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Electrical Surge Protectors – Don’t get shocked!

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s edition of your Edmonton electrician. In today’s edition we are going to discuss whole-home surge protectors and different facts that you should know about them. As always here as your Edmonton electrician we are happy to answer all questions concerns and comments. If you want to hear more electrical issues that have not yet been discussed then get in touch with us at 780-935-0622. So let’s dive into the world of surge protectors!

 Homes today use more electronics and electrical devices than ever before. With the amount of LED devices from TVs to lights we are at risk of harmful harmonics damaging our electronic devices more than ever before.

Most homes today have multiple televisions, computers, gaming devices, and chargers all connected to the home’s electrical system at once. Every piece of electronic that you will find in your home or business will contain some sort of circuit board. These electrical circuit boards are fragile computer pieces that can become fried and broken should an electrical surge occurs.

Whole-home surge protectors can help to protect against these electrical surges in order to save these circuit boards. Surge protectors often will act as a sacrificial electronic device in order to save or preserve the electronics in a home or business.

There are different types of surge protectors and it is important to have a quality Edmonton electrician to help you know the difference. Here as your Edmonton electrician we are always happy to answer our customers concerns and get them the knowledge, and the customer experience that they deserve. If you think that a whole home surge protector may be right for you, don’t hesitate to call your local electrician and ask some questions.

 When most people think of an electrical surge they think of lightning strikes. Lightning strikes are a somewhat rare occurrence and it would definitely fry just about all the Electronics in a home or business.

Electrical surges that are more common are actually produced from loads inside the home. As your Edmonton electrician we see loads all the times in homes that are creating these big spikes in your electrical system. When a High draw load starts up it can produce an electrical power surge, usually small. Large draw loads like air conditioners, dryers, microwaves, and other electrical motors well all draw large enough loads to likely produce surge currents.

Overtime these small surges can put wear and tear on your electrical system and eventually cause certain items to fail. To avoid overloading circuits many of these items should be placed a surge protector electrical device. Whole-home surge protectors can act in a very good way to protect All Electronics at once however these whole home units are more costly. Many homeowners and businesses prefer to use surge protector power bars in order to protect specific electronic loads such as computers, printers, and other essential electrical equipment. 

Some items can be protected from an electrical surge protected power bar. A surge protected power bar is just like any other Outlet in the sense that it puts itself in between the circuit and your electronic devices.

Another method of surge protection commonly used is a whole-home surge protection device or SPD. These surge protection devices that protect the whole home act as a sacrificial unit as mentioned, and will destroy itself before any of your delicate Electronics.

When you hire your local Edmonton electrician to supply and install a whole home surge protector you are ensuring the proper installation of this product. Essentially what happens with a surge protector is it gets installed in your electrical service panel by a qualified electrician. Once your whole-home surge protector has been installed by a quality electrician into your electrical service panel board it can begin protecting your home right away.

Any surges produced from internal load within the house as well as external loads such as Lightning will go through this surge protector device before hitting any of your delicate Electronics.

 Often times people will get surge protecting Power Bars confused with octopus bars. An octopus bar or electrical splitter is an item that plugs directly into your outlet and will typically Branch off and do six or more Outlets.

As a professional Edmonton electrician we strongly discourage the use of electrical octopus setups. These Octopus electrical splitter setups are an electrical fire hazard and are never a good idea!

Electrical surge protecting power bars are ones that are directly labelled as a surge protecting power bar. If it does not say surge protector on it then it is simply not a surge protector. These power strips or octopus bars typically are cheap multi-outlet electrical items that simply allow you to overload a circuit. 

If you would like to learn more about overloaded circuits see our article on overloaded circuits here at Hauer Power Electrical. 

Warranty is often a big concern when it comes to expensive Electronics. Certain surge protecting devices whether they are surge strips or whole home surge protectors will offer certain warranties. Depending on the cost of the item for the surge protector these warranties are likely reflected within it. 

For example if you were spending a lot of money for a whole-home surge protector it is likely to be reflective of a comprehensive warranty. If you are going for a more cost-effective surge protector then this likely will have a lesser warranty. 

As always here at Hauer Power electrical we are happy to provide electrical warranty for all of our labour and supplied materials. It’s just one more thing that we do to keep our valued customers happy.

 Power conditioning is often a term thrown around into the same basket as surge protectors. If an electrical contractor is trying to sell you a power conditioner then you might want to find a  more professional Edmonton electrician. 

Power conditioners say that they will filter out any noise coming from your 120 volt AC system and condition it so that your device has a cleaner power source. Here in Edmonton our power source comes in a very clean way from the source with a regulated 60 hertz frequency and a power conditioner simply is irrelevant here. With our 50 plus years of Edmonton electrician experience we have never seen a need for any sort of power conditioner.

USB power charging options. Often times now newer surge protectors will come with USB power charging options. These USB ports will be rated for 1 or 2 amps maybe more maybe less. Pay attention to the current ampacity use of these USB ports for that will dictate how fast your phone, or electrical device will be able to charge. 

If the speed at which your phone charge is is not important to you then do not even worry about this. If the USB power charging port is listed for 2 amps than it is likely a good source for a fast charge for your device. 

Cost of surge protectors. As with anything in life the better quality items cost more money. You can get simple power strip style surge bars for under $50 on those large worldwide internet shopping sites. You can likely get a similar surge protector for a similar cost from your local Edmonton electrician. 

If you are looking to get a whole-home surge protector your best bet is to contact your local quality electrician. If you have a good professional electrician they should be able to tell you everything that you need to know about whole-home surge protectors. Surge protector installation services will vary depending on the surge protector that the quality electrical contractor chooses to provide. 

Some surge protector devices may run less than $100 and some around $400. Those are typical costs for the whole home surge protector devices themselves and do not typically reflect the cost of installation. At the end of the day you get what you pay for whether it is a surge protecting power strip or a whole-home surge protector. 

When buying a surge protector from your Edmonton electrician be sure to ask about their contractors warranty. Warranty may dictate your decision but there is really no reason not to invest in a surge protector. The amount of money you may save by not having to replace Electronics can vastly outweigh the cost of a surge protector.

 As with anything overtime surge protectors will fail and should be replaced. Typical surge protector lifespan is anywhere from 2 to 10 years depending on quality and manufacturer. Unfortunately you will never know when it has been expired unless it is stamped with an expiration date or best before date. A good rule of thumb with surge protectors is that if you think it may have reached the end of its life span it most likely has.

That about sums it up when it comes to surge protectors! Thanks for reading this edition of your Edmonton electrician. As always if you ever have any questions or concerns that you would like us to cover feel free to reach out to us at 780-935-0622 or at info@hauerpower.ca.  

As your professional electrical contractor we urge you to strongly consider the use of a power strip surge protector or a whole-home surge protector to help protect your delicate Electronics from harmful power surges. Get in touch with us today and we look forward to giving you power! 

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