Do you have a question about whole house surge protection devices? Dolce Electric Co schedules a local in-office electrician Mesa AZ homeowners can consult with free of charge. Our local Mesa AZ electricians will answer all of your questions about power surge protectors; they have been voted “best in Mesa” and would be proud to earn your vote too. They will recommend the best surge protectors to safeguard your home while steering you clear of the questionable ones that don’t meet our standards. If you have an interest in a whole house surge protector give our local Mesa electricians a call today; you’ll be happy you did!
What is a Surge Protector?
A surge protector, or suppressor, is a device that blocks a sudden damaging voltage increase by sending it away from your electronics and into the ground.
Sudden voltage increases are commonly referred to as electrical surges and spikes. They are fast and unpredictable increases in electricity that travel through the wiring in your home. Without a power surge protection system, both can cause substantial damage to any computer, appliance or piece of equipment that has electronic components.
The difference between an electrical spike and an electrical surge is that a spike lasts for 2 nanoseconds (billionths of a second) or less compared to a surge that by definition lasts for 3 nanoseconds or more. While longer exposure to increased electricity would logically cause greater damage, the force of the excess electricity is an equally damaging factor.
There are two types of surge protection devices. They are whole house surge protection devices and power strip surge protectors, which we will later be referring to as primary and secondary “point of use” protection.
Point of use power strip surge protectors only work when plugged into grounded outlets. Homes built without electrical grounding (2-prong outlets) provide no path to ground for power strip types to dispense the excess voltage. Whole house surge protection devices on the other hand, still work at 100% efficiency in homes that were built without internal grounding. This is because a spike and surge protector that protects an entire home functions at the main circuit breaker box and utilize the much larger main grounding wires that are required by both APS and SRP.
So what is surge protection? Simply put, it is a safety device that guards the investment you have made in your electronics by preventing the peak safe electrical energy from surpassing a damaging threshold.
Dolce Electric Co has local electricians Mesa AZ homeowners can consult with free of charge. Our local electricians in Mesa AZ are available to answer your questions from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM today, Monday, May 29th, 2017.
The Best Surge Protection Systems
There are two types of electrical surges, those that originate inside your home (internal) and those that originate outside your home (external). A well designed system will utilize primary and secondary protection to safeguard your electronics from both hazards.
Primary Home Surge Protection for External Surges
A whole house spike and surge protector is your primary line of defense against these most powerful external surges. These are the ones caused by transformer malfunctions, incidents with transmission lines, and main power restorations when entire neighborhoods have lost electricity. They are the ones capable of doing large amounts of damage in a single event. Nearby lightning strikes is another cause but to be clear no device will completely stop a direct lightning strike.
A surge protector for complete home defense is more effective than individual power strip types alone. Its ability to divert larger amounts of incoming excess electricity directly to the much larger main grounding wires and before it ever enters your home makes this type of surge protector the superior choice for arresting external spikes.
Installed directly at your main electrical panel, these devices shield your air conditioning system, pool equipment and everything else inside and outside of your home from damaging external surges.
Dolce Electric Co schedules a local in-office electrician in Mesa AZ that will take your call, answer all of your questions and provide you with a free estimate for an expert installation. Having over 30 years of professional experience, our in-office electrician in Mesa knows the local electrical codes and will provide you the expert information that you are looking for.
Secondary Surge Protection for Internal Spikes
Now that all of your electronics are equally protected from externally generated spikes, local power strip types are still needed as a secondary means of protection. These will knock down all the smaller internally generated electrical spikes that happen frequently when large appliances like air conditioning units turn on and off.
Internal spikes; sometimes referred to as stray spikes, will never have the single event destructive capabilities that external spikes have but they are much more frequent. These are the ones that quietly and consistently shorten the life expectancy of your electronics. Left without point if use protection, they can plague your computer with data alterations, lock-up errors and program corruption.
If you are wondering if you still need this secondary protection or how often internal surging is taking place in your home just keep an eye on your lights. Every time you see a fluctuation in light levels (small or large} there is an electrical distortion happening somewhere in your home.
These power strip types; also known as “single outlet plug in point of use protection”, vary greatly in both response time and their maximum suppressing thresholds so be sure to get a good one.
When asked “what is the best surge protector?” our electricians always refer our clients to these 4 important features to look for when purchasing new power strip types:
- Energy dissipation: 400 joules or greater, this is the maximum amount of electricity it can handle before failing.
- Clamping voltage: 330 or less, also known as let-through voltage it’s the trigger point that activates dissipation to ground.
- Response time: 1 nanosecond or less, longer response times equal more exposure and greater damage.
- Indicator light: Even the best units are only able to suppress a certain number of spikes. This number depends on the severity of the spikes and their duration so it’s important to know that your equipment is always working correctly.
Often time’s power strips that do not provide any protection at all are erroneously referred to and used as “surge protectors” by unaware consumers. Don’t make this potentially costly mistake, refer to the bullet points above.
Grounding is essential for a plug in type protector to work. If your electrical wiring system is ungrounded even the best surge suppressor won’t work because it has no route for dissipating the unwanted energy to ground. Whole house equipment still offer maximum protection because it utilizes the larger grounding wires in your main electrical panel and keeps externally generated spikes out of your home.
How Can I Protect the Investment I’ve Made in My Electronics?
Installing a whole house spike and surge protector to work in conjunction with your grounded electrical wiring system and plug in type suppressors is best. In cases where systems are ungrounded or partially grounded we always recommend upgrading to a fully grounded system for safety and performance. Systems that remain ungrounded can still capitalize on all the benefits a whole house surge suppressor provides because it’s not dependent on the interior wiring circuits being grounded to keep out externally generated power spikes.
New homes and older homes can both obtain the same levels of protection with whole house devices and for a limited time you can take advantage of this coupon and save $50.00 on your installation. If you are interested in more information we schedule local in-office Mesa electricians that you can call for a free evaluation. We look forward to assisting you!