What Is Surge Protecting and Which Products Would Work Best for You?

Years and years ago, electricians used to recommend turning off any electronics anytime a severe storm would roll through. On the off chance that lightning struck your home or a nearby conductor, there was a chance that the jolt might surge through your electrical system, frying anything connected. Thankfully, we live in a much safer world today, with modern surge protection systems to safeguard us.

Surge protection is a staple in any home or business in Upland, CA. Modern electrical codes mandate different forms of surge protection depending on the electrical application or installation type. But there is still a wide variety of optional surge protection systems available, many of which benefit home and business owners in the event of severe electrical anomalies.

Here’s a quick look at modern-day surge protection and how to choose the best product for you:

  • Surge strips: These wall outlet extension strips safeguard everything plugged into them. They’re great for handling voltage spikes that might short low-voltage electronics. Keep in mind that power strips only add plugs to an outlet; surge strips offer surge protection.
  • Wall mounts: Wall mounts serve much the same purpose as surge strips and are great for protecting single outlets and everything plugged into them. They’re installed over the outlet itself, with electronics plugging into the wall-mounted surge protector first.
  • Point-of-energy protectors: These surge protectors are designed to protect your entire facility from power surges by addressing transient voltages at the point of power. These surge protectors often have a much, much higher capacity.
  • Uninterruptible power supplies: These units kick on when transient voltages are detected, to continue powering connected systems with the correct power levels. Many uninterruptible power supplies come with built-in surge protection.

The first two surge protection products listed above are more applicable to households, where surge protection demands are lower. The latter products are safeguards against major power failures caused by huge surges and are best applicable in commercial settings. That said, there’s definitely some crossover.

Pay attention to power ratings

Finding the right surge protection products for you comes down to application and power ratings. For example, your TV doesn’t need an uninterruptible power supply—it just needs a surge strip to safeguard it against a transient power surge. To do this, you need to choose a surge protector with the right joules rating. Most low-voltage electronics—televisions, computers, fans, coffee makers, etc.—need surge protection with a rating of 2000 joules or more.

There’s also UL rating to consider. The lower the UL rating, the more protection a surge protector offers—it’s a representation of how many volts the surge protector will allow through to connected devices. Lower is better.

If you’re interested in learning more about surge protectors, how they work and getting recommendations for a surge protection solution, it’s best to consult with a professional. We here in Upland, CA see our fair share of violent storms with electrical activity each year, and it’s best to be prepared in the event of a power surge.