The standard flow of electricity is 220 volts. When voltage increases to the extent that it substantially exceeds this amount, it is referred to as a ‘power surge’. This surge essentially causes wiring to overheat and begin to burn, which can cause thousands (if not millions) or rands worth of damage to expensive appliances and devices in homes and businesses.
Effective surge protection lowers the risk of damage by ensuring the protection of these devices. The sensitive circuitry and microchips of electronic devices are susceptible to even the slightest surge in voltage, which compromises their ability to perform as intended. In some instances, if the surge in voltage is extreme enough, these devices can be completely and virtually instantaneously destroyed.
In most cases, using heavy-duty (‘juice hungry’) appliances such as air conditioners and elevators can create power surges. Due to the fact that such devices require significant amounts of electricity in order to operate, sudden bursts of activity when these appliances are used disrupts the constant flow of voltage in a particular electrical system.
The following can also be the cause of power surges:
⦁ Faulty wiring.
⦁ Power lines being down or damaged.
⦁ Problems with the power utility power lines, transformers and other components.
⦁ While infrequent, lightning may increase electrical pressure in wiring by millions of volts – overwhelming even the best surge protector completely.
Buying Surge Protectors
Standard electrical outlets (such as those in the average home or office) will benefit from simple surge protectors that are equipped with a breaker to trip the affected device.
There are three important factors to consider when purchasing a surge protection product:
⦁ Clamping voltage: This is a rating score that alerts customers to the level of voltage that will cause the product to pass electricity to the ground wire. The lower the rating, the better the device will be at offering effective protection.
⦁ Energy absorption/dissipation: This is a rating that denotes the device’s capacity to absorb excess electricity before failing. A higher joule delivers more protection. A protector with a rating of 600 joules, or more, provides good protection.
⦁ Response time: Opt for a surge protector that has a response time of less than one nanosecond. The longer the response time, the more your equipment is exposed and the more vulnerable it will be to damage.
Other considerations when purchasing surge protection:
⦁ Power Shut Down Protection
⦁ Resettable Circuit Breaker
⦁ Automatic Warning Devices
⦁ 3-Line Protection
A power surge can occur via any single wire and cause immense damage to all electrical equipment inside a home. There is a common misconception is that all-around surge protection is simply a matter of plugging multiple devices into a low-cost, multi-outlet surge suppressor (‘multi-plug’). This is unfortunately not true.
To simultaneously protect a range of electronic devices in a single home, it is necessary to install a whole-house surge protection system. An experienced electrician ensures that the system is hard-wired into the building’s main electrical panel. Telephone and cable lines, as well as delicate circuitry, can be effectively protected by smaller, whole-house surge protection systems.
Make use of the less costly multi-outlet device only as a backup to absorb any excess power that may bypass a more effective whole-house system.
Call Sunburst Electric today to request the installation of surge protection.