How Power Surge Protectors Protect Your Electrical Equipment


Our lives are filled with electronic devices that we use daily. All those appliances require some power supply to function smoothly. The supply provided at home is generally not constant due to surge issues. The surge issues are caused due to thunderstorms, electromagnetic interference, or grid switching. To protect our valuable devices from such electric spikes, it is vital to ensure that you protect them from power surge damages.

For the same, using a surge protector is a must. The best surge protectors are quite affordable and the easiest way to protect the electronics from permanent damage.

What is a Surge Protector?

When a sudden condition occurs in the voltage or the power supply, it is known as voltage spikes. It occurs for a short duration but is heavy enough to destroy the electronics and circuits. An electronic device is generally installed in the appliances, and a surge is provided to protect the appliances from getting damaged from such spikes. Such a device is known as a surge protector.

Interestingly, the power surge protector can handle spikes in the kilovolts range.

Confused between Surge Protector vs Power strip?

A surge Protector outlet and a normal power strip are different in a minor way. In comparison, power surge protectors have an exceptional feature of a power outlet.

Power strips add extra outlets to your space and do not have a surge protection feature, whereas surge protector power strips are specially designed to protect the electronics from surge issues. act as a power strip

How is a Surge or a spike caused?

One of the primary reasons for the surge is lightning. Heavy usage of high-power devices such as air conditioners, refrigerators, and elevators cause more surge issues. The compressors and the motor within them require a lot of energy while switching on and off. The sudden switching can create a barrier in the voltage flow. This can gradually damage the buildings or home’s electrical system.

Power surges happen due to faulty wiring. A small fault can cause uneven power flow leading to power surges.

Benefits of Surge Protector power strip

  • The surge protector power strip has an in-built circuit of surge protection
  • It has low maintenance.
  • Fewer chances of repairing and replacement

How are Joule ratings connected to the Surge protector power strip?

Every Surge protector has the level of protection measured in joules. The higher the ratings in joules, the greater protection the surge protector provides. The joule indicates how much energy the surge protector can absorb.

What kind of equipment should you use in the surge protector?

Prioritize using heavy or expensive electronics that cause you a hefty amount to repair when damaged. New appliances are generally sensitive to power surges.

The new appliances with microprocessors are quite sensitive to high voltage and require stable current within their voltage range to function smoothly.

Let’s see some examples:


High HD televisions

Microwave or OTG


Video game boxes such as Xbox or PlayStation

And any other high-end audio equipment

How does the Surge Protector outlet Work?

A surge protector outlet helps pass the electrical supply current from the outlet to the devices plugged in for charging into the power strip. In certain scenarios, when the voltage rises above the acceptance level, the extra electricity gets diverted into the surge protectors outlet grounding wire.

The surge protector outlet has a circuit that cuts down the power supply when it notices a spike in power. The circuit consists of a controller, voltage sensor and latches or unlatched circuits.

The function of a voltage sensor is to take care of the voltage part.

The function of the controller is to notice any variation in the line and sense the transient.

The function of a latch or unlatch circuit is to sense the changes and the cut down of supply information. It then connects or disconnects the voltage line.

The new technology in the surge protector outlet helps clamp the voltage instead of cutting it down

Types of Surge protectors

There are primarily two types of surge protectors;

  • Primary surge protector

This surge protector is generally installed with the power lines into the building. They are comparatively large and visible. All the appliances that get the power supply from that line are protected against damage. Interestingly these lines have the support from the ground wires that tend to increase the effectiveness of protection

  • Secondary Surge protectors

These are small surge protectors that are portable, and the appliances can be plugged into them. But in comparison to primary surge protectors, they are less effective.

How does a surge protector protect the devices against lightning?

This depends on the distance of the lightning from the appliances. The more the distance. The lesser the distance, the more prone the appliances are to getting damaged.

Do surge protector power strips catch fire?

Yes, it does catch fire if the power strip is overloaded with power or if it is not used properly. Today where multiple devices are used each second, it can be protected by a single knob.

Can the normal extension cord have a surge protector installed in it?

It is not advised to install a surge protector into a normal extension cord. It can be tried if the cord can handle the energy as a surge protector outlet.

But there are chances of fire hazards in such cases, and this goes against the regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Electric Code (NEC)

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