How To Test The Efficiency Of A Power Surge Protector
Last Updated on July 7, 2021 by Ephraim Iyodo
A surge protector (or surge suppressor or surge converter) is a tool or equipment designed to shield electrical gadgets from voltage surges.
A surge protector attempts to limit the voltage implemented to an electrical device by blocking off or grounding any unwanted voltages in excess of a secure threshold.
The truth is that they do not often work as well as you are led to believe, mainly in lightning strikes, and there is no effective way to check them besides to see if your “protected” devices continue to work after a power surge.
Testing A Surge Protector
Except you work in a specialized laboratory, there truly is no manner to test surge protectors. A quick and clean way to test is to shop for surge protectors with LED signs, while a surge protector fails an internal test of the surge protector mechanism, it’s going to supply a visible (LED notification) or audible sign.
Every other aspect you should be aware of is that each surge protectors have a confined lifespan. Typically, after a few bumps (from surges and spikes), your surge protector becomes nothing greater than an extension wire through which strength will flow to your connected devices without protection.
NB: In case you are using a surge protector that you bought more than a few years ago, it is in your great interest to replace it.
When searching for a replacement, make sure it has numerous LED signs (as stated earlier) so when faulty it can notify you that it is not capable of protecting your valuable electrical gadgets.
This is probably the first-rate form of “test” to affirm whether or not the surge protector is still protecting your connected electronics.
Maximum excessive-end surge protectors nowadays have very clear, person-friendly LED signs that are pretty difficult to overlook when a hassle arises.
A few manufacturers and models actually have an audible alarm that signals you when the device has exhausted its joules of surge protection.
It must be referred to that the existence of surge protectors is not measured in years. There is usually a positive quantity of joules that are calculated and constructed into each model of surge protectors.
As soon as the variety of joules of surge protection is exhausted, it ought to provide you with a warning (take a look at the LED indicator) that it is not capable of protecting your connected devices. therefore, it’s time to replace it with a brand new surge protector.
Getting The Right Surge Protector
If your surge protector warns you (with LED lights or a beep) that it is no longer protecting you, or asks you to replace it, you should probably buy a new surge protector without having to know how to check the surge protector.
A built-in mechanism inside every surge protector constantly checks its surge protection capabilities and gives an alarm (visual or audible) when it is no longer able to protect connected devices.
When buying surge protectors, be sure to look for certification and compliance with IEC 61643-1 / ANSI/IEEE C62.xx / UL 1449, etc. Since there is no easy way to physically or scientifically test a surge protector, it is best to purchase from reputable manufacturers such as Tripp lite, APC, Belkin, etc.
Causes And Prevention Of Power Surges
Power surges can be caused by a number of factors. It can be caused by a lightning strike, a utility company switching from one distribution system to another, or an animal, such as a squirrel or a raccoon, damaging the power line. In some cases, if your home is near a large factory and you use the same transformer or electrical system, even simply turning on or off heavy machinery can cause a power surge.
A power surge can reach your home and spread to electrical outlets. If a device or appliance is plugged into an outlet, it may not be able to withstand the power surge.
One major way of preventing power surges as mentioned earlier is through surge protectors but then you can prevent it by other means necessary such as:
Preventing power surges in your home requires some foresight and preparation. Here are some steps you can take to keep your home and sensitive electronics safe:
1. Inspect your wiring. Faulty or poor-quality wiring can make the problem of power surges worse. Have an electrician check your home’s wiring for problems, especially if you have an older home.
2. Unplug electronics during a storm. Disconnecting sensitive electronics from the mains during a thunderstorm prevents them from being damaged by a power surge caused by a lightning strike.
3. Install a whole-home surge processor. A primary surge protector is installed on the primary circuit breaker between your home’s electrical system and the grid. It acts just like an extension cord or other surge protector, but protects the entire electrical system of your home from power surges.
4. Install high-efficiency AC units. Using AC units with high efficiency nowadays draw less power thereby reducing voltage spikes and save money on energy bills.