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Surge protectors act as a barrier between your home’s devices and their power source to protect from harmful increases in voltage. These energy spikes can prevent appliances from working properly and, in some cases, can even cause irreparable damage. To ward off potentially harmful jolts of energy, Boston homeowners need to ensure their surge protectors are in good shape since these critical devices don’t last forever.
Do surge protectors really do anything?
You’ve probably heard of surge protectors before, but you might not have a clear understanding of what they do exactly. When used properly, a surge protector can improve the performance and increase the lifespan of your devices, appliances, and electronics – basically, anything plugged into your home’s electrical system.
There are many problems that can cause electric spikes without notice such as electrical grid issues, power outages, and lighting strikes. Some surge protectors are entire power strips with multiple sockets, and others are individual devices that directly connect a device’s power cord to a single outlet. There are even whole-home surge protectors that install directly into the primary electrical panel.
Do surge protectors have a limited life?
Yes, surge protectors have a limited duration. Although each device is different, Boston homeowners can reasonably expect their surge protectors to last between three and five years. However, consistent power outages or severe lightning strikes can rapidly push surge protectors to their limits. It’s important to keep an eye out for frequent surge-related issues to gain a rough idea of how your surge protectors are faring. You’ll need to replace these devices before they reach their endpoint to ensure your home’s electronics and devices aren’t left vulnerable.
How do surge protectors work?
Surge protectors are designed to “absorb” rapid spikes of electricity by sacrificing themselves over time. To give homeowners a better understanding of the quality of defense a surge protector can offer, they’re equipped with a joule rating. This measurement indicates the amount of voltage a surge protector can handle throughout its lifespan. Greater protection is indicated by a higher joule rating, and most surge protectors fall somewhere in between 400 and 2,000 joules.
A joule rating isn’t the threshold of a surge protector, but rather the overall damage it can handle before offering no value to homeowners. For example, if a device with a 1,000-joule rating takes a voltage surge of 100 joules, the surge protector can only handle 900 additional joules before requiring replacement. These devices offer a waning level of protection from the moment they’re installed until the end of their lifespan.
How do you know if a surge protector has gone bad?
The trickiest part of dealing with surge protectors is knowing when it’s time to replace them. You want to get your money’s worth out of these devices, but you also don’t want to overextend their use and place your appliances and electronics at risk. A good rule of thumb is to have your surge protectors swapped out for fresh ones every two years. Some surge protectors are conveniently outfitted with a light that can indicate when it’s low on juice and in need of replacement. The signal varies between each device, but a blinking red or green light is a common indication that a surge protector no longer works properly.
Hire an expert when replacing surge protectors in Boston.
Surge protectors are the unsung heroes of your home’s electrical system. Without these safety mechanisms in place, your appliances would stop working after every electrical spike. To ensure your surge protectors are working optimally, you should hire a professional who can properly assess the condition of these devices and make quick replacements when needed.
The experts at Boston Standard Plumbing offer a wide range of electrical services to manage all of your electrical needs. We’ve helped many Boston homeowners stay safe while optimizing their electrical systems. Reach out to us to schedule an electrician appointment.


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