How Does a Surge Protector Work?

surge protector in use

In all commercial and residential buildings, having a surge protector is a necessity to ensure the continued safety of others around. In fact, a surge protector is recommended by the Institute for Business and Home Safety and the National Fire Protection Association for all buildings.

While many homes and buildings do have in-built surge protectors, in some areas with old electric work and more, these are not always added. In this case, you will have to independently check and make sure if you need to have them added into your home. Usually, it is recommended you have surge protectors all over the house. Only one in the home is not good enough to protect.

What is a Surge Protector?

Before you get one, it is a good idea to know what a surge protector is. Also known as a surge suppressor, this is a small tool usually used, particularly when you want to plug in, multiple devices. The main purpose is to make sure any increase in the electrical current does not cause the appliances in your home to start malfunctioning.

Even if you only have a computer in your home, you need to make sure any increase in the electrical current does not result in damage to you or your chosen appliance. Without it, a person is more at risk of damaging their appliances, electric fires or even electrocution at home.

What Counts as a Surge?

A power surge is when the electrical current rises above its recommended voltage. While electric companies usually keep an eye on the current, there can be certain scenarios where the current increases such as during storms or when there are too many appliances plugged in, causing an increase in energy consumption and demand.

Now, not all increases in energy consumption can count as a surge. In fact, some increases don’t count as surges. For it to be classified as a surge, the electric current needs to increase and last for over three nanoseconds. If it is less than three nanoseconds, it is only a spike. Nonetheless, both situations are dangerous and can cause damage. With a surge protector in place, this increase in current is not felt and regulated properly.

Why Is it a Necessity?

A surge protector is a necessity because, without it, you can experience the following different problems:

  • Malfunctioning Appliances – You will find many of your appliances do not last very long and wear out very quickly. With the right surge protectors, you can prevent this from happening.
  • Electrical Fires – Fires can occur when a surge can cause sparks to fly out. In some cases, it can also cause the plastic around the wiring to melt.
  • Power Outages – With unmonitored surges, you might experience a power outage as the circuit breaker will automatically trip to take the strain off. This will cause a temporary or permanent power outage.
  • Damage to the Circuit Box – The circuit box is the heart of any building and power surges can damage it. This can cause a complete blackout in your home and require extensive repairs.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us here or call (505) 560-2696.  We are more than happy to help!

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