Why You Should Use A Surge Protector
It’s no secret; society has become extremely dependent on technology. There seems to be a new gadget coming out every single day. However, with all of these advances comes a great deal of responsibility– mainly as it concerns protecting these items. And that’s because all it takes is one surge of power to do significant damage.
Most people assume that plugging their devices and equipment into a power strip will protect against surges. So they plug countless gadgets into one outlet, not realizing that this is an accident waiting to happen. The only way to avoid disaster is to use a surge protector.
It’s easy to overlook how big of a role electricity plays in everyday life. That is until a storm sweeps through the neighborhood and knocks all of the power out. If the storm is powerful enough and lightning was involved, there can be quite a bit of collateral damage. Daily essentials including the refrigerator, garage doors, the air conditioning, the HVAC system, and much more may not be able to function for weeks. But perhaps the most devastating part about storms like these is the irreparable damage.
There are some surges so powerful that even with restored power, electronic devices and equipment no longer work. And the worst part is, insurance may not cover the cost to replace these items. That’s why surge protectors are so important. This small investment can save thousands of dollars.
So How Do Surge Protectors Work?
Surge protectors act as a middle man between the wall and the electrical device. Instead of flowing directly into the appliance, the electrical current flows from the wall to the surge protector. The surge protector then delivers these currents to the device. And whenever there’s a surge that’s too high, the extra voltage diverts to the protector’s grounding wire.
Three factors determine how efficiently a surge protector does its job. First, the clamping determines at what voltage the diversion will start to kick in — the lower the energy, the better. The higher the voltage, the more likely the devices are to be damaged. Second, the energy rating determines how much power the protector can safely absorb. Lastly, the time in which the surge protector kicks in will regulate how long it takes for it to respond.
Choosing the Correct One
When shopping for a surge protector, it’s important to remember that not all are created equal. So it helps to focus on five major areas: the number of ports, the type of devices used, the energy rate and clamping voltage, the warranty, and extra features.
1. Ports. The standard number of ports surge protectors have are 6 to 8. However, the more electrical devices someone has, the more ports they will need. The reason it’s essential to get the correct number of ports is so that it won’t be necessary to daisy chain other protectors.
2. Device types. It’s critical to think about the kinds of devices that require a protector. Specific protectors are better suited for certain devices. For example, if someone is plugging an entire entertainment center into their protector, then they may want to purchase the best they can find. However, if they are only using a phone charger for the protector, they could buy something a little less costly and robust.
3. Energy rate and clamping voltage. As previously mentioned, the energy rate and clamping voltage are essential elements. The protector’s energy rating determines how much energy the protector can absorb before it begins to fail. Ideally, a protector should offer at least 600 joules. The higher, the better.
The clamping voltage determines the voltage at which the protector activates. Ideally, it’s best to choose a protector that kicks in at 400 volts or less. In this case, the lower, the better.
4. The warranty. The protector must come with a great warranty. The point of purchasing a protector is to protect expensive devices and equipment. The best warranties are those that cover a certain amount of damages if a power surge gets through. The warranty should be extensive and easy to claim.
Ultimately, it’s a good idea to inform yourself before starting a search for a quality protector. Read all of the fine print on the packaging. It’s definitely worth the time when one considers how much money it could save in the long run.
5. Extra features. It’s also a good idea to research additional features. For example, some surge protectors are designed to automatically shut off whenever the devices have been turned off or are no longer charging. Specific protectors can be controlled by remote, enabling the user to turn it off and on along with all of the devices on the protector. These features are especially beneficial if they have a standby mode. Which often includes things such as TVs and game consoles. Protectors that come with remote control can also be great for protectors that are not easy to reach.
Technology is moving at a rapid pace. And this means that people are becoming more and more reliant on electronics by the day. However, it’s important to remember that these devices need to be taken care of– precisely when it comes to electrical storms and other natural disasters.
Unfortunately, by the time people realize that they need a surge protector, it’s often too late. A sudden storm has already destroyed their devices and equipment, and they are unable to recoup their costs. People must take the necessary steps to protect their equipment before things are beyond their control. Protectors come in all shapes and sizes. And many are built with extra features that can make their use convenient and seamless.
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