What is a Surge Protector?

Protect your gadgets from power surges generated by other appliances with a surge protector.

Air conditioners are the most typical culprits of power surges, although other equipment (including refrigerators and washing machines) can do the same thing.

The use of surge protectors is highly recommended to shield your electronics from damaging power fluctuations. A surge protector is what?

Surge Protector

A surge protector is a dual-purpose, portable appliance.

To prevent damage to your equipment, use a surge protector to cut off power while it’s being applied to it. In this way, your electronic devices are more protected.

The first feature, sharing a single outlet across several devices, is well-known. The second major use for this device is to shield sensitive electronics like televisions and computers from dangerous high-voltage surges.

Whether it’s due to a shortage in the home’s wiring or a car running over an electrical line, a sudden increase in voltage can quickly burn out sensitive electronics if precautions aren’t taken to prevent it. A surge protector can help prevent this from happening.

A Surge Protector’s Function

Surge protectors are single-purpose, portable devices that shield electronic devices from power surges. The first and maybe most crucial is safeguarding your electronics, such as TVs and PCs, against a power surge or abrupt increase in voltage above the designated level of energy flow.

Overloading a wire causes this kind of spike by forcing too much power through it at once.

This can be the result of a number of factors, including but not limited to electrical surges brought on by storms over time; problems with smart meters that track how much power is consumed on any given day (by tracking usage, they want to discourage people from abusing the system); and defective wiring inside buildings brought on by improper installation or sloppy workmanship.

Using Surge Protectors to Cut Excess

A hose can only take so much pressure before it bursts. Overuse of electricity can also cause problems, such as fires or early appliance failure due to overheating or wear and tear.

If you want to prolong the life of your wiring and appliances, invest in a surge protector, which will channel the excess force that might otherwise cause the wires to snap out of the wall.

Pressure Management

In what ways is the force of the overflowing electricity redirected? Surge protectors have valves that open when the voltage rises to a certain level and redirect the excess energy elsewhere.

Current flows normally at normal voltages, but when voltages spike or surge, filters kick in to redirect the excess current to grounding wires.

Metal oxide varistors (MOVs) or gas discharge arrestors are commonly used to accomplish this, as they prevent damage to plugged-in equipment by rerouting excess power.

Multi-Layered Protection

Protecting the electrical system and your home with surge protectors is crucial. All installations require the following three types of surge protectors: 

  • Type 1: Whole House Protection Mounted in the space between your home’s meter and the main power wires.
  • Type 2: Whole House Protection Installed in the space between your home’s electricity meter and its breaker panel.
  • Type 3: Point-of-Use Power strip protectors are smaller and are placed over electrical outlets.

It’s important to consider your needs while choosing a surge protector for your home.

Even if whole-house surge protectors can’t shield you from 100 percent of power spikes, they’re still useful. There may be a leak of up to 15% of the surplus voltage. They also aren’t a guarantee against the plethora of appliance-related electrical problems that can arise in a home, such as when the air conditioner or refrigerator cycles on and off.

Difference Between a Surge and a Spike

A surge is defined as an increase in voltage that persists for more than three ns. The term “spike” is used when the duration of the spike is less than two nanoseconds.

One quadrillionth of a second: does it really make a difference? But if you’re unlucky enough to face high-voltage surges and spikes, those tiny fractions can wreak severe harm on computers.

Causes of a Surge or Spike

If there is a blackout, you should be familiar with the company’s contingency plans.

Blackouts can be triggered by lightning, but this is very rare and, more often, the result of the sudden activation or deactivation of high-power devices like air conditioners or refrigerators equipped with motors and compressors.

When these “heavy hitters” turn off in unprotected buildings, it disrupts the voltage flow, which can cause instant damage if not addressed immediately and slow wear and failure if not corrected at all.

Power surges can result from a number of different problems, including faulty wiring, problems with the utility company’s equipment, or even just downed power lines. If you know what to do, however, there is still a chance that you can get a decent night’s sleep after such an incident.

There are several potential failure spots within the network of transformers and wires that supplies your home’s energy, which could lead to an imbalanced current and a subsequent surge.

What Is a Good Surge Protector

If your house is not properly wired and grounded, even the greatest surge protector on the market will be useless.

Fixing problems with the grounding in older homes or with outlets that aren’t adequately rated for usage with a grounded outlet should be prioritized above buying new appliances.

The following are examples of parts and functions found in surge protectors:

  • Although it can transmit AC power, the iron-core transformer will be damaged by spikes.
  • The Zener diode, which protects the circuit against spikes, is sometimes combined with a transient voltage suppression diode.
  • As they shield the electronics from external power spikes caused by tripped breakers or blown fuses, surge protectors are an essential piece of equipment in any home containing electronic devices.
  • With a filtered and connected external source of clean energy, your devices will be protected from power fluctuations.
  • Thermally fused metal oxide varistors (MOVs) are capable of limiting voltages three to four times greater than standard currents. A MOV will self-destruct if it is repeatedly exposed to either massive transients, like those from lightning, or multiple minor transients, like those from poor wiring and time-sensitive electrical equipment, like microwaves and radios.

You should have a better grasp of voltage after reading this. A transient surge protector is a device that controls current and shields electronics against power surges and other rapid fluctuations.

Inductors that prevent sudden current changes and capacitors that prohibit voltage changes above a certain threshold can be used to protect electronic devices from spikes.

Multiple components, such as spark gaps, Zener-type semiconductors (which begin conducting electricity once reaching their precise electric thresholds), and MOVs, are utilized in transient surge protectors to ensure safety.

We shall now discuss the various home surge protectors available. They could be located in a gadget by your home’s electrical panel or on a power strip within your house. 

In today’s modern homes, electrical outlets typically have three wires (line, neutral, and ground) to accommodate a variety of different situations, including those involving lighting, in which the cable and neutral wires can generate high voltage spikes that must be shortened with the grounding wire (ground).

You should get one good protector to keep your belongings safe while you’re gone, but don’t forget to also buy a UPS battery for it.

Protecting your electronics from power surges and spikes is impossible without a surge protector. Due to the high voltage during these incidents, any electronic equipment plugged directly into an outlet is in danger of being severely damaged.

The functionality of surge protectors is as intended: They save you money and prevent damage to the device you have plugged in by redirecting excess energy through their circuitry and limiting the amount of current or voltage that can enter the device.

Conclusion

Defending sensitive electronics from harmful power surges is the job of surge protectors, which are small, portable devices. When the voltage gets too high, the surge protector’s valves open and the extra energy is diverted elsewhere. Protect your gadgets from sudden power surges by plugging them into a surge protector. For the purposes of this definition, a surge is any voltage spike that lasts for more than three ns. Up to 15% of the excess voltage could be lost, which would be disastrous for electronics.

The use of a surge protector is no assurance against electrical issues caused by appliances. The system of transformers and wires that brings electricity to your home contains numerous points of failure. When you have electronic devices at home, you need a surge protector. They prevent damage to sensitive devices from power surges generated by blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. An electrical surge protector regulates the flow of electricity and protects sensitive equipment from spikes in voltage.

You can find surge protectors in a device beside your electrical panel or on a power strip anywhere in your home. By rerouting the extra power through their circuitry, they save you money and protect whatever you’ve hooked into them.

Content Summary

  • Protect your gadgets from power surges generated by other appliances with a surge protector.
  • The use of surge protectors is highly recommended to shield your electronics from damaging power fluctuations.
  • A surge protector is a dual-purpose, portable appliance.
  • To prevent damage to your equipment, use a surge protector to cut off power while it’s being applied to it.
  • The second major use for this device is to shield sensitive electronics like televisions and computers from dangerous high-voltage surges.
  • A surge protector can help prevent this from happening.
  • Surge protectors are single-purpose, portable devices that shield electronic devices from power surges.
  • If you want to prolong the life of your wiring and appliances, invest in a surge protector, which will channel the excess force that might otherwise cause the wires to snap out of the wall.
  • Protecting the electrical system and your home with surge protectors is crucial.
  • It’s important to consider your needs while choosing a surge protector for your home.
  • Even if whole-house surge protectors can’t shield you from 100 percent of power spikes, they’re still useful.
  • A surge is defined as an increase in voltage that persists for more than three ns.
  • If there is a blackout, you should be familiar with the company’s contingency plans.
  • There are several potential failure spots within the network of transformers and wires that supply your home’s energy, which could lead to an imbalanced current and a subsequent surge.
  • If your house is not properly wired and grounded, even the greatest surge protector on the market will be useless.
  • Fixing problems with the grounding in older homes or with outlets that aren’t adequately rated for usage with a grounded outlet should be prioritized above buying new appliances.
  • The following are examples of parts and functions found in surge protectors:Although it can transmit AC power, the iron-core transformer will be damaged by spikes.
  • As they shield the electronics from external power spikes caused by tripped breakers or blown fuses, surge protectors are an essential piece of equipment in any home containing electronic devices.
  • With a filtered and connected external source of clean energy, your devices will be protected from power fluctuations.
  • Thermally fused metal oxide varistors (MOVs) are capable of limiting voltages three to four times greater than standard currents.
  • You should have a better grasp of voltage after reading this.
  • A transient surge protector is a device that controls current and shields electronics against power surges and other rapid fluctuations.
  • We shall now discuss the various home surge protectors available.
  • They could be located in a gadget by your home’s electrical panel or on a power strip within your house.
  • Protecting your electronics from power surges and spikes is impossible without a surge protector.

About Blake Sutton

Blake has worked as an electrician for over 10 years, receiving his Journeyman Electrician license in 1998. Looking to take his professional electrical career further, in 2008 he received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from the University of Texas in Austin. Blake now works full time as an electrical engineer, specializing in power systems.