How Do Surge Protectors Work?

How Do Surge Protectors Work?

A power surge is a sudden increase in voltage that can damage electronic devices. Surges can happen due to lightning strikes, power outages, or simply flipping a switch on a high-powered appliance. 

This is where a surge protector comes in. A surge protector is designed to absorb or redirect these sudden increases in voltage, protecting your electronics from damage. Your electrician in Maine and New Hampshire can help install it on your property. 

How Do Surge Protectors Work?

A surge protector is a device connected between your electronic equipment and the power source. It works by providing a path of least resistance for the excess voltage to flow through. 

Surge protectors come in various shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: they contain circuitry that can handle high voltages without being damaged. This circuitry is usually made from metal oxide varistors or MOVs designed to resist electrical current.

MOVs are connected to metal plates that dissipate the heat generated by the absorbed electrical surges. This ensures that the MOVs don’t overheat and fail, which could allow future surges to pass through and damage attached devices.

Mostly, surge protectors may have indicator lights that let you know when they’re working properly. If the light is off or flickering, it’s time to replace the unit. 

What Devices Can You Connect to Surge Protectors?

You can plug almost any electronic device into a surge protector, including computers, TVs, and stereos. However, some devices require special surge protectors. 

For example, many devices with a coaxial cable (such as a cable TV box or satellite dish) need a surge protector with coaxial connectors. These surge protectors usually have one or two cable TV connectors and a few AC outlets.

How to Choose the Right Surge Protector?

When choosing a surge protector, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

  • The number of devices you need to protect. If you have a lot of devices, you’ll need a surge protector with more outlets. 
  • The wattage rating or the maximum amount of power the surge protector can handle. Make sure to choose a device with a wattage rating higher than the sum of all the devices you’re connecting to it. 
  • The voltage rating of the surge protector. Most surge protectors have a voltage rating of 120 volts, sufficient for most homes in the United States. 
  • The response time or the time it takes for the surge protector to start working. 
  • The joule rating of the surge protector or the measure of energy the surge protector will absorb. The higher the joule rating, the better. 

Do I Need an Electrician to Install a Surge Protector?

Most surge protectors can be plugged into a standard wall outlet. However, some homes may not have enough outlets to accommodate all devices that need protection. An electrician can install additional outlets or hard-wired surge protector units in these cases. 

Hard-wired surge protector units are permanently installed and usually have a higher voltage rating than plug-in units. They’re also more expensive, so be sure to consult with the best electricians in New Hampshire before purchasing.

Installing a hard-wired surge protector is a reasonably simple process, but it does require some basic electrical knowledge. If you’re not comfortable working with electricity, it’s best to leave the job to a professional.

Quality Electric LLC is your New Hampshire and Maine electrician, offering quality surge protector installation services. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!