What is a Surge Diverter and How Does It Work?
A key safety issue in any home is to protect appliances, personal computers, and other sensitive electrical equipment from damage resulting from a spike in excess voltage. This may occur during an electrical thunderstorm, for example. While most surge diverters will not protect from a direct lightning strike on the house — thankfully this is quite a rare occurrence! — they will help protect from the surge in energy caused by lightning strikes in the vicinity.
One way to keep your appliances safe is through surge protectors and plug adapters that cut out when a spike in electricity occurs. However, while there are many excellent surge protection devices, such as power boards and wall units that offer some protection for appliances, they will not give the whole house the protection against the power surge that you require.
Many people think that power boards installed in the home are sufficient to protect against power surges. However, different power spike protection products perform different tasks. In redirecting power surges to the ground, a surge diverter can provide the all-round protection that your household needs.
If you’re a homeowner and you like proper protection from excess voltage, consider installing a surge diverter.
What is a Surge Diverter?
A surge diverter (or arrestor) is a device attached to the main power board which gives protection against damaging power surges, either from outside or from within (such as from faulty wiring or appliances). The device prevents excess power from damaging or destroying sensitive electrical and electronic appliances such as computers and audio gear.
How Does It Work?
Surge diverters work by capturing the excess electricity that would otherwise be absorbed into the house’s electrical circuit. They will help protect the property by diverting this power away from the house by “shunting” it to the earth. Installed in the switchboard, the surge diverter will help protect against most excess energy spikes. Any electricity over 260 volts will automatically be diverted to the ground. This then renders the excess power harmless and prevents a damaging surge in your home.
Does a Surge Diverter Act as a Safety Switch for Your Home?
No. A surge diverter is not a safety switch or circuit breaker. It should be considered as a separate safety function and should work in conjunction with these devices to fully protect your home. A safety switch will monitor the electrical current through your home’s circuit and automatically cut the power within 0.03 of a second should it detect a fault.
However, a surge diverter does not act as personal protection, nor does it act through one power point. It goes further by protecting the entire property by diverting excess voltage before it travels through the circuit and causes damage.
A surge diverter is an excellent investment to protect you, your family, and your expensive electrical appliances from a dangerous surge in power. In conjunction with other surge protection measures such as power boards and safety switches, a surge diverter can play a central role in keeping your house safe. The cost of a diverter is small when compared to the problem of replacing expensive electrical appliances damaged by a spike or the frustration of having to deal with insurance companies to replace valuable equipment!
Remember to always practice electrical safety in your home; install a diverter as part of your overall safety plan and stop worrying about power surges today.
Ray Loh is the General Manager of Perth, WA based West Australian Power Protection dedicated to offering earthing, surge and lightning protection products aligned with the latest safety standards.
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