Surge Protection

Protecting your household electronics.

Consolidated Electric Cooperative offers a whole-house surge protector that will protect the large appliances in your home (range, refrigerator, etc.). It is also a good idea to have individual surge protection on your computer, stereo and other electronic equipment. Newer electronic devices are much more delicate, sensitive and expensive than the older equipment ever was, which is why protecting them is very important.

A surge is a boost in electrical charge in a power line. This can be due to lightning but it is more commonly caused by high-power electrical devices such as air conditioners and refrigerators, which require a lot of energy for starting and stopping compressors and motors. A surge can also be due to faulty wiring. Telephone and cable lines can also conduct high voltage and need surge suppression as well.

All surge protectors are not the same. Pick a surge protector system that balances price with the cost of losing data or expensive electronic equipment. The general rule of thumb is that you get what you pay for, so look for a quality product. Here are a few important things to look for.

What to look for:

Get a surge protector that states it is a “transient voltage surge suppressor” and meets criteria for UL 1449. Some products look like a surge protector but are actually nothing more than extension cords.

Get a clamping voltage of 400V or less—the lower the better. Also, look for a rating of at least 200 to 400 joules. Buy a surge protector with an indicator light that tells you the protection components are functioning. Better surge protectors come with a guarantee on performance backed by an insurance guarantee on your equipment.