How do I know what surge protector to buy for my TV computer, printer and other sensitive equipment?
Surge protectors are devices that are designed to protect electronics from voltage spikes. Voltage spikes happen from a number of reasons such as; lighting, natural disasters or industry related accidents. A surge protector limits the voltage supplied to an electric device by either blocking or diverting the voltage to ground. As a rule of thumb you want to purchase a surge protector that has at least 1000 joules and 40,000 amperes. This is a good way to protect certain devices, but the best way to protect your entire electrical system is to have a licensed electrician install a premise surge arrester on your main electrical panel.
This will protect your whole electrical system from an electrical surge. These premise surge arrester are relatively inexpensive and are highly recommended for automated lighting systems, low voltage lighting, fire alarm systems and security systems. The arresters do have to be installed by a licensed electrician in your main service panel. There are two different types of surge arresters.
The first type is a single use, once the arrester is installed and a surge happens the surge arrester implodes and will need to be replaced to protect your electrical systems from the next electrical surge.
The second type has a replacement fuse inside the premise surge arrester; this allows you to change the fuse instead of the entire arrester. These are a little more expensive up front but over the long run are cheaper as you are able to change the fuse yourself. The latter has to be changed by a licensed electrician after every surge.