4 Cheap Solutions to Prevent Surge Damage
The electronic devices in your home are configured to operate within a specific power range. When short circuits, lightning strikes or other accidents happen, the voltage can jump dramatically, potentially harming your equipment. Surges can also occur when devices in your home turn off. The unused energy will be diverted throughout the house, and this too can damage or destroy your appliances. Here are four ways you can safely and cheaply protect your gadgets.
1. Whole-House Surge Protector
Surge protectors work by attempting to block extra electricity or by redirecting it to ground. A whole-house device is especially helpful for safeguarding your complete electrical system as the instrument is connected to the breaker panel. All of the wiring, appliance motors and light switches in your home are susceptible to surges and cannot be protected in another fashion unless a device is installed by the power company, and that is not always an option. While this apparatus is the most expensive one listed, it can be purchased and installed for as low as $150.
2. Point-of-Use Surge Protector
Sensitive and expensive devices, such as computers and televisions, should have a second layer of security to ensure they are not damaged if a surge occurs. This type of surge protector usually looks like a block of power sockets and has a single cord that will plug into the wall. Use caution when purchasing this equipment, however. Regular power strips look very similar, but they only offer more outlets, not defense against surges.
3. Uninterruptible Power Supply
When a surge occurs while you are working on a computer, your files could become corrupted because of an improper shutdown. If you commonly have surges in your home, it may be prudent to purchase this type of device. It acts as a surge protector, but it has a built-in battery that will provide a small amount of extra power in the case of an outage, giving you the ability to save your work.
4. Unplug Devices
This is the most reliable way to protect your appliances, and it costs nothing but time. Surge protectors and uninterruptible power supply devices, while extremely effective, cannot be guaranteed to prevent 100 percent of surge damage. It may be inconvenient to physically unplug your electronics, but if, for example, you know a severe lightning storm will affect your location, it may be wise to unplug your most expensive devices as a preventive measure.
Before installing any surge protector, you should check that the supply circuits in your home are properly grounded. If they are not, the protection process will not work, and you should contact an electrician.