ElectricalElectrical Services FAQ: How Do Surge Protectors Work?

Surge protectors have become as much a part of daily life as computers: we are all accustomed to having power strips connected to outlets into which we plug our desktops and laptops. These strips help protect the microchips inside computer systems from damage due to sudden increases in power than can come through the electrical system.

However, power strips are not the only defense you should have against power surges. You should also consider a whole-house surge protector, which can defend all your appliances from the numerous smaller surges that can occur multiple times during the day. Electricians can hard-wire a whole-house surge protector into your electrical panel to keep your electronic devices safe from surges both large and small.

Contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for electrical services in Everett, WA for your home, from surge protectors to whole house rewiring.

How Surge Protectors Defend Your Electronic Devices

A surge is any increase in voltage that is significantly higher than a household’s normal level. The standard voltage for a U.S. home is 120 volts, and anything higher that lasts for more than three nanoseconds is considered a surge. (If it’s two nanoseconds it’s called a spike.) A surge can come from something as large a lightning strike to something as small as another appliance making a sudden demand on the power supply.

Whole-house surge protectors are designed to withstand a large range of surges: pretty much anything up a lightning bolt striking near your house. Unlike point-of-use surge protectors, which simply cut off the power when too much voltage tries to pass through, a whole-house surge protector detects the increase in voltage and then diverts the power down through a home’s grounding path. This means that the surge protector will keep away multiple smaller surges without requiring you to reset the system every time it does. The system comes with an indicator light that will inform you if it has stopped functioning and needs to be reset.

A whole-house surge protector guards all the lines coming into your house, since surges can come through cable and phone lines as well. Your installer will make sure that all the routes into your home are routed through the surge protector.

We still recommend that you have point-of-use power strips for your computers and other valuable appliances; in the case of electrical surges, there is no such thing a “too much protection.”

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today to arrange for the electrical services in Everett, WA to install a whole-house surge protector to keep your valuable equipment safe.


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