Surge Arrester vs. Surge Protector

When the power goes out, who do you call? A. Your friend at Home Depot (or Lowes) to order a surge protector for your home. Or do you call an electrical contractor instead? Homeowners always want to know how much protection their electrical systems have — and which is the most effective way to keep them safe. 

Depending on where you live, what kind of wiring you have. And how much power the equipment in your home draws, there are many different ways to protect your system. But regardless of where you are in your electronics addiction. Or simply trying to understand the differences between a surge arrester and a surge protector. It’s worth learning which one is right for your house. 

Electrical storms are common but unpredictable events that can disrupt normal daily routines with lightning-fast speed. When the power goes out, homes rapidly experience drastic changes in temperature, moisture levels. And occupancy levels, as well as tripping switches for emergency response equipment. 

Surge protectors interrupt these chaotic electrical impulses and limit surges so they only damage equipment within their scope of operation. Once an electrical storm has passed and normal service has been restored. Individuals may also find it useful to understand why a surge protector is necessary in the first place. Keep reading to learn about the major differences between Surge Arrester vs. Surge Protector.

What is a Surge Protector?

A surge protector is a special device that interdicts power outages from causing damage by absorbing power surges before they reach your equipment. Surge protectors are designed to guard against electricity surges by interrupting the flow of electricity to your equipment. 

The protector’s job is to shut off the power to protect your equipment from overloading. A surge protector has three basic functions: interruption, protection, and overload protection.

What happens when the power goes out?

When the power goes out, the interrupt function of a surge protector is impaired. As the power moves from your house to the protector, the protector’s transistors are turned on and off rapidly, creating high-energy surges that can damage equipment. 

This is known as surge damage and can range from small cosmetic damage to a major breakdown. Protectors are designed to be able to compensate for interrupted power flow, so they usually have built-in sensors that shut off the protector if an outage lasts more than an estimated 15 seconds.

Why does my electrical service have to be so good?

While it’s always a good idea to have a surge protector on your electrical service, it’s not always necessary. Certain types of appliances and devices can be protected by means other than electricity. 

Many smoke alarms, for example, are battery-operated, but they still need the power to work. If you have a generator for emergency situations, you don’t need a surge protector. If you don’t need to be so safe, however, a surge protector is a good idea.

Which is better: A surge arrester or a surge protector?

Surge protectors are designed to protect equipment from electricity surges. But they’re not the same as your commonly available Surge Arrester. While both types of surge protectors work by interrupting the power to your equipment and then limiting the damage caused by the interruption. The specific function of each device is different. 

A surge arrester is designed to absorb power surges and then send the excess power through a lightning protector to protect your home. A surge protector, however, is designed to protect your equipment from power surges. And it works by interrupting the electricity flow to your equipment and then limiting the damage caused to the equipment. 

When you’re looking at the two different types of surge protectors. You have to ask yourself: What is more important to protect your equipment from? read more

Bottom line

The choice between a surge arrester and a surge protector is an important one. Both devices protect against an electrical surge by interrupting the power to the equipment and sending the excess power to a lightning protection device. However, each device has its own specific role to play in protecting your equipment. If you want to be as safe as possible, go with the surge protector. 

However, if you want to be as safe as possible with little chance of damage. Then an arrester is the better option. This is a difficult question to answer. And the best course of action is to test each device to determine which one is right for your home. 

A good way to do this is to compare the surge protection ratings on two different homes. Once you’ve determined which device would provide the best protection for the test home. Use that equipment when the power goes out in your house. Learn more>>>

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