How surge protectors can help your home
No matter how large or small the house, every homeowner needs a surge protector to safeguard their expensive electronic devices. A power surge — a quick, yet powerful, disturbance in the electric supply — can damage electrical devices or affect their performance.
In some instances, power surges can destroy the equipment or even cause a fire. Anything, from a lighting strike or downed power lines to the turning on and off of a washing machine to faulty equipment or bad electrical wiring, can instigate a power surge. A surge protector acts to properly distribute the electrical current and reroute excess current.
Smaller power surges may take place with the normal operation of any device. However, this stress will negatively impact the performance of the equipment and eventually cause it to fail completely. The most common way for homeowners to safeguard against this danger is to use of a surge protector power strip. Simply plug it into a standard outlet and then plug individual cords into the multiple outlets located on the strip.
To defend against larger surges, install a surge protector on the exterior electric meter or electrical service panel of the home. This will protect all the necessary home appliances such as the furnace, stove and air conditioner.
Be sure to avoid plugging one power strip into another power strip, as this can lead to serious problems. Also, do not cover the surge protector with anything that will inhibit air circulation such as carpeting or furniture.
While homeowners can certainly purchase surge protectors at their local home improvement store for specific appliances or areas, it is a good idea to have a professional electrician inspect the wiring for any problems. This includes the cable and telephone lines, since they can be conduits.
During 2010, Angie’s List members made more than 9,800 requests for Los Angeles electricians. These highly rated professionals can suggest many different types, sizes and models of whole house surge protectors, so it is best to hire an electrician to oversee the job.
An electrician can also be called upon to install additional outlets to help prevent circuits from becoming overloaded in the first place.