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February 22,2021

How a Surge Protector Works

Almost everyone in the modern world is familiar with a surge protector, also known as a plug bar. Many people use them on a daily basis, because they magically turn one outlet into many. And in a society where we’re constantly multitasking with several devices and appliances at once, this benefit is enough to keep them in high demand. However, there’s another very important task that they perform. At Mr. Electric of Fort Worth, we provide a wide variety of residential and commercial electrical services in Fort Worth, Arlington, Burleson, Benbrook, Aledo and other surrounding North Texas communities. We want our clients to have the best protection from electrical emergencies, and enjoy providing information to help our customers get the best results. If you’ve wondered what surge protectors do, and how they work, then this is the article for you. 

What Does a Surge Protector Do?

Other than making your life more convenient, power strips keep your electronics safe from power surges. A surge is when there’s a sudden and significant increase in voltage. Most common home or office wiring remains around 120 volts, but if that amount of power increases, then a surge protector can help divert the excess transient voltage away from your computer, television or toaster oven. If a device is not plugged into a surge protector, and a large spike of voltage hits, then it could damage your expensive electronics beyond reasonable repair. If the emergency occurs when you’re away from the area, it could also start a fire. Having surge protectors can help home and business owners avoid stay safe and avoid property loss. 

How Does a Surge Protector Control Voltage?

The most common surge protectors, aka power strips, work by diverting extra electricity from your plug and into the outlets grounding wire. It accomplishes this with a metal oxide varistor, otherwise known as an MOV. The MOV contains two semiconductors, with variable resistance that’s dependent on the level of voltage flowing through it. If the amount of voltage reaches above a certain amount, the MOV will work to neutralize the excess energy, and will then restore its resistance to prior levels once the current is directed into the ground wire. 

Why Whole House Surge Protection May Be a Better Option for Homeowners?

While power strip style surge protectors are useful, they aren’t always the most dependable form of protection. In many cases, the power bar may be flawed, and the quality of construction can vary widely. Also, you may have larger appliances in your home with dedicated circuits, that can’t be plugged into a standard power strip. For true protection against property damage, the best solution is to install a whole house surge arrestor. These units are installed by certified electricians, and are placed near your property’s electric meter. When in place, the whole house surge protector will redirect spikes in voltage that come into your building from external sources, such as power outages or electrical storms. When used together, both whole house and power strip surge protectors will help defend against problems long term.  

Need Whole House Surge Protection for Your North Texas Home or Business?

Is it time to get proper protection for your home or office? Consider installing professional whole house surge protection. Call Mr. Electric of Fort Worth today to discuss your needs with our knowledgeable, friendly staff. We provide a wide variety of professional electrical services including inspections, repairs, wire and circuit replacements, lighting installations and so much more. Contact our office today for more information or to schedule a convenient appointment.