Electrical Surge Suppressors
The Eden Prairie electrician explains that not all surge suppressors are made alike. Many are not even designed to protect from power surges; rather, they are simply multiple-outlet power strips which allow the user to plug a bunch of things into one outlet. This practice can be hazardous!
Electrical wiring is not the only way a power surge can enter the home. An electrical power surge can travel along any conductible path, including telephone and cable lines. Computers, TVs and other high-tech devices can be destroyed by an electrical power surge. In addition, new model appliances that function with circuit boards can become damaged.
According to the Eden Prairie electrician, there are two types of power surges that people should be concerned about. One is lightning. A ground rod helps protect a home from lightning strikes; however, they do not prevent power surges through wiring. The other type of electrical power surge is power fluctuations. When power is interrupted either during a storm or when someone repeatedly turns it on and off, the surges can degrade electronic components and cause appliances to fail.
The best way to minimize the risk of damage caused by electrical power surges is to have a whole house surge protector installed. These are designed to divert excess voltage from the home. The Eden Prairie electrician explains that the average insurance claim for damage caused by an electrical power surge is over $10,000! The whole house surge protector only cost about $250.
Point of use power surge protectors are power strips that people often plug sensitive equipment into, like computers, expensive stereo equipment and TV’s. Simply buying the cheapest one or one that looks cool will not provide adequate protection. The Eden Prairie electrician provides some tips about words to look for on the label when buying a surge protector power strip:
- UL rating of 1449
- Clamping voltage. Less is better in terms of clamping voltage. Close to 120 volts is best, but UL standards are 330 volts
- Absorbs at least 600 joules of energy
- “L-N, L-G, N-G.” These letters indicate surge protection for all the lines entering the home including hot, neutral and ground
- Contains indicator lights that show the power strip is working and signal when it needs to be replaced
There is no fool-proof way to defend against electrical surge suppression, but following these guidelines provided by the Eden Prairie electrician will go a long way in avoiding costly repairs or replacement of expensive electronics and/or home appliances.