While it’s important to protect yourself from electrical injury, it’s also important to take the steps necessary to protect your equipment from electrical loads beyond their design. One of the most frustrating causes of damage to electrically powered devices like PCs are electrical surges. While there are several types of power fluctuations, the most dangerous is a power surge.
Power surges can be caused by a variety of factors. In some systems, surges can be caused by simple things, such as the switching off of another component on the same circuit. The additional power which was going to the now turned off device has nowhere to go, and in the fraction of a second where the circuit has too much energy, can surge into unprotected electronics, potentially destroying them. Scarier are surges that come from the main power grid and enter your whole house. These can be caused by events such as the electrical utility company switching power flow on the grid, or by a lightning strike. But thankfully, there are precautions that can be taken to help secure your expensive electrical devices from power surges.
One of the more common ways that people attempt to protect themselves from power surges is by using small power strips that plug into the outlet, and typically will have several plugs on them. Many people buy cheap power strips just to give them the ability to plug in multiple devices at one outlet. However, how effective are these? Unfortunately, cheap surge protectors typically will not offer much in the way of protection for your electronics. Generally, if you have something valuable such as a computer plugged in, it is worth your time to spend money on a quality surge protector. Do your research, and find one that is rated for performance.
Surge protectors are an easy option, but there are also ways to help make your whole house insulated in case of a surge from the grid. An Electrician can install surge protectors that are at the interface between your house and the power grid. These will have highly sensitive components that are able to react quickly enough to stop a surge, which might only last milliseconds. These surge protectors that are hooked up to your housed electrical system are a great way to protect your house from unwanted power surges. If you have valuable computers or other devices, surge protection is a must.