What is a Power Surge Protector | How Does It Work

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I am sure that you don’t want to see your home appliances to be set on fire, right? There can be many reasons to damage electrical equipment; I will talk about one of the causes which can severely hurt your electrical home appliances and it is called ‘Power Surge’. However, every problem has a solution; a power surge protector is the safeguard device that can protect your valuable home appliances from being busted. I will talk about how the power surge protector works and associated important points that you should note before going for such a device. But before that, we have to know what actually the power surge is in order to get a firm grip on the topic.

What is a Power Surge Protector

What is Power Surge?

A power surge is a situation when voltage above the safe limit runs across a device which causes the device to damage at some level. Generally, power flows through our home electrical devices at around 120 volts and any sudden increase in voltages create havoc on the circuits and wires inside the devices and can damage your computer power supply too.

Sometimes the device, for example, the power supply may be totally damaged due to a power surge. However, hundreds of power surge occur on our electrical equipment and we hardly see any problem because the damage is small. You can’t though underestimate these small power surges; these little circuit failures, accumulating together can create the ultimate failure of your valuable devices.

Why does Power Surge Occur?

The question must have come across your mind already, how a sudden increase in voltage occurs which leads to a major power surge. Well, there can be a separate cause or a combination of causes- you should be careful about it.

Lightning is one of the reasons to occur power surge. As you may know, lightning comes with thousands of voltages which upon hitting on the cable or switchboard that is remained outside, can severely harm any connected electrical appliances as this large amount of voltages find no other way to go to the earth. However, lightning is not a regular phenomenon; hence, power surge on devices due to lightning are less likely to happen.

Poor wiring and cable arrangements can also be responsible for a power surge. Many houses are equipped with old switchboards; the earthen system is not good; and with torn-out wires, a power surge is most likely to occur in these houses.

Many low-quality home appliances are susceptible to power surge anyway. The circuits inside these appliances are poorly arranged with low-quality electrical equipment and hence, a small increase in voltage causes them to be out of order.

What is a Power Surge Protector?

What is a Power Surge Protector

A power surge protector is a device that is used to safeguard other electrical devices against any power surge, small or large, and protect them to be damaged. A power surge protector also works as a common outlet for multiple devices. So, many electrical devices are connected with it to get protection from any sudden increase in voltage as the protector takes that voltage to cause it to flow towards the earth.

Power surge protectors are also called surge suppressors. You can get these protectors or suppressors either for your whole house or for a number of devices. As we know, energy is expressed in the Joules unit; the case is the same for the power surge protector. There is a certain designated Joules associated with every surge protector, and each time it has to take in the high voltages, it is debilitated to some extent.

Some protectors indicate the power surge with indicator light. It is a nice feature for you to know whenever any power surge occurs. Remember, there is a limited lifetime of the protectors and after 2-3 years most of the surge protectors do not work anymore.

How does a Power Surge Protector Work?

A power surge protector is capable of detecting a sudden increase in current coming from the main circuit board. Then the device channels that extra current through itself to ultimately divert it to the ground. That’s how the surge protector or suppressor does not allow the extra current to flow through the valuable home appliances which are connected to it.

Metal oxide used in the power surge protector helps the appliances to continue to work despite the operation of diverting the excessive voltage to the ground is taking place. A good grounding mechanism is a must to allow the protector to work; otherwise, it does not give the service you want to get. Remember another thing, a single layer protector can only safeguard the devices against power surge originated from the devices themselves or from the inside circuit board. But, to get protection from the outside source of extra current, you would require the whole house power surge protector as well as another layer for the inside mishap.

Which Devices Are Protected by the Power Surge Protector?

The electrical devices, home appliances, and anything that needs the power to run can be protected by the power surge protector. However, you want to protect the valuable ones at first as there are a limited number of outlets available on the protector. Let’s look at the devices which you can consider plugin into the surge protector.

1. Fridge and air-conditioner (produces a super high voltage that these appliances even capable of destroying your power surge protector; hence, be careful about these appliances).

2. Game consoles like PlayStation or Xbox.

3. Computer, laptop, notebook etc.

4.  Home heater. It is also a high current eater. Use a good quality surge protector for home heater.


New devices are more likely to be damaged by a power surge as the complex circuit used inside these devices is vulnerable to a slight change in current flow. This is the reason why you need to consider buying a power surge protector more than ever. You do not want your newly bought refrigerator or computer to be out of order so soon, do you? Then spend a few bucks on a good power surge protector to may save a lot more. Also, we suggest you buy the best alarm system so that you can always be safe from any kind of damage.

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