Many homeowners mistakenly believe that plugging their computer into a power strip provides adequate surge protection. Power surges cause millions of dollars of property damage each year, and over time they can cause cumulative damage while decreasing the lifespan of TVs, computers and other electronic equipment. Being educated is the key to choosing the best surge protection for your home.

Two Types of Surges

A power surge may last for only a few millionths of a second, but at its worst, it carries tens of thousands of volts—enough to fry circuit boards, crash hard drives and ruin DVD and home-entertainment systems.

Lightning-induced surges are the most powerful and most feared: A 200,000-amp jolt through a power line will burn standard 20-amp wiring like a lightbulb filament. But a lightning strike has to be less than a mile from the house to cause harm, and lightning does not cause most surge-related damage.

Far more common are surges caused by downed power lines, sudden changes in electricity use by a nearby business, or the cycling on and off of electronics such as dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators and other energy-sucking devices in the home. Minor power fluctuations can inflict damage immediately or over time.

A Line of Defense

One of the most effective ways to protect your property is taking a two-tiered approach by using a service-entrance surge protection device, or surge arrester, as well as point-of-use surge protection devices, or surge protectors. A service-entrance surge protection device reduces power surges to a lower level that protects large appliances, such as your stove or clothes dryer, while point-of-use surge protectors defend sensitive electronics. A surge protection device mounted at your home’s main electrical panel or the base of your electric meter protects equipment inside your house or business from surges coming through ports of entry, such as an outside electric, telephone, cable TV or satellite dish line.

Point-of-use surge protection devices do not suppress or arrest a surge but divert it to ground. They resemble a regular power strip but are designed and labeled for surge protection. You can also install special electrical outlets that offer surge protection, which can be helpful in places like kitchen countertops.

Yes. Many electrical devices have electronic timers, clocks or remote controls that remain in operation even when it is not in use. Also, some appliances cycle off and on and could be on during a surge.

Because electronics have become increasingly sophisticated and more sensitive, even slight power surges can shorten the lifespan of DVRs, game consoles and computers. Refrigerators, stoves and dishwashers are full of sensitive microprocessor circuitry now, which makes them as vulnerable to surge damage as home computers and LED televisions.

Surge protection is an investment that protects you from potentially catastrophic pulses that might destroy or damage your modern appliances.

No. The reaction time of circuit breakers in your electrical service panel is much too slow. Circuit breakers are designed to protect the wiring in your home from over current. A surge protector blocks high voltage.

No. No product on the market can effectively handle a direct lightning strike’s high level of energy.

Victory Electric sells and installs surge arresters. If you would like more information, please either fill out the form below or contact our office by emailing or calling 620-227-2139 and ask for Key Accounts. We look forward to helping you.

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