Surge protectors are usually designed to protect an electrical component from power or voltage surges that occur frequently in electrical lines. But do surge protectors protect against power outages?

Yes, a surge protector can definitely help you protect your electrical components from the surge that might occur when the power is restored. However, it depends on the type of electronics you’re using that’ll decide whether you need a surge protector or you should opt for a backup power supply.

Let’s delve down deeper into the topic so you can get a better understanding of the inner workings of the matter for a better grasp on the topic.

Do Surge Protectors Protect Against Power Outages

Why Are Power Outages Harmful for Electronics?

The risk isn’t when the electricity goes out, but when it comes back on. When the power is restored, the supply voltage may be higher than usual, which is fatal for most electronics.

Most devices are not as vulnerable to power outages as you would expect. It may create problems with computers since unsaved data may be lost, but it should be fine otherwise.

The underlying issue is excess voltage, sometimes known as a surge, that occurs shortly after the power is restored. These surges deliver higher-than-normal voltages, oftentimes almost enough to damage your equipment’ circuitry.

What Purpose Do Surge Protectors Serve?

A surge protector protects electronic equipment from damage caused by power surges or high voltages by reducing them within the threshold limit.

A conventional surge protector distributes electrical electricity to a number of devices hooked into the power strip via the outlet.

The protector will channel any excess power into the outlet grounding wire if the voltage rises over the permitted threshold.

Parallel to the hot and neutral wires are grounding wires. If the system of hot and neutral wires that ordinarily transport the current fails, they give a channel for electrical current to follow.

Thus, there is no better alternative other than a surge protector to help shield your home appliances. You can even use a wall mount surge protector as outlets for max terminals and even hook up your PC (Can I plug my pc into a surge protector?) if you wanted to without any risk.

Can A Surge Protector Protect Against Power Outages and How?

Yes, a surge protector can definitely help you protect your electrical components from getting fried after a power outage due to a power surge.

However, the surge protector must be specified for use in your country or region. If it does not comply with the voltage and frequency rating of the power supplied to your household, it will do more harm than help.

The voltage rating in the United States is 120 volts, and the frequency is 60 Hz. However, depending on the location, this grade differs throughout the world.

The specifications of your power surge protector are readily found on a tag attached to its body or in the packaging it arrived in.

Surge-Protector-and-Specifications
Fig-1: Surge Protector and Specifications

For example, in Fig-1, the surge protector is specified for 230 Volts of voltage and up to 3 amperes of current.

When selecting a surge protector, make sure the parameters match your power supply rating. This will ensure that your electronic components are protected from a surge in the event of a power outage.

Do Whole House Surge Protectors Work Against Lightning?

The short answer is yes, but there is a longer “however” involved.

It depends on a variety of circumstances, including the position of the lightning strike, how close or distant it was to your home, whether or not you have a backup power source, such as a UPS, and the specification of surge protector you’re using.

For the most protection, you can invest in a home surge protector according to your power rating in combination with a backup power supply to ensure the maximum safety of your household.

How Good Are Surge Protectors Against Lightning?

Surge protectors usually can absorb/suppress around 15% excess voltage than their rating.

Therefore, it will completely depend on the rating of the surge protector you’re using, as well as the excess voltage that the lightning strike will generate throughout your power supply.

The higher the rating of your surge protector, the higher safety you can achieve.

Conclusion

Throughout this article, I’ve discussed all that you need to know about utilizing surge protectors to protect yourself from power outages and how to pick the right one for you. Reviewing everything I’ve discussed so far:

  • Yes, surge protectors will help you protect against power outages.
  • You have to choose the right one that is compliant with your power supply rating.
  • Surge protectors will decrease the probability of damage in case of lightning, but it will never be zero without further reinforcements.
  • It is possible, but against regulation to plug multiple surge protectors in the same outlet.

I hope that this post has provided you with useful information on how to protect your household equipment from power outages and take other vital safety precautions.

References:

  1. https://www.vcstar.com/story/news/local/2018/09/30/how-protect-electronic-devices-during-after-power-outage/1446326002/
  2. https://minnicks.com/learning-center/hvac-equipment/what-is-a-surge-protector/
  3. https://brennan-electric.com/how-do-surge-protectors-work/
  4. https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/will-surge-protector-protect-my-pc-from-power-outages.2663634/
  5. https://taraenergy.com/blog/power-surge-how-they-happen/