Surge Protectors are complex, like your lover’s thoughts; with so many different facets making up their unique nature that it will take you your whole lifetime to understand them. Unless you’re a geek that is!
Fortunately though, it isn’t necessary to understand the complicated nature of surge protection to be able to enjoy the benefits of them. While it doesn’t take a scientist to understand that surge protectors protect electronics from surges, the tricky part comes in the fact that no surge is the same, they greatly vary in magnitude, like earthquakes, tsunami’s and the price of petrol.
Below we’ve isolated 6 key features of Surge Protectors that will give you a decent enough understanding of them, so that you can easily hold up your end of a power surge protection conversation at your next big soiree.
Why you need Power Surge Protection
Yes joules should be familiar to you, as it is a measure of energy also seen on food packaging labels. In surge protector land joules are a measure of the amount of energy that a protector can absorb to protect your devices. A level of over 1000 joules is considered good. A level over 50 billion is considered made up and you should probably ask for your money back.
Tip: If you order a pizza and it doesn’t arrive, don’t blame the surge protector for stopping those joules.
Power surges are the out of control children of your stable loving electricity supply, and the best way to deal with them is to ground them. While the joule rating relates to the component in surge protectors that absorb surges, there are also important complementary components that work to redirect larger surges into the ground or earth. Which is the best way to handle large surges that could otherwise cause the surge protector to overload.
While also being the title of the best selling childrens book about a rag tag bunch of clams coming together against all the odds to successfully put up a tent, clamping relates to the voltage at which a surge protector will kick in, to make sure that nothing more than necessary gets through. In Australia mains voltage is 240V, and any voltage above 300v will cause damage to most electronics. So you should look for a clamping voltage of around 275V which is what Thor boards clamp at.
This refers to how quickly a surge protector can recognise that a surge has arrived and begin stopping it. With Thor Surge Protectors for example that number is 1 nanosecond, which is 1 billionth of a second, or 300 million times as fast as you can blink your eye (299 million times as fast if you’ve been practising).
Power board overload is not a reference to running every electrical item from one power point through a series of hundreds of power boards daisy chained throughout your house. What we’re talking about here is the confusion that sometimes surrounds surge protection and overload protection when it comes to cheap power boards. You should carefully check your power board to make sure you know which protection your board possesses as it will be labelled.
Overload protection is there to limit current surges caused by your appliances drawing too much power, such as when a fridge, air conditioning or Stargate turns on. They are also notorious for having slow reaction times due to their basic construction, meaning you shouldn’t rely on them to block a power surge.
As of this time there is no scientific link between the aesthetics of a surge protector and it’s ability to protect from surges. But while science can’t give a definite answer to the question, some sparkles or a super sweet lightning bolt sticker down the side certainly can’t hurt, and will definitely turn heads around the office.
Hopefully your brain has survived the Power Knowledge Surge and interested in finding out more about Surge Protection and how to protect your electronics from power surges. If so click below.