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Home Surge Protection: How It Works & Is it Worth It

surge-protection-installationMost of us have heard about surge protectors. It’s important to remember that a power strip isn’t necessarily a surge protector. Sadly, because of this misconception, a lot of homeowners don’t think that surge protectors even work. As a result, they usually bypass them since they believe their electrical outlet will be protection enough. Unfortunately, by doing this, they inadvertently put their appliances in danger.

How Does a Surge Protector Work?

Surge protectors are there to stop unwanted electrical buildup from damaging your appliances. We can compare an electrical system to a garden hose, with the electricity itself being the water in the tube. When the pressure in the hose builds up, eventually, it will have to come out somewhere. That “somewhere” is usually through your appliances, frying their internals.

A surge protector acts like a pressure-sensitive valve that opens to let that excess “pressure” flow out of the system and head to ground. However, because of how they work, surge protectors aren’t handy in older houses with poorly grounded outlets. Surges can occur during regular activity but are more likely to occur during a storm.

Why Should I Get a Surge Protector?

One of the things that many homeowners raise when learning about surge protection is that surges won’t damage their appliances. Surge protection is more than just another fancy power strip. Surge protectors bring with them a plethora of benefits, including:

  • Prevents Fires: Buildup of voltage within a circuit without a proper ground causes heating of the outlet’s elements. In some cases, this heating becomes so intense that it triggers a fire. Surge protectors allow for this excess voltage to dissipate harmlessly without causing heating from buildup.
  • More Plugs: In this sense, a surge protector functions much the same as a power strip. However, it also protects all electrical devices plugged into the system. In a pinch, you can even use it as a short extension cord.
  • Saves Electrical Components from Damage: Surges can come unexpectedly, and without a protector, the electricity can run rampant over electronic equipment, destroying them instantly. For appliances such as air conditioning units and refrigerators, which switch on and off intermittently, this massive voltage fluctuation could cause irreparable damage to the internal circuitry.
  • Puts Your Mind at Ease: As a homeowner, your concern is always about your property. It would not do to continually worry about whether your home will catch fire or your appliances will get fried the next time the electricity spikes. Surge protectors relieve a little of that worry, allowing you to keep your focus on your life.

Getting a Surge Protector Installed

Surge protectors come in many forms, and while you can buy some models from a hardware, complete house protection requires hiring a professional electrician. If you get a surge protector that isn’t adequately rated or is faulty, then your appliances will still be in danger. Don’t leave those things to chance. Contact LiveWire today to schedule a site visit. We’ll explain your options and even help you choose a protector that suits your needs. Don’t wait until the next surge happens. Call us now!

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