A surge protector is a device designed to protect appliances from damage due to voltage spikes. If the voltage increases above the standard level of 120 volts of electricity it can cause damage to appliances.
A standard surge protector works by diverting the extra electricity into the grounding wire, and so protecting your appliances. The most common type of surge protector is a metal oxide varistor (MOV) and it acts as a barrier between the electrical circuits and your appliances.
Be aware that power strips may have surge protection built in, but check the label as those that don’t have surge protection may claim to be ‘surge supressors’. This is not the same thing, and doesn’t protect against voltage spikes.
Surge protection services are available which cover the whole property, they can protect the building from outside voltage spikes or power surges.
Surge protection services are also available for commercial and industrial buildings.
A power surge may occur when high powered electrical devices are switched on or off. As they require a high level of power they create a sudden demand which alters the steady flow of volts in the electrical system. Devices such as air conditioners and refrigerators could cause this power surge.
Other causes may be faulty wiring.
As the number of outlets in your home increases you may need to place a layer of protection for your appliances to protect them against power surges.
External events such as downed power lines, problems at the utility company and lightning will also cause a power surge.
A surge protection system can be put in place which protects the whole house. It is usually installed where the power lines run into your property. A surge protection breaker or panel is installed at the home’s main breaker load center. It can protect all the circuits in your house within a certain range of volts.
The surge protectors work on different ranges, with more expensive models handling larger power surges.
Whole house surge protection will suppress all surges from outside your property. So it will handle any problems due to the utility company, downed lines etc. However, it can’t suppress surges coming from within your property, as a result of turning on high powered electrical devices. Nevertheless it is often beneficial to have surge protection services from homes.