Power surge protector


Power surge protector

Have you ever gone to turn your computer on following an electrical storm only to find it won’t boot up? This can be the result of a power surge. Sensitive electrical appliances such as computers contain thousands of  tiny voltage-sensitive components designed to handle no more than 240v. As technology advances, more and more appliances are now controlled by microprocessors and other voltage-sensitive components. The way it’s going, it won’t be long until you’ll be streaming videos through your toaster, so it’s important your home is adequately surge protected.Toaster_with_screen

What is a power surge?

A power surge is a voltage spike or transient lasting only milliseconds. In Australia, the voltage in your home should be between 220-240V. During a power surge, the voltage can reach the thousands which is more than enough to fry sensitive electronics.

What causes a power surge?

Each year there are literally thousands of thunderstorms in Australia, which makes it no surprise that this is the main cause of power surges. Every time there is a thunderstorm there are hundreds of lightning strikes and every bolt of lightning is searching for the path of least resistance. A perfectly earthed power pole sticking 11 meters out of the ground provides a perfect target for the strike. Most of the strikes energy is lost through transformers and transmission circuit protection, but a portion of it will make it to your house. A lightning bolt is thought to be a million volts, your poor charging laptop would be tremoring at the idea of that.

Lightning is not the only cause of power surges, other causes include:

  • Malfunctions caused by the power company
  • Power outages
  • Short circuits such as trees hitting power lines



What is a surge protector?

A surge protector acts like an electrical floodgate, when the voltage exceeds a level, the gate is opened and the excess voltage is dumped to earth protecting your sensitive electronics. Surge protectors come in a range of styles and types, they all basically do the same thing, the main difference being they way they’re installed.


Best surge protector

The best type of  surge protector is a board mounted permanently wired type. This sits in your switchboard and protects all the power points on the circuit. Permanently wired surge protectors can also protect lighting circuits, reducing the frequency of blown lamps. An Electrician is required to install this type of surge protector, once installed you don’t need to do anything, the surge protector will do its thing.

The second best type is outlet mounted, again, an Electrician is required for the installation of an outlet mounted surge protector. The downfall with this type is it only protects appliances plugged into that particular power point outlet.

Surge protector power board

Power boards are thought to be responsible for a large portion of electrical fires in Australia every year. The main problem with power boards (surge protector or not) is people tend to fill all available sockets. Most power points are only rated to allow the current flow of two outlets where power boards allow you to plug up to 8 appliances into one socket. Another issue with power boards is the fact that they usually sit horizontally which allows them to fill up with dust; fire hazard No.2.


If you have any questions, please contact Vested Utility or leave a message in the comments box below




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