Why do I need Surge Protection Devices (SPD)?
Jeff Cox, Power Plus Electrical Service, Inc.
We need SPD’s to help extend the life of electronic devices and appliance in our homes, by discharging the surge to ground instead of the surge being absorbed by the device and damaging the device or destroying the device. Some devices and appliances that we take for granted are, refrigerators, ranges, dishwashers, clothes dryers, washing machines, furnace, air conditioners, garage door openers, routers, GFCI receptacles and breakers, AFCI breakers...
And one thing that all these electronic devices have in common is that they are affected by power surges.
Power surges shorten the life of these items and can destroy them if the surge is large.
You probably already have surge protector strips in your home to protect your computer and TV. But what about the larger items?
A surge protector is a device that will protect your electrical equipment from a sudden burst of energy by discharging the energy to ground.
For a better understanding, you need to know that:
Effective surge protection occurs with a layered approach for protection.
The first layer is Type 1.
These devices are installed at the homes metering equipment. These are the first line of defence for protection of surges coming from outside the home, such as lightning, spikes from the power company, surges from damaged power lines.
The second layer is Type 2.
Type 2 whole house surge protector is installed on the main branch circuit panel or panels. Type 2’s are installed on the load side of the main service entrance and primarily provide protection from internally generated power surges.
The third layer is Type 3.
This category provides point of use surge protection and is most commonly known as power strips. Surge protection receptacles are an effective way to protect appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines… appliances that can not accommodate a power strip. They suppress the lower level voltage spikes that can be damaging to more sensitive electronics like your computer, audio component, televisions and other household appliances.