Surge protectors are an inexpensive and easy way to protect your technology. But is a surge protector necessary and what exactly does it do? We'll answer seven questions concerning surge protectors to help you decide.
7 Things To Know About Surge Protectors
1. What is a surge protector?
Surge protectors help to protect your technology from damage caused by power surges, also known as an electrical surge.
2. What is a power surge?
Electricity moves from areas of high energy to areas of low potential energy, meaning it moves from one end of a wire to the other end. Voltage measures this electric energy. When the voltage runs above the normal amount at a minimum of 3 nanoseconds, it’s called a spike or a surge.
3. Why is a power surge dangerous?
When the voltage is too high and a spike occurs, this heats up the wire. If the wire becomes too hot, it can burn the wire and cause permanent damage.
4. What causes a power surge?
Distant thunderstorms can cause a power surge, but the biggest cause is devices that use a lot of power to run. When these devices are running, it can put a strain on the electrical grid and cause power surges.
5. How does a surge protector help?
Surge protectors find extra voltage and reroute the excess electricity to the grounding wire. In order for this to work, surge protectors need to be plugged into a properly grounded outlet.
6. Can I use a power strip instead?
Power strips are different from surge protectors. Power strips provide more outlets but don't offer protection against power surges. If you're just looking for extra outlets, a power strip is a good option. If you're looking for protection for your devices, you'll need a surge protector instead.
7. Should you use a surge protector?
Power surges can happen at any moment. Surge protectors are an inexpensive way to protect your devices. Since you can’t predict when power surges will happen, it’s best to use surge protectors all the times.
Although it’s best to use a surge protector, it isn’t necessary to use for everything you plug into an outlet. You don’t need to use them for things that use low electricity or are inexpensive, such as a lamp or toaster. It’s best to use them with devices that are more expensive and have complex running parts, such as your computer.
So, should you get a surge protecor?
Still not sure if you should use a surge protector? When in doubt, consider how easy it would be to replace the device you’re plugging into an outlet if a power surge happened and caused damage to the device. If it’s easy and inexpensive to replace the device, you can probably get by without a surge protector. If the device is more expensive or important to daily tasks, consider using a surge protector.