We briefly touched on surge protectors in our blog about what to upgrade during a renovation, but there’s a wealth of knowledge surrounding surge protectors that our Scoresby electricians would love to share with you. It always helps to understand – even partly – the type of electricals that are being used in your home, and a surge protector is no exception. Let’s dive right into the topic!
What does it do?
A surge protector’s primary job is to shield electronic devices and appliances – computers, televisions, fridges etc. – from power surges. 240 volts is the Australian standard for homes and offices. Anything over this number is considered to be a surge and can result in connected appliances or devices being damaged.
The most common type of damage that can occur is motherboards and circuitry being destroyed. If the flow of power is interrupted momentarily it can also be counted as a power surge. Power surges tend to last a fraction of a second yet can still cause irreparable damage.
How does it do it?
Surge protectors plug into your AC wall outlet and can have either single or multiple sockets for you to plug your devices into. If a spike or surge happens then the protector will direct the extra voltage into the outlet’s grounding wire– thus protecting the devices/appliances from receiving the extra power and also allowing their stream to continue uninterrupted.
Coming in from a more technical perspective, surge protectors contain an MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor), which is a device that has a variable electrical resistance and provides transient voltage suppression. The MOV is what connects the hot wire to the ground wire within a surge protector.
Due to the variable electrical resistance, the MOV can make adjustments if any approaching voltage is too high or too low. If a surge occurs, and the incoming voltage is too high, the MOV will redirect only the excess voltage into the grounding wire so the correct voltage can continue uninterrupted as normal.
Can it protect my devices from lightning?
A common misconception when it comes to surge protectors is that they’re able to protect your devices against lightning strikes. Unfortunately, the sudden and extreme change in voltage that comes with a lightning strike is too much for even a surge protector as they’re designed to combat smaller spikes and surges (such as the ones that occasionally occur in a home or office). If you are expecting harsh weather and are worried about a lightning strike, then our Scoresby electricians suggest that you unplug your appliances to avoid any issues.
The prime benefit associated with using a surge protector is that it protects your electronic devices and appliances. But there are other benefits that all stem from the primary:
- It helps prevent data loss – Computers and laptops are a bit more sensitive to power surges than other devices. These days, computers are stacked full of important and personal information that you’d rather not lose. Whilst it’s always important to make backups, it’d still be a lot easier if you didn’t have to worry about a power surge occurring for no reason.
- Peace of mind when not at home – Whether you’re on holidays or spending most of your time out of the house, it’s comforting to know that your devices are all protected just in case the worst does happen. In some extreme situations, power surges and spikes that occur without the protection of surge protectors can lead to fires – which is the last thing you want, especially when you’re not at home.
- It’s cost-effective – For what you’re getting, a surge protector is worth the cost. It’s a simple and cost-effective method of insurance and can save you a whole lot more in the long run.
Do you need a Scoresby electrician?
iSpark Electrical Solutions offers quality Scoresby electrician contractors that are knowledgeable and efficient when it comes to surge protectors and all facets of the electrical world. We only use qualified contractors that can deliver proficient service in a time-friendly manner – taking the time to operate with extra care, no matter the job. We offer an extensive range of electrical services for both residential and commercial buildings and operate within Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, all the way through to the CBD.
If you would like to know more about surge protectors, then please give us a call on 1300 225 588. Alternatively, feel free to fill out the enquiry form on our website.