How Surge Protection and Power Conditioning Work Together
The heart of your electrical system is the main panel, usually a gray metal box that is hidden away in a utility room, the basement or the garage. Large wires from the utility company feed into the main panel. Circuit breakers in your main panel control the power level to the wires that run throughout your home.
The circuits are divided into two types – dedicated and general purpose.
Dedicated circuits include those serving large draw appliances like your range or your hot water tank. You may also have other dedicated circuits for special use appliances like microwaves, laundry equipment, or even in the bathroom.
General purpose circuits serve multiple outlets and provide electricity for lighting and most of the other outlets in your home. In some cases, you can tap into these circuits if you’re adding another outlet in your home.
The purpose of the circuit breaker is to shut down the entire circuit if an issue with the path of power occurs. If power demand exceeds the limit of the circuit breaker, it snaps open and shuts down the entire circuit, giving you warning of a problem.
In most cases, this provides adequate protection for daily activities. However, not in the event of power surges. Power surges are very brief, usually lasting millionths of a second. They can vary in duration and magnitude, fluctuating from a few hundred volts to several thousand.
That’s where surge protectors come into play.
Whole house surge protection is installed between street power lines and your home, or between the breaker box and your meter. It works to protect dangerous spikes and surges that could impact the circuits throughout your home. When a spike, or excess voltage, enters your home, the whole home surge protectors will divert the excess voltage to your home’s ground system. It is imperative that your home is properly ground for surge protection to function properly. Newer whole home surge arrestors can protect the home from surges as fast as 5 nano seconds and as large as 100,000 Amps.
To provide even more protection, power strips can also be added to individual outlets to protect the most vulnerable items in your home – mainly electronic equipment. There is a difference between the cheap $20 power strips and a surge protector with a power conditioner. Any surge protector you choose should also be able to protect your phone, or cable lines as well. Surges and lightning can enter your home through the low voltage so it’s important to also protect this side.
A premium point of use surge protector with power conditioning protects appliance from surges. It also filters electrical current and provides the correct voltage. It prevents minor drops and disturbances in the power supply, which helps keep your electronics safer and more efficient over time.
A power conditioner provides quality electrical current to your audio/video components every time. When AC power is delivered, it is contaminated with “noise.” This additional noise impacts performance of your equipment. A good surge protector with power conditioner dramatically improves your equipment performance, making the sound better and the picture clearer. It will also increase the longevity of your components for the long term.
Is your home protected from surges?