11 Components of Choosing the Right Surge Protector

July 18, 2023
Surge Protection in Seattle, WA

With all the gadgets that we own these days, knowing how to protect our devices from power surges is important. Not only can a surge protector guard your electronics against irregularities in electricity flow, but it also protects against other sources of voltage like lightning strikes. Finding a surge protector that will meet your needs requires careful consideration of cost, life span, and brand reputation. Below is information on what features to look for in a quality surge protector.

1. Joules Rating

A surge protector’s joule rating measures the energy it can absorb over time without failing. The higher the rating, the better protection you will have against power surges. To adequately protect your electronics, look for a surge protector with at least 600 joules or more.

Additionally, consider the clamping voltage of the surge protector. This is the voltage required for the device to react and protect your electronics from a power surge. Look for a lower rating, preferably under 400 volts, to ensure that any surges above that level are diverted away from your devices.

2. Number and Type of Outlets

It’s important to consider how many outlets you need on your surge protector. Depending on the equipment you’re plugging in, there may be special outlets, such as coaxial or Ethernet ports. They are used for connecting audio and video components or network computers.

Make sure you choose a surge protector with enough ports for your needs. Leave room to expand so you don’t have to purchase a larger protector in the near future. This will also give you more flexibility for plugging in multiple devices and preventing an overload on one outlet.

3. Type of Surge Protection

There are different types of surge protectors available, with each of them providing varying levels of protection against power surges. Some common types include those that use metal oxide varistors (MOV), gas discharge arresters (GDT), or silicon avalanche diodes (SAD).

MOV surge protectors are the most common type, which is made up of a disc-like component. The GDT type, on the other hand, uses an ionized gas designed to absorb the power surge. The SAD type is specifically designed to protect electronic and sensitive equipment.

4. Warranty and Brand Reputation

When shopping for a surge protector, always look for a product with a long-term warranty. This protects your devices from damage caused by surges that are within the product’s ratings. Warranties vary in length, depending on the manufacturer.

It’s also important to research the brand reputation of your chosen surge protector. Online reviews can provide valuable insight into how reliable and effective the device is at protecting electronics from power surges. Check for customer feedback to find out about unbiased experiences. This is a great way to find out about any known defects or design flaws.

5. Cost

Although it may seem tempting to purchase a cheap surge protector to save money, be aware that this might result in decreased protection against power surges. Investing in a surge protector with high ratings and advanced protection features will help guard your devices for years. Taking the time to compare different models and features will ensure you get the best protection for your electronics while adhering to a budget.

Another way to determine cost is by considering what devices you want to protect. A basic surge protector is perfect for plugging in lamps, printers, and other small electronics. But if you need to protect more expensive items like computers or televisions, it may be wise to invest in a higher-rated model with additional features that may be more expensive initially but will save you money in the long run.

6. Check Line Noise Interference

Line noise interference is considered to be any electrical noise generated by other appliances in your home or office. This interference can cause a decrease in the quality of your audio-visual systems or even damage equipment. The good news is that many surge protectors offer protection against line noise interference. To check for line noise interference, look for a unit with features like EMI/RFI filtering and spike protection to ensure that your devices are adequately protected.

7. Look for Child-Proof Features

If you have children in the home, it’s important to choose a surge protector with child-proof features. Electrical outlets can be dangerous to young children, who may be curious and attempt to stick objects, such as fingers or metal items, into the slots.

A surge protector with child-proof features can help prevent such accidents from occurring and provide parents with greater peace of mind. From easy-to-install outlet covers to more advanced models with locking mechanisms, there are plenty of child-proof options available to meet varying needs and preferences.

8. Choose Environmentally Friendly Surge Protectors

In today’s world, ensuring that the products you purchase are environmentally friendly is important. Fortunately, many surge protectors come with energy-saving features such as standby mode, which turns off the device when not in use. Another efficient feature would be a power switch that allows you to selectively shut off certain outlets. Choosing an eco-friendly surge protector can help reduce your carbon footprint while protecting your electronics from power surges.

9. The Need for Data Line Protection

In today’s digital age, it’s not uncommon to have multiple electronic devices that rely on data connections. From computers to gaming consoles and even your smartphones, data line protection has become a crucial aspect of choosing the right surge protector.

Electrical surges can cause damage not only to the power supply but also to data transmissions, resulting in corrupted files or even a complete loss of data. When looking for a surge protector with data line protection, search for features such as RJ45 Ethernet and USB surge protection.

10. Look for Other Advanced Features

Some surge protectors come with additional features such as LED lights that indicate when the device is on or off, audible alarms to alert you of a power surge, and remote-control capabilities to turn your protector on or off from a distance.

Advanced features can provide added convenience and peace of mind by allowing you to monitor your equipment even when you’re not home. Some models also offer cable management features that allow you to keep your cords and cables organized and out of sight.

11. Seek the Help of a Professional Electrician

It is recommended that you seek the help of a professional electrician for any surge protection needs in your home or office. Certified and experienced electricians can advise on the best type of surge protector and how to properly install it, so you can rest assured that your valuable electronics are fully protected. For residents of Seattle and the surrounding areas, Brennan Electric can help you choose the right surge protector for your needs. We can also provide you with installation support. At Brennan Electric, we also provide services for electrical repair, generator installation and service, lighting installation, and more. Contact us today to learn more.

Brennan Electric icon