Licensed and insured North Atlanta electrician
A surge protector is a device to protect electrical appliances from voltage spikes (power surges) that may occur from lightning, power outages, short circuits, and many other unpredictable accidents and natural occurrences. Minor power fluctuations by dryers, refrigerators or any other energy sucking devices can also cause damage that is not instantaneous and probably not even noticeable until a year after you bought your new microwave, it suddenly stops working. Power surges cause a great amount of heat to run along electrical wiring and cause the wire to burn because more voltage than the wire was designed to hold is being forced into it. A surge will follow any wire (including phone and cable) into a house meaning that all common electrical devices are at risk for damage from a power surge including TV’s, computers, fax machines, refrigerators, ovens, and even outlets, switches, and dimmers. Power surges can also cause fires.
We suggest a one-two punch when it comes to surge protection. Whole-house surge protectors defend against big, dangerous power spikes but up to 15% of the energy can “leak” which is where we recommend individual (plug-in power strips, etc.) on vulnerable appliances and electrical systems. Whole house surge protectors are hard wired to the panel and we also recommend smaller but separate whole house protectors for phone and cable lines. Another option is to invest in a UPS (uninterrupted power supply). UPS’s completely eliminate electrical power fluctuations and have a short-term battery back-up should the power shift or go out completely.
Surge protection may save your appliances from being damaged or prevent a fire due to an electrical surge but it doesn’t do anything if the power goes out entirely.