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Surge Protection 101: What You Need to Know

January 17, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Category: Surge Protection

surge protectionEvery Alpharetta homeowner should make sure that their homes have adequate surge protection, so you should ask your electrician about surge protectors if your house lacks sufficient surge protection equipment. Having a surge protector allows you to plug several appliances and devices into one power outlet without creating an electrical hazard.

What Is a Power Surge?

A power surge, or a transient voltage, occurs if the voltage increases drastically above an appropriate level, which is usually 120 volts for homes in the United States. Voltage measures a difference in electric potential energy as an electric current flows from one end of a wire to the other end.

Your electrician may talk to you about “spikes” and “surges.” A spike occurs if the voltage increases for less than three nanoseconds, and a surge occurs if the voltage increases for at least three nanoseconds. Lighting strikes, downed power lines, faulty wiring, the use of high-power appliances and electrical devices, and problems with your utility company’s equipment can cause power surges.

Why Does Your Home Need Surge Protection?

Surge protection prevents damage to electronic devices by blocking power surges. Surges can burn wires and destroy your devices and appliances, or at least decrease their longevity. Surge protectors prevent this damage by redirecting the excess electricity to a grounding wire.

Homeowners often purchase surge protectors like gas discharge arrestors and metal oxide varistors (MOVs). Gas discharge arrestors are gas tubes that utilize inert gas a conductor between the hot line and the ground line to redirect the electricity. MOVs activate when excess voltage occurs, and they divert the surge without blocking the standard current to power devices and appliances.

Your electrician will probably recommend a surge protector with a response time of less than one nanosecond because surge protectors have slight delays before they divert a surge. Short response times provide the best protection against power surges.

Contact Our Surge Protection Specialists

If you suspect that your Alpharetta home has inadequate surge protection, reach out to a skilled electrician at Anything Electric to receive professional surge protection services.

If you are looking for an electrician for your Alpharetta home, please call us at 770-345-1988 or complete our online request form.