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Expert Contribution

Will Your Surge Protection Protect When it Counts?

By Andrew Martella
Martella Electric Company
Marple Friends & Neighbors, November 2022

Most of us have purchased a TV from a major retailer and did our due diligence to ensure it is installed safely and protected. So the next step is often to purchase a point of use surge protector strip, although many people don’t really understand why they need one and why it’s important to protect their devices.

Televisions these days are bigger and more impressive than anything we could have imagined years ago, but whether they’re giant or small, they are all sensitive to electrical power surges. What many people don’t realize is that today’s home appliances – dishwashers, washing machines, microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers – are packed with electronic circuits where many voltage surges within the home can originate from. Voltage surges are often caused when an appliance is turned on.

Think about how many times a day the refrigerator alone cycles on and off, or you use your microwave or coffee maker. A second type of voltage surge comes from outside of your home, most commonly when the power goes off and on from storms, accidents, regular system maintenance or other causes.

Voltage surges can be highly dangerous for your electronics, and that’s why surge protectors have become so popular because most will help prevent damage to your things. However, if a surge protector isn’t properly installed, a sudden surge of 120 volts or higher can cause anything from premature device failure, to burned wires and fires. Permanent damage or personal injury is always a possibility as well. 

A surge protector is made to provide additional internal protection for your electrics. When a surge does occur, the surge protector strip is the final protective layer, commonly referred to as stage 2 protection. Stage 1 protection is most often a piece of equipment attached to your service panel which provides protection from the small surges originating inside the home as well as those generated externally from the power grid. These two devices working in tandem will extend the life of the electronic components in all of your home appliances.

It’s important to regularly check your surge protectors. A green light indicator, which many are equipped with, shows that the device is functioning. To ensure the protection of your electronics and your home, a surge protection system which includes both stage 1 and stage 2 provisions, along with a properly installed grounding system, is a good and safe plan.

About The Author

Electric Services
Andrew Martella
Martella Electric Company

Andrew Martella, owner of Martella Electric Company, began his electrical training as a 14-year-old apprentice to his father, Carmen, who inspired Andrew’s Code of Ethics in service to his customers, his employees and his community. Formally trained in Energy Engineering, Andrew’s expertise has guided Martella Electric for more than 32 years in association with Electricians Success International, reserved for only the top 1% of all electrical companies in the United States. Now in its 3rd generation of service to Delaware County and the Main Line, Martella Electric Company is known for its unparalleled Expert Electrician reputation for trusted service at a fair price, and for its ongoing referrals from prior customers in over 60+ years of service to our community.

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