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Choose the Best Surge Protector for Your Home


Surge protectors are extremely important to have in your home, as they protect your electronics from harm during power surges or other electrical interferences. Different than a power strip, a surge protector works to defer excess current into the ground wire so it doesn't fry your device. While this sounds basic enough, there are actually many different kinds of surge protectors to choose from. It is important to consider several factors when deciding on a surge protector in order to guarantee you have the right one for your electronics setup.

Consider the Number of Outlets

Surge protectors come with a number of outlets so you can plug in more than one device at a time. Many common sizes include up to six or eight plugs, while heavier duty ones can have up to 12. If you are using a surge protector for your computer, monitor, and speakers, then you probably could use a standard size one. However, if you need a surge protector for your entire entertainment system, it might be worthwhile to choose a bigger size. Keep in mind that the surge protectors you purchase from a hardware store only offer a minimum of protection. While it is good to have one in place, there's no guarantee these lower priced items will protect your electronics. The best way to protect your possessions is to have a surge receptacle professionally installed at the TV or computer location.

Determine the Joule Rating You Require

Each surge protector has a different joule rating, which is the amount of electricity it can divert before it begins to fail. The higher the rating, the more protection it provides. Typically, you shouldn't pick anything less than 6 joules. On the higher side of things, 700 joules is pretty much the maximum you should need in your home. Pick a higher joule protector for higher end electronics, such as a television or computer. However, for items like lamps and clocks, you shouldn't really worry about getting the highest joule level possible.

Choose an Appropriate Clamp Voltage

The clamping voltage is the precise electricity overflow that triggers the surge protector into action. In order to be effective as possible, you should search for a number that is low, as this means it kicks on even at the slightest disturbance. Typically, a voltage of 400 or less is appropriate, especially for sensitive electronics. For items that could probably withstand a small shock without frying, you could try a higher voltage.

Find a Price That's Right for You

In the end, surge protectors with a lot of outlets, a high joule rating, and a low clamp voltage can be quite expensive. Always consider what you will be plugging in and decide if it's really worth the extra expense for some added protection. Some higher end surge protectors also include a warranty that covers your electronics in case it fails to protect them, so this is another benefit of a more expensive one.

Think About Other Factors

Certain models of surge protectors are more energy efficient, which is important if you want to reduce your utility bills. Additionally, if your house lives a bit on the wild side, you might want a device that is covered in all-metal housing. Indicator lights, cord length, and plug design are other features to consider.

Want to learn more about how to choose the right surge protector for your home? Contact David Gray Electrical Services today to speak with one of our experts about outfitting your home with the proper device. We offer Sycom surge protection that protects the entire house, including appliances and entertainment systems.