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Surge Protection Overview For The Homeowner

By Liz Vale

Our electronic equipment at home are sometimes subjected to unexpected disturbances that can cause them to break down earlier than we expect them to. Lightning strikes, power transmission line transfers, short circuits (among others) may cause a power surge and ruin the sensitive wiring and various components of our electronics, causing possible damage to the machine and even risk to human life due to fire and electrocution risks. Surge protection should be installed to prevent such possible results.

What are surge suppressors?

Surge suppressors are circuits designed to redirect or even totally stop the electrical spike from damaging the electronic equipment by responding to the current or voltage hike, directing it into the ground or neutral terminals. Their characteristics are determined by their let-through voltage, surge capacity and response time. The let-through voltage is the voltage at which the components will start to direct the energy. The amount of energy that can be absorbed by the circuit without sacrificing itself is called the surge capacity, and the amount of time it takes for the circuit to act in response to this energy is called response time, measured in fractions of a second.

What are the different surge suppression strategies available?

Surge suppressors are characterized by its specifications and the types, both of which are important considerations in considering which surge suppression strategy to install in your home. Primary suppressors are capable of withstanding large amounts of energy and can protect the whole house and its electrical equipment. They are installed in the main electrical line that enters a house.

Secondary surge suppressors, on the other hand, have smaller capacities than primary ones and are installed inside the house. They are usually cover a particular electric line, bay, or a sensitive piece of electronic equipment. Different secondary surge suppressors have different behaviors in the event of a spike, which also has to be considered when thinking of a surge suppression strategy. A shunt mode protector acts to divert surge to the ground. They are simple and commonly available, but since the protector acts to direct the excess energy to the ground the protection is limited to the outlet it is installed in and may damage other equipment attached to the common ground. A series mode protector, on the other hand, does not redirect the excess voltage to the ground terminal, but blocks the excess voltage and dissipates it in the way of the neutral terminal.

Some areas of the country are more prone to these electrical spikes than others, since events such as storms and hurricanes may bring about different damages to electrical wiring. Residents of New Jersey, for instance, should invest in primary NJ surge suppressors as they are subject to storms at a regular basis, upping the risk of lightning strikes, electric pole accidents and power interruptions. Secondary NJ surge suppressors can also be installed to particularly sensitive electronic equipment. One can have different NJ surge suppression strategies, depending on their electronic equipment and the amount of money they intend to invest on these surge suppressors, but at the end of it all the safety of one’s home and family is the greatest consideration.

With more than 60 years of experience under their belt, you can trust NJ electricians to answer your questions about NJ surge protection.

categories: surge suppression, surge suppressors, power surge protectors, electric spikes

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Vale, Liz "Surge Protection Overview For The Homeowner." Surge Protection Overview For The Homeowner. 22 Jun. 2010. 6 May 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Vale, L (2010, June 22). Surge Protection Overview For The Homeowner. Retrieved May 6, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Vale, Liz "Surge Protection Overview For The Homeowner"

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