Read Protect Against Power Surges, FKEC Newsletter, August 2013
FKEC recommends all Co-op members protect valued electronics such
as computers, televisions and major appliances against power surges
and spikes. In addition to recommending plug-in surge protection,
FKEC also offers two types of meter
What is a Power Surge?
A power surge is when the voltage rises above the normal flow
of electricity through your home or business. In the United States,
120 volts is the standard voltage level. That means if the voltage
in your home spikes above that level, your computer, television,
home theater and more could be damaged.
Spikes and surges are two forms of power fluctuations. Generally,
a surge is defined as an increase that last more than three nanoseconds
and a spike as one that lasts less than that. No matter the length
of the fluctuation, damage can result if your electronics are not
The most common cause of power surges are lightning strikes however,
they can also be caused by birds, animals and trees interfering
with power lines, auto accidents involving utility poles, or appliances
cycling on and off in your home or business. Very seldom is a power
surge directly attributable to the failure of the electric cooperative’s
equipment or power supply.
Do you need surge protection?
Anyone who has invested in technology in his/her home should use
some level of surge protection. In the past, surge protection was
commonly associated with defending computers, but now with home
theater equipment and major appliances getting more sophisticated
protection should be consider for all valued electronic devices.
While nothing is full proof, surge protection will prevent most
disasters from happening to the electric devices you value.
At the very minimum, every computer and television should be plugged
into a power surge strip. The multi-plug strips also allow you
to plug-in your DVD players, cable boxes, printers and other related
devices to provide protection to them all.
What type of protection do you need?
There are three main types of surge protection electronic stores
usually carry: Basic, advanced and stations.
Basic power surge strips have five or
six outlets and will only protect your electronics moderately.
These can be less than $20, but you get what you pay for when it
comes to surge protection.
Advanced strips filter electricity smoother
and provide grounding for your Internet and telephone connections
as well. They will be able to filter voltage spikes better than
basic strips but will not prevent all surges in electricity.
Surge stations offer the most protection.
This option is the best way to protect your computer and office
equipment. These fit under your computer or desk and can protect
your Internet, phone and modem connection. These can be costly,
but offer the best defense against spikes in electricity.
Many people use an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) to protect
their computer. During power outages these devices provide short-term
power to allow you to save data and properly shut down your computer
equipment. If you use a UPS be sure to check if it also provides
surge protection. Not all do, and if yours does not, you will still
need to invest in an additional power surge protector to plug your
UPS and computer into.
FKEC recommends all members use some form of surge protection
on valued electronics. Most electronic stores sell a wide range
of surge protection devices and can help you decide what protection
best suits you.