Have you ever bought a power strip and seen it advertised as a surge protector? For most homeowners, this is the only place they’ve seen a surge protector, and they might assume that these are their best and only options. In reality, these are far from the real thing. True surge protectors are meant to protect your home against any threat of a power surge.
What is a Surge?
A surge is when an electrical charge goes through a power line and increases the current going to your wall outlet. Anything connected to your wall outlet is going to feel that surge. It’s not common, but lightning is one reason for power surges. More commonly though, electrical devices that need a lot of power can create power surges. This is the reason why certain powerful devices actually dim the lights in the room when being turned on or off.
The Problem With Power Strip Surge Protectors
You know the kind, the power strips that are extra bulky and claim to be rated as surge protection against a certain amount of electricity. The problem is, well… They just don’t really work like they say they do. We suppose they’re better than nothing, but it can be difficult to verify the effectiveness of these so-called surge protectors. They especially wouldn’t stand a change against lightning or a downed power line, and then you’d have to call for electrical repair in Monsey, NY.
Think about it this way—that power strip costs about $15 dollars, and it’s supposed to give you peace of mind that your television, desktop computer, or other devices are safe. It certainly might help during a routine power outage by the city, but it shouldn’t be trusted beyond that.
Plus, is your refrigerator, oven, or washing machine connected to the wall via a power strip? These devices are plugged directly into the wall and sometimes have plugs that wouldn’t even fit in a normal power strip. Unfortunately, it’s these appliances that matter the most when it comes to protecting against power surges. Your quality of life will immediately grind to a halt if you can no longer store food, cook, or clean.
Whole-House Surge Protectors
Instead of relying on various questionable power strips, a whole-house surge protector is a much better option. Simply based on the way that it works, you’ll see how a whole-house surge protector is better.
Before the current can get to your electrical devices, it first has to go through the surge protector. Any extra voltage is diverted into the ground, thus keeping your devices safe. They’re built with different ratings to accommodate certain needs. For example, some might activate the surge protection at 330 volts, which is best for more homeowners.
On the other hand, a power strip claiming to be a surge protector does not have the ground. That excess voltage has to go somewhere, and in the event of a huge surge, the power strip will just be another item in line to get fried by the current.