Surge Protector

So you have invested in one of the latest and greatest giant screen televisions or a top of the line computer capable of running twelve applications at once all at lightning speed. You are feeling pretty good about your new investment and enjoying the sweet life. And then, perhaps while you are away from home or on vacation, the weather man offers a dire warning. Lightning storms are coming and your home is right in their path. And then the unthinkable happens – zap! – and your new investment, your new baby, is dead, all because of the daunting power of Mother Nature. What did you do wrong?

The problem was, you did not invest in a surge protector. Surge protectors are small appliances designed to protect your electrical devices – televisions, computers, stereos, refrigerators, etc. – from voltage spikes. And voltage spikes do not only result from lightning sent by Mother Nature. They can also be the result of random voltage spikes caused by shorts or electrical malfunctions that are no fault of yours. In fact, there are some electrical malfunctions that you simply can’t see coming. The only way to protect your expensive home electronics from surges and voltage spikes is to invest in a good, solid surge protector.

How do surge protectors manage to perform this great feat? After all electricity is a dangerous and powerful force. Well, surge protectors are able to regulate voltage by either blocking the electricity from reaching your home electronic device or grounding the electricity so that it only reaches your home electronic device in safe levels.

As with any appliance, there are some misconceptions about surge protectors. For one, just because your home appliance is hooked up to a power strip does not mean that it is hooked up to a surge protector. While some power strips (usually found in places in the house, such as behind the entertainment center or computer desk where many electronics need to be hooked into one small spot) do come equipped with surge protectors, many do not. So be sure to read the specifications on your power strip before purchasing. It is very possible that your power strip is just a power strip and is not providing any surge protector capabilities to your expensive electronics. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to such expensive investments.

The number of joules a surge protector is rated for shows the amount of energy the surge protector can absorb without failure. That’s right – though surge protectors are designed to protect your electronic devices and appliances from surges of electricity, they are not infallible. In fact, surge protectors generally do not have the ability to protect your appliances from a direct lighting strike. The only way to protect your appliances in that case is to unplug them. Nevertheless, a higher number of joules indicates that the surge protector can protect your appliance and electronics for a longer period of time and absorb more energy.

The best surge protectors exceed 1,000 joules and 40,000 amperes. When in the market or a surge protector to protect your valuable equipment, be sure to read the packing or ask an electronic sales person’s advice. As technology evolves, so will the stopping power of surge protectors. Also, while surge protectors with better stopping power may cost more money, shelling out the extra few bucks is worth it in the long run. What is the use of paying thousands of dollars for an entertainment stand when you fail to protect it properly and allow it to be decimated by one unfortunate voltage spike?

This Surge Protector Review is Written/Updated on Dec 4th, 2009 and filed under Home Appliances. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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