What you can do for surge protection

When it comes to electricity, fluctuations in the power supply are simply unavoidable. While many people think lightning causes most surges, in reality, about 80% of all power surges are created by electronic equipment inside your home (refrigerators, furnaces motors, power tools) because these devices use a lot of energy to turn on and off, diverting power from other appliances as motors start up or shut down.

Now that microprocessors are common to more and more electronic devices, everything from washing machines and refrigerators to computers, phones, and of course, televisions, more of your electronics are vulnerable to fluctuations in power. The electronic “rust” that comes from low-level power fluctuations gradually degrades internal circuitry until the circuitry fails.

Who’s Responsible for damage to my equipment?

OPALCO members are responsible for protecting their own equipment and appliances (see Member Service Policy 3.2.2).

OPALCO power is carefully monitored and, ask an electrician, is of very good quality. Still, the first line of defense against damage from power fluctuations from outside or inside of your home is prevention. Surge protectors are recommended for all sensitive electronic equipment and appliances.

What’s available for surge protection

OPALCO engineers recommend the following features in a surge protector:

Most important:

  • Response time: less than one nanosecond
  • Joule Rating: 800 joules
  • 330 Volt Clamping

Good to have:

  • Sine Wave Tracking
  • LED diagnostic safety lights
  • Lifetime warranty with damage coverage
  • Let-Through Voltage
  • Peak Amp Rating: 200 amps
  • Telephone Line Protection
  • Noise Attenuation
  • Thermal Fuses

Check out our whitepaper OPALCO Safety Matters: Surge Protection for more information.

The easiest way to avoid problems caused by power fluctuations is to unplug devices and equipment that you aren’t using. Take time before you leave your home for long periods of time and pull the plug on things not in use: televisions, cable boxes, stereo equipment, specialty equipment.

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