Most of the time, electrical devices can handle power surges that happen in home and offices caused by thunderstorms or when equipment that requires a high amount of electricity is used at the same time. However, consistent exposure to these surges, especially if the increase in voltage is too high, can eventually damage your beloved electronics, like your HDTV or your intricate computer system. That will not only take away your source of entertainment and comfort, but it also means that you will have to spend a lot of money to have them fixed or to buy replacements. To avoid these major expenses, it is best that you focus on prevention and in this case, it will be by using surge protectors.
Surge protectors, as their name implies, protect electrical appliances from power surges by diverting the excess voltage to the ground wiring. In doing so, only the allotted amount of voltage will continue to be supplied to the plugged devices. This could be 110 or 220 volts, depending on where you are located. Most of the time, surge protectors are sold in the form of power strips, which are extensions that have multiple outlets. Therefore, a single surge protector can be used for several devices at the same time.
You can buy a surge protector from any hardware store or home depot, but going there without doing your research first can result to buying the wrong product so keep these considerations in mind when doing your shopping.
The joule is the measure of energy that runs through the electrical wiring. The higher the joule rating of a surge protector, the better it is because that means that it can absorb high spikes in energy. For homes, a rating of 600 or more is recommended.
The indicator lights found in surge protector power strips work in two ways. First, they indicate that power is available on that specific outlet. Second, they also show that the protection is currently on. Although there are power strips that do not have these indicator lights, it is best to choose those that do so that you can see in an instant if there is something wrong with your power strip. If the light does not turn on, it could mean that a fuse is burnt and it may need replacing.
The response time indicates how quick a surge protector can detect a surge so that it can divert it right away. If the protector is slow to identify a surge, then your appliances will still be exposed to the high voltage longer than necessary.
Most surge protectors are made of hard plastic, but there are also those that are made of metal housing. The latter is sturdier and lasts longer, therefore, providing more value for your money.
As mentioned, these power strips come with multiple outlets, so you can choose one that best fits your needs. For instance, if you plan to plug in three devices to it at the same time, then the power strip must have three outlets. The cord length must be considered too, especially when you have appliances that are located far from the main outlet. Another consideration is the plug. Different regions have different plug designs, so know what is ideal for your home. You may have to use a separate adapter if the plug and the main outlet do not match.
Rating and Certification
Lastly, make sure that the surge protectors that you buy have passed necessary testing to ensure that they have met standard requirements for safety and efficiency.
Keep these things in mind when shopping for a surge protector to ensure that you are not wasting your money on a device that does not meet its claims in protecting your appliances. Go for a brand that has a good reputation and assess your needs at home or in your offices first so that you can buy what you exactly need.