How Do They Work?


It may be funny to some (and it is actually funny/embarrassing for me to even admit) but I have recently bought a surge protector for my devices and I am not even exactly sure how it works. But, unlike some people that typically are fine with remaining in the dark, I have actually taken to researching them so that I can fully understand the process so that I will be in a better position to ensure that all of my electronics are safe.

Hand of a man holding electric plug

No matter the type of electronics you are usually working with at home or in the office, you are probably going to need to invest in a surge protector at some point in time. The majority of these have the most obvious function of protecting your equipment from basically –let’s put it bluntly – frying. Many of them allow you to plug a few devices into one convenient spot a power outlet and if you ask anyone, they will all tell you how useful they are. They are also known as surge suppressors, and if you really are keen to understand how they work, then follow this article and you will see why you should have one in your house and/or office if you don’t already.

Who would spend so much money on equipment and then risk it all being destroyed simply because they didn’t want to invest in a surge protector? This is the type of foolish behaviour that many people end up paying thousands for and it can be easily avoided. There are levels to this protection and I advise anyone to buy a quality one so that they never have to worry about their devices in the future. The standard ones pass electrical currents from outlet to the devices and into the power strip and when there is a spike above a certain level, the protector is activated and diverts this additional energy.

Variety of surge protectors

The most common surge protectors, known as MOV or metal oxide varistors, divert extra voltage. MOVs come with 3 parts: a metal oxide piece that is material that is in the middle of the strip and joined by 2 semiconductors, which come with variable resistance that depends on the voltage levels. When voltage remains below a certain level, electrons flow for a resistance that is very high. When the voltage is exceeded, these same electrons behave in a different manner, creating a resistance that is far lower. At the correct voltage, the MOV doesn’t do anything.
At high voltage levels, MOVs conduct lots of current to eliminate this additional voltage. These are the types of details that many people are not only unaware of, but they also do not take the time to research and know what they are getting themselves into. If you are keen on staying up to date with the latest technology, it will serve you well in the future. I know that for many people that travel, having a surge protector is crucial when traveling to places in the world where current amounts can be significantly different and thus potentially cause damage to your electronic devices.