There are several potential causes of a power surge––most notably lighting strikes, overloaded circuits or outlets, or damaged electrical wires. Regardless of the cause, you want to avoid power surges as much as possible. Obviously, you can’t control the weather, but you can be cautious about the number of plugs in your outlet. Additionally, an electrician could rewire parts of your home to ensure you’re not overloading any circuits. All that said, sometimes a power surge is simply out of your control. Severe power surges can result in thousands of dollars’ worth of damage as they can blow out appliances and electronics that were plugged in. So, what do you do to protect your belongings? You install surge protectors.
Surge protectors are a necessary accessory for any device or appliance you plug into a wall outlet. The last thing you want is to lose your brand-new television, gaming console, or washer and dryer to a power surge. We know what you’re thinking, “how on earth do I choose a surge protector? There are tons to choose from!” We’ve got you covered. Our experts break down everything you should know about surge protectors in our guide below; check it out.
A Power Strip Isn’t Necessarily a Surge Protector
While most surge protectors are a power strip, that doesn’t mean every power strip has a surge protector. It’s crucial that you do your research before plugging your devices into a power strip. The last thing you want is a storm to roll through and knock out all your items and you thought they were plugged into a surge protector. Aside from reading the packaging to find out, the price is often an indicator or whether or not the power strip is a surge protector. Although some power strips and surge protectors look almost identical, a surge protector is always more expensive.
You’ll Need Sufficient Joules and Amps
Whenever you shop for a surge protector online or at your local hardware store, make sure you look at the joule rating. Joules are merely a measure of energy. Specifically, 1 watt is equal to 1 joule per second––similarly, 1 kilowatt equals 1000 joules per second. In general, the higher the joule rating on your surge protector, the more protection you receive. Joules have a very large range; in fact, you can get surge protectors with as little as 100 joules and over 3000 joules. If you have devices with important information such as computers and external hard drives, your surge protector shouldn’t have less than 1000 joules. Alternatively, if you’re merely plugging in a lamp or blender, you can probably get by with as little as 200 joules. It’s always better to get a surge protector with more joules than you need, as you can never have too much protection for your devices and appliances. Finally, most of us use USB cables to charge our phones and tech gadgets, and surge protectors support those too.
Never Daisy-Chain Your Surge Protector
A lot of people make the mistake of buying a surge protector with the bare minimum number of outlets they need (typically because it’s the cheapest). There are several issues that stem from not having enough outlets. First, you might not have room for all your plugs depending on where the manufacturer placed the outlets. Second, you’ll simply run out of outlets eventually, and although you might think you can daisy change an additional surge protector for more outlets, you’re wrong. Whether it’s a surge protector or a basic power strip, you should never daisy-chain them for a couple reasons. Assuming you’re using a surge protector, the first surge protector will trip if you plug another strip in and start using it. Additionally, daisy-chaining power strips or surge protectors is a quick way to blow outlets because it overloads the outlet. Finally, if you overload an outlet, it becomes susceptible to an electrical fire. In other words, always get more outlets than you think you need because you’ll probably need them after all.
Know Your Surge Protector’s Warranty
Most surge protector manufacturers offer a warranty that covers both their product and also your belongings in the event their surge protector fails. One of the most common brands for surge protectors is Belkin, and some of their surge protectors offer a $300,000 warranty on items connected to their product. In other words, if their surge protector failed during a power surge and your items were ruined, they’ll cover repair or replacement costs up to $300,000––not bad, right? Of course, not every brand will offer warranties like Belkin, but you should still know if there’s a warranty, what it covers, and how to file a claim. Don’t make the mistake of purchasing a mediocre surge protector for your tech devices and appliances, as you need something reliable. Not every brand and company will offer warranties like Belkin, but they should cover their surge protector at the very least––so do your research.
Understand That a Surge Protector Won’t Last Forever
Think about what a surge protector does; it literally defends and counteracts surges of electrical currents from reaching your belongings. You can imagine the amount of wear and tear a surge protector endures over the years of use, and it’s only fair that they eventually retire too. In other words, you’ll need to replace your surge protector at some point. As much as we’d like to buy a surge protector once and never need to buy another one, that’s simply unrealistic. Most manufacturers provide instructions in their packaging (or digitally on their website) that tell you how to tell if it’s time to replace their brand of surge protector.
Learning what you should know about surge protectors is crucial for avoiding common mistakes when buying and using a surge protector. Now that you’ve read our guide, you can make the right decision and ensure you have the best surge protector for your application. Of course, not all surge protectors are created equal, and you should only protect your electrical items with a high-quality surge protector.
Whether you need to replace a 75 ft. HDMI cable after a power surge or you need a great surge protector––CableWholesale has you covered. Our team consists of industry experts who know everything about cables and surge protectors. Check out our full inventory today and don’t forget to utilize our free technical assistance if you have questions. Our customer service team is ready to support you and we’re ready to help you protect your electrical devices and appliances.