THE CASE FOR SURGE PROTECTION
If you have recently had a power outage in your area and you have called Hydro Quebec, you will have noticed that they issue advice in how to protect your electronic equipment against surge protection (if you do not have surge protection installed in your home).
Hydro-Québec advises the following in order to protect your electronic devices from voltage disturbances and power surges:
- When a storm is approaching, a power interruption occurs, or if you plan on leaving home for a longer period of time, unplug all your electronic devices and/or turn off the power bar.
- Your electronic devices should be plugged into CSA or ULC compliant power bars that are equipped with surge protection (hint: not all power bars have surge protection).
- Avoid plugging in devices that are on the same circuit as a motor-powered appliance, like a dishwasher or refrigerator.
Surges can also happen from inside the home when larger appliances—such as refrigerators, furnaces, and air conditioners—switch on and off, as when the compressor starts on the fridge. While you may not always notice surges, they can damage electronics and appliances immediately or gradually over time.
It is critical that before any surge protection is installed in your home, your grounding system is verified. If your home does not have proper grounding, all efforts to protect against a surge will not work.
At Electrika, we use a three-tiered approach to protect your home from power surges. They are:
- Installation of Primary Protection at the main panel. This surge protector protects against external surges that will come in on the main power lines.
- Installation of Primary Protection at telephone or cable entry. This protects against external surges that come in through telephone or cable lines, which could damage the electronics attached to them!
- Installation of Secondary Protection at point of use. Power strips or bars protect against power surges at each point of use for electronic equipment. Remember, however, that not all power-bars have surge protection so check the label before you purchase one!