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How Much Surge Protection Do I Need?

How Much Surge Protection Do I Need?

The electricity coming into your home or business is usually around 120 volts. However, this voltage can suddenly increase during a power surge to as many as 169 volts or more. Power surges can generate dangerous levels of heat and disrupt or damage your electronic devices. Power surges can happen at any time for several different reasons, so it's important to know "how much surge protection do I need."

Continue reading below to learn more about what causes power surges and what kind of surge protection is right for you.

What Causes Power Surges 

The voltage in your home is always fluctuating. Surges are constantly occurring. A big surge, anything over 169 volts is not part of the normal ebb and flow and probably has a specific cause.

Lightning

Although powerlines do not attract lightning, tall objects do. Occasionally, lightning will strike powerlines. When this happens, the powerlines absorb the bolt's electricity. This can cause a serious spike in voltage, enough to burn wiring, start fires, or damage devices. If you don't have surge protection, unplug devices during lightning storms.

Electrical Overload

A power surge might occur if too many devices are plugged into one outlet. A power strip, full of chargers, computers, or other devices can overwhelm a circuit and subsequently a surge. All the devices trying to get electricity can cause an increase in voltage. 

Power Outage

Power outages increased by 73% in 2020. These outages can cause power surges. The loss of power isn't to blame. When power is restored there can be a jump in voltage. Any devices without surge protection are at risk.

What is Surge Protection?

Surge protection simply refers to a device or appliance that protects electronics from surges. They work by diverting or absorbing extra voltage away from the protected device.

Surge protectors are categorized based on how much voltage they can absorb. This is measured in joules. The higher the joules, the greater the protection.

How Much Surge Protection Do I Need?

With this basic understanding of power surges and surge protection, next, you need to know how much surge protection is right for you. This depends on a couple of things.

Equipment

First of all, consider the type and value of the equipment you have plugged in. More expensive and difficult-to-replace items will require more surge protection.

For example, standard chargers, lights, and kitchen appliances require less surge protection. Something with around 1000 joules of protection is sufficient. 

For power tools, computers, and other office supplies, consider surge protection in the 2000 joule range.

Surge protectors with 3000 or more joule capacity will protect your most expensive and high-energy devices. Use this type of surge protector for home theaters, gaming consoles, and DJ equipment.

Location

You should also consider your location when looking for a surge protector. If you live in an area prone to outages or lightning storms, you will need more surge protection. 

Getting Started

Power surges can strike at any time and can ruin your expensive electronics. You may be asking yourself "how much surge protection do I need?" This depends on what devices you want to protect and where you're located. Don't let a random power surge lay waste in your home. Give PowerHouse Home Services a call today!

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