Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Surge Protectors

March 3, 2022
Surge Protector in Seattle, WA

Electricity is crucial to living a modern life. Although people have learned how to control electricity, there are still times when it can behave in unpredictable ways. The goal, then, is to be able to protect yourself against this unpredictable behavior to reduce the risk of damage to your home and injury to your family.

One of the more common unusual behaviors that electricity has is that it can surge at random times. This means that a large spike of electricity comes through the electrical line and into your Seattle home. That is why the pros at Brennan Electric highly recommend the use of surge protectors throughout your house. Here are a few aspects of surge protectors that you might not have considered previously.

What Causes Surges?

Since electricity travels through many different types of wiring both before and after it reaches your home, there are many different points from which an electrical surge can originate. Sometimes, there are irregularities in the electrical feed from your utility company. If there are problems elsewhere in the electrical grid, these sudden changes in current can find their way into your house. Another common culprit of surges is electrical shorts caused by exposed wiring. When two exposed wires touch, this can increase the current draw and send a surge to your wired devices. Overloading a circuit, power restoration after a power outage, and lightning are other potential causes of surges.

No Warning

Another important concept to understand about power surges is that they always occur without warning. Even if you did have a warning, electricity travels so quickly that you would not have time to react to protect your electrical devices. That is why it is vital to have protection in place before power surges occur so that there is always a safety barrier in place to prevent you from having to replace expensive electronic items around your household.

Noise in Electronics

Even if you do not experience power surges in your home, it is still a good idea to have a surge protector in place. That is because electricity can often introduce electrical noise into household electronics. If there is incorrect wiring present, this can have a negative impact on audio and video devices, detracting from your home entertainment experience. Surge protectors help to reduce this electrical noise so that you can get the full value out of your high-end electronics.

Checking for Ground

Another benefit of using a surge protector is that it can tell you more about your home’s electrical system. Most surge protectors that cost more than a few dollars have lights that indicate when surge and grounding protection is active. When you plug your surge protector into an outlet in your home, you may notice that the light indicating active ground protection is not illuminated. That is when you will know it is time to give Brennan Electric a call so that an electrician can inspect your home and make sure every outlet is properly grounded. Proper grounding is crucial to help prevent electrocution when you are using electrical devices.

Replacement Schedule

At some point, every surge protector will need to be replaced. Of course, if you have had a power surge, you will want to restore protection by investing in a new surge protector. Outside of that, though, Brennan Electric recommends installing new surge protectors every three to five years. That is because the compounds present in the protection circuitry can wear out over time, meaning that your surge protector would not be able to stop a surge as quickly or as completely as it could when it was new. Additionally, if you notice that any of the lights on your surge protector have gone out, it is a good idea to replace what could be a faulty surge protector.

Whole-Home Assurance

While it is a good idea to utilize surge protectors for individual electronic devices, you can also invest in additional peace of mind by upgrading to a whole-home surge protector. These devices stop surges at the source before they have a chance to enter any of your house’s wiring. Since they have more power running through them, whole-home surge protectors have much stronger protection circuitry than the typical surge protector you can buy at your local electronics store. This extra protection can come in handy if you experience a large surge that could potentially get past normal consumer-grade surge protectors.

Battery Backup

One problem that often accompanies power surges is power outages. If that happens in your home, you do not want to lose precious digital data just because you lost power to your computer. For the most important electronic devices in your home, Brennan Electric recommends using a surge protector with a built-in battery backup. These devices are equipped with a heavy-duty rechargeable battery that maintains its charge using the power that flows through the surge protector. When a surge or other problem causes a power outage, the battery backup gives you the time you need to save your files and properly shut down your electronic devices. In addition to providing convenience, battery backups can help prevent damage to your devices since you can shut down the devices properly instead of suddenly cutting power to them.

Lightning Strikes

A significant source of electrical surges in many homes is lightning strikes. If a bolt of lightning strikes your house, it can send a massive surge of electricity through your wiring system. In some cases, a lightning strike will overwhelm even the best surge protectors. However, if you have a whole-home surge protector backed by individual surge protectors and proper grounding, there is a good chance your devices will survive unscathed. If your home is one of the taller points in your neighborhood, you may want to consider installing a lightning rod on your property. This device helps to attract lightning so that it can route the energy away from your home and into the ground. This can give your home’s surge protectors a better chance of working properly.

More Than Just Televisions

For many homeowners, surge protectors are just something that they use to protect electronic devices like televisions, home audio equipment, and computers. However, any expensive device that uses electricity can benefit from the protection a surge protector offers. It is a good idea, for example, to plug your refrigerator into a surge protector so that a power surge does not damage the fan or condenser. This will help prevent costly repair bills and spoiled food that could otherwise occur. Just make sure to utilize surge protectors that are rated for the level of power that each device uses.

Taking Care of Your Home

At Brennan Electric, we believe in helping you take care of your home. That is why we offer complete surge protection installation services so that you do not have to worry about your house’s most expensive devices. We also install electrical panels, light fixtures, and smoke detectors. Plus, we can install backup generators so that you do not lose power during a power outage. As a proud recipient of the Angie’s List Super Service Award, you can be confident that we will provide top-notch service every time we come to your residence. To learn more about surge protection for your Seattle home, contact us at Brennan Electric today.

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