Their experienced electricians will assess your specific needs, recommend the appropriate surge protector, and install it in a way that maximizes its effectiveness in protecting your devices and appliances.

With over 50 years of experience, Haines Electric is a trusted team of local electricians serving Nassau County, Long Island. Committed to excellence, we offer transparent pricing, safety-focused services, and a 3-year warranty on equipment. 

With 3 master electricians on board, we prioritize exceeding customer expectations while ensuring clean, courteous service. 

Trust Haines Electric for reliable, efficient electrical solutions that prioritize customer satisfaction.