Electrical Surge Protection Tips

Posted on: October 13, 2015

Take a minute to think about how many devices you have plugged in the electrical outlets of your Florida residence. How many of those devices have an electronic or digital component to them? Just think—your television and cable box, DVD player, audio and home theater equipment, your laptop and desktop computer, modem and router, kitchen appliances, and that’s just naming a few. Are your devices properly protected from a power surge? Are you willing to take that risk? We’re not—that’s why we rely on surge protectors (and you should too!).

How Does a Surge Protector Work?

Electricity operates by moving areas of high electric potential energy to areas of low electrical potential energy—often referred to as voltage. When the voltage increases above the norm for at least three nanoseconds, it’s called a surge. If the electrical surge is high enough, it can affect the functionality of your electronic devices, or in severe cases even destroy them.

In order to prevent electrical surges from damaging your electrical devices, we recommend using a surge protector. It has one job: detect excess voltage and divert the extra electricity into the grounding wire. This is why all surge protectors have a grounding pin (the third prong on a plug) and all surge protectors must be plugged in to a properly grounded outlet for them to work as intended.

How to Choose the Right Surge Protector

With so many options on the market, how are you supposed to know which surge protector is right for you? Fortunately the experts at Hoffman Electrical are at your service! Some of the things to consider when in the market for a surge protector are:

  • Power strips are NOT surge protectors. A surge protector is more than just a fancy multi-plug extension cord. It plays an important role in electronic device maintenance, so don’t just buy the first “power strip” you see on the rack.
  • Clamping voltage. This is the voltage measurement that prompts the surge protector to start redirecting the excess electricity away from the plugged-in devices. A surge protector with a lower clamping voltage, preferably below 400 volts, will trigger earlier to better protect your devices.
  • Response time. A lower response time means a faster response time, which reduces the time that your plugged-in devices are exposed to the surge. Look for a surge protector with a response time of one nanosecond or faster to prevent your electronics from being destroyed.
  • Joule rating. This is the maximum amount of energy the surge protector can absorb. If the surge exceeds this amount, the devices are exposed to the overflow of electrical power. The higher the joule rating, the more energy can be absorbed by the surge protector. Investing in surge protection with a joule rating of at least 600 will often ensure a longer lifespan for the product.

If you have additional questions about electrical outlets and surge protection, contact Hoffman Electrical or check out our FAQ.

Call Hoffman Electrical Today—Tampa and St. Petersburg’s Electric Professionals

Whether you’re worried about your electronic devices being compromised by an electrical surge or you’re in the market for more electrical outlets—we’ve got you covered! Our experienced electricians at Hoffman Electrical have been serving the Tampa and St. Petersburg area with professionalism and integrity since 1989. Call the experts at Hoffman Electrical at 866-238-3243866-238-3243 or schedule an appointment today!