If you have a computer, tablet or any other valuable electric device in your home you need to have a surge protector. This is a device that protects your electronics from voltage spikes. Traditionally, voltage ranges between 110-120 volts. When there are problems, the voltage increases up to 170 volts putting your devices at the risk of getting damaged.
Voltage spikes are brought about by many factors including: tripped circuit breakers, lightening strikes, downed power lines, malfunctions at the power company, and on/off cycles of large appliances and tools.
How the surge protector works
The protectors have a simple working formula-they short-circuit power surges and redirect them to the electrical ground. The devices have the capability of working up to 200 volts. Extremely high spikes brought about by lightening can damage the protectors; therefore, you should protect them from damage by unplugging them when lightening is too strong.
Factors to consider when buying surge protectors
For you to buy the right protector you need to consider these factors:
Type of protector: There are four types of protectors in the market that you can go for: battery backup, wall mount, whole house and surge protector strip. Each type has its pros and cons. You should research and find the one that is right for your needs.
Number of ports: The number of ports in the protector that you choose should be informed by the devices that you are looking to protect. If you are looking for a protector for your home appliances, you can go for a protector with many ports, but if you are looking for a travel protector, go for a protector with a few ports to make it easy for you to travel with it.
Absorption rating and clamping voltage: Absorption rating is the amount of energy that the protector can absorb before it fails. The rating is usually given in joules. For ideal results, go for a device with absorption rating of 700 joules or higher.
Clamping voltage is the voltage that triggers the protector. Go with a device with a lower clamping voltage. The voltage can be 400 volts or less.
Certification: To have peace of mind that your devices are fully protected go for a protector that is certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories. The protector should also meet UL 1449 standards.
Warranty: Even the best brands of surge protectors fail. To avoid wasting money, go for a protector that has a warranty. Before you make the purchase, understand how to file a warranty claim in the event the protector fails.