What is a surge protector and why should I get one?

Surge Protector

If you have electronics in your home, you need a surge protector. A surge protector and a power strip aren’t necessarily the same thing, so it’s important to make sure whatever you choose offers your devices protection against sudden changes in electrical flow. Remember, it only takes 1 power surge to render your expensive electronics useless.

Power Surges

Outlets in your home are designed to provide a constant voltage of electricity. However, a power spike can occur when voltages suddenly increase. Lightning, power outages and malfunctions in the grid can all causes this phenomenon. A true surge lasts for more than a few seconds, causing damage to electronics that aren’t protected.

What a Surge Protector Does

Because most outlets don’t have any built-in protection against surges, surge protectors are used to fill the need. They are usually sold in strips, though you can purchase a single outlet surge protector if needed.

Generally, a surge protector has a system built in that can divert any excess energy to protect your devices that are plugged into it. The protector ensures that just the normal, safe amount of electricity is allowed to pass through.

It’s easy to mistake a regular power strip as a surge protector, but this mistake can cost you your electronics. Cheap power strips aren’t usually surge protectors and can only split your existing outlet into multiple outlets. When choosing a surge protector, make sure you pick one labeled as such.

Choosing a Surge Protector

Remember that you get what you pay for. Cheap surge protectors probably don’t give you as much protection as one made by a reputable company. The obscure manufacturers likely won’t offer a warranty either. By choosing a well-known brand and paying a little more, you may wind up saving money in the long run, particularly if the surge protector fails.

Remember that no matter which model you choose, your surge protector won’t last forever. The internal components can wear down with time, meaning you’ll need to replace it at some point. Many surge protectors have a light that indicates when they need to be replaced. Keep an eye on your unit and replace it as needed.

If you need help choosing a surge protector, ask your Southern MD electrician which one they recommend. Some electricians have surge protectors available for purchase while others will simply recommend a brand or two to choose from. Whatever the case may be, adding a surge protector to your home can be an affordable way to ensure that your gadgets get the protection they need.