Power Strips And Surge Protectors

Posted on: September 5, 2016
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Electrician

Houston Homeowners: Do You Know The Difference Between A Surge Protector And A Power Strip?

urge protectors and power strips both allow you to plug in several appliances into one location, but it’s important for you to know the key differences. A surge protector will divert or suppress the extra voltage caused by power surges. It will help protect your electronic devices from electrical spikes. A power strip simply provides more outlets for a circuit.

In this video I explain the differences between a surge protector and power strips. Its explain the Joule briefly.

Guide to Power Strips and Surge Protectors

Power strips and surge protectors are a bit of a mystery to some. For instance: What’s the difference? Are all power strips surge protectors? Do you really need a surge protector? What sort of electrical surges are we talking about, anyway? Can you plug as many things as you want into a power strip as long as there’s a spot for the plug?

If you have electronic items, then you know what a power strip is. A power strip plugs into your wall outlet and allows you to plug in multiple electronic devices. The outlets in your house or office likely have room for two devices. Well, if you need to plug in more than two devices you can use a power strip and plug in much more. Some people think that a surge protector is a same thing as a power strip when in fact this is not true, even if they both appear to be the same.

A surge protector functions like a power strip; it gives the user the ability to plug in multiple electronic devices, but it also serves another very important function. A surge protector will also protect your electronic devices from a power spike. A power spike is a temporary, very high increase in power that lasts for a fraction of a second. They can be caused by lightning strikes (however unlikely), power outages, tripped circuit breakers, short circuits and more. If a power spike occurs when a device is not hooked into a surge protector, damage can occur. However, the circuit a device is connected to is subject to a lightning strike, even a surge protector can’t prevent damage. 

In order to tell the difference between a power strip and a surge protector, you have to look for an electric rating. A surge protector will have a rating in Joules of energy, as well as the maximum voltage it can take from a power spike. If you find those numbers either on the box it came it or on the strip itself, then it is a surge protector. Also, if you have ever heard the term “surge suppressor”, it is the same thing as a surge protector; it is a device used to protect against changes in current. The bottom line is to make sure that your computers and other electronic devices are hooked into a surge protector. It is a few dollars to spend that can end up saving you thousands in the long run.

What’s the difference between power strips and surge protectors?

The difference is the power strip is just an extension cord with a lot of outlets. That’s all it is. A surge protector has another element inside that, in electrical terms, will “clamp” the surge. That means it will take the surge away from what’s downstream — your computer, your flat-screen TV, your stereo or other electronic product you don’t want to be damaged. Call (713) 812-7070 us for your home service and repair needs.

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