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Here’s how to protect your electronics and appliances from power surges

(Shuttershock Photo)

Surge protectors are the most overlooked and inexpensive insurance available.

A power surge is a sudden momentary increase in the normal household voltage. Surges can be caused by power stations switching from one source of electricity to another or by a close lightning strike. They are generally produced when electricity is restored after a power loss. As many as 100 surges per day enter the average home causing stress or damage to the delicate circuitry inside your appliances and equipment.

Power plants and lightning can be the source of surges that can damage your appliances and electronics.

A Limited Solution

The typical surge protectors found in retail outlets do provide a small amount of protection. However, when large amounts of energy caused by lightning or utility surges enter the home, they cannot be conditioned by a small suppressor. These store-bought protectors have a joule rating, which means they have limited energy storage capabilities. It is not always obvious If the storage on these units is full in which case they will not protect your electronics.

Whole-house surge protection includes three-point protection

Whole house surge protectors with no joule rating have what we call a “let-through” voltage. This means that any surge over 250 volts is “let-through” to the ground.

Since this unit does not store any energy, it cannot be exhausted and therefore comes with a lifetime guarantee.

These protectors keep the flow of energy to your electronics even thereby saving on the wear and tear of surges.

1. A suppressor installed at the main electrical box that covers all house outlets, appliances, and wiring.
2. A telephone line suppressor installed at the main telephone box that covers all phone line-connected equipment.
3. A cable TV, antenna or dish suppressor that covers all equipment that is connected to the TV cable.

A whole-house surge protector is a one-time cost that will protect the thousands of dollars you have invested in your home electronics and appliances.

For more do-it-yourself tips, go to An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert for 35 years, Rosie Romero is the host of the Rosie on the House radio program from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturdays on KTAR-FM (92.3) in Phoenix, 9 to 11 a.m. on KAFF-AM (930) in Flagstaff, and 10 to 11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790) in Tucson.

Rosie on the House

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