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Protecting your Appliances

Today's appliances, computers, and other equipment typically contain sensitive electronics that can be damaged by electrical surges. It's important to protect your valuable investment. Here's what you should know, and some simple steps you can take for protection.

An electrical surge is a very brief voltage or current wave. These surges are sometimes called transient surges and can originate within utility systems or your own home. Obviously, they're bad news and can cause instant damage to electrical equipment.

Typically, these surges are caused by storms, animals, or trees damaging power lines. Other causes can include utility switching operations or accidents involving power poles. Residences can encounter problems caused by switching appliances on and off, tripped circuit breakers, blown fuses, or lightning strikes on telephone or cable lines.

All home appliances are susceptible to over-voltages, but today's electronic equipment is much more sensitive to these events than more traditional appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and such.

Steps for Protecting Your Equipment
There are two simple things you can do to protect your equipment and appliances from surges.

First, install "plug-in" type transient voltage surge suppressers (TVSS), also known as surge protectors, wherever you can. They really do provide superior protection for your electronic equipment. You've seen these suppressors everywhere, as most local hardware or electronic stores carry them.

These devices should have the UL symbol, the words "listed" and the description "transient voltage surge suppressor" on them. A product that has been tested under UL Standard 1449 assures that the product meets safety and surge performance requirements that are recognized by the electrical industry. Note that plug-in type TVSS protectors do not work properly when they are connected to a two-prong receptacle.

The second thing you can do to protect your equipment from surges is to verify that your home has the correct grounding. The key to providing good surge protection is the proper grounding of electrical service with the telephone and cable TV service at the point where they enter your home.

Contact your telephone and cable service provider to verify that these services are in fact properly grounded.



 


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