How Does Surge Protection Work?
Surge protection is an important part of a safe electrical system. Your electrician will recommend surge protectors for your Addison home if you don't already have any devices designed to prevent power surges. Surge protectors allow homeowners to plug multiple appliances and devices in one power outlet without creating a hazard.
What Are Power Surges?
Power surges, also known as transient voltages, occur when the voltage drastically rises above the appropriate level. Typically, residential properties in the United States have a standard voltage of 120 volts. Voltage measures a difference in electric potential energy as an electric current travels from one end of a wire to another. You may hear your electrician use the terms "spike" and "surge." A spike is an increase of voltage that lasts less than three nanoseconds, and a surge is an increase that lasts at least three nanoseconds. Power surges are caused by lightning strikes, damaged wiring, downed power lines, complications with your utility company's equipment, and the use of high-power electrical devices and appliances.
How Does Surge Protection Prevent Damage?
Without proper surge protection, your electronic devices are susceptible to damage caused by power surges. A surge causes the wiring to burn up, and if it doesn't completely destroy the device, it will cause stress on the internal components, reducing the device's useful life. Surge protectors save your electronic devices from power surges and spikes by redirecting the excess electricity to the outlet's grounding wire. Common surge protectors include metal oxide varistors (MOVs) and gas discharge arrestors. MOVs are activated by excessive voltage levels, and they divert the surges while permitting the standard current to power electronic devices plugged into the surge protectors outlet. Gas discharge arrestors are gas tubes that use inert gas as a conductor between the hot line and the ground line to divert electricity.
Surge protectors have slight delays before they redirect a power surge, so shorter response times mean that your electronic devices will be exposed to a surge for shorter periods of time. Your electrician will probably suggest that you purchase a surge protector with a response time of less than one nanosecond. If you have questions about surge protection and want to ensure that the devices and appliances in your Addison home are protected, reach out to a skilled electrician at Adis Electric.