Storms are common, and with storms come lightning strikes and the potential for power surges. A power surge occurs when there’s an increase in energy near or around your home, forcing more pressure on your appliances. Power surges can lead to burnouts and outages and can even cause severe damage to your electronics. Lightning doesn’t even have to strike for it to affect your home — the mere presence of lightning can cause power surges.
You may not notice a power surge has happened until a device stops working. Many small power surges occur every year, creating minor damages in your electronics that contribute to poor performance.
With the number of electronic devices in an average home today, it’s essential to make sure all your devices — from your laptop to your TV — are protected from a power surge. Surge protectors are a common and effective way to defend against power surges, as they distribute excess electricity into a grounding wire in the case of a surge.
You’ll want to invest in a quality surge protector, but you first have to identify the surge protector joule rating to know what quality you’re getting.
What Are Joule Ratings?
Surge protector joule ratings refer to a measurement of energy — joules — that determine how much energy your surge protector can withstand before burning out. A joule is the measure of energy over a period of time. The joules needed to power your bedside lamp will be much fewer than the number of joules in a lightning strike. A joule rating of surge protectors determines how much energy it can withstand before becoming overwhelmed. A higher rating means higher absorption rates, giving you more protection from a power surge.
You should be able to see the joule rating of your surge protector on the packaging. Check this rating before buying it to know you’re getting enough protection from surges.
How Are Joule Ratings Calculated?
Even knowing what a joule is, you should also know how surge protectors are rated and calculated.
The term joule was named after famous physicist James Prescott Joule, who helped discover and use this unit of energy to further the study of energy and thermodynamics. A formula involving mass and velocity goes into calculating joule ratings.
How Many Surge Protection Joules Are Needed?
Depending on the size and power of your home electronics, you’ll want to identify how many joules you’ll need for your surge protector. A home computer or TV requires a higher joule rating than your cellphone. Each joule rating specifies a different range for your electronics:
- Under 1,000 joules: Be careful using a joule rating under 1,000, as they don’t offer a ton of absorption from surges. They work for smaller appliances like desk lamps and kitchen appliances, such as a toaster or blender. A rating under 1,000 may not give you the best protection, but it will probably be smaller and cheaper than higher-quality options, so you could use this for an appliance that may not be entirely important to you. If you’re looking for minimal protection and a cost-effective, flexible solution, this could be the range for you.
- 1,000 to 2,000 joules: For appliances that you want to keep safe and working properly, look for a joule rating in the 1,000 to 2,000 range or higher. Cellphones, tablets, routers and laptops should be protected in this range, but it would still be safer to find a higher joule rating.
- 2,000+ joules: Find a joule rating in this range to protect large and sensitive items. Anything larger and more valued than a laptop and cellphone should be confidently placed in this range. If you’re setting up an office space, a protector in the 2,000 joules or higher range should give you adequate protection for products like computers or multiple monitors. Make sure all large, powerful items, like gaming consoles and home-theatre equipment, are protected with a 2,000 or higher joule rating. If you’re a business owner, you’ll especially want to look for a powerful surge protector to defend sensitive documents, financial records and electronic devices to keep your business running smoothly.
It’s better to stick to the safer side when it comes to joule protection. If you’re unsure about a rating, think about the items you’re buying surge protection for. How much protection would you want for your laptop or your brand-new gaming console? Weigh these options and lean into higher ratings when shopping surge protectors.
When to Upgrade Your Surge Protector
Even if it has a high rating, your surge protector will probably not last forever. Higher joule ratings should last longer and hold up better than less effective surge protectors, but you should still monitor your surge protector and know when it’s the right time to replace it.
Many surge protectors have a light that stays on while the surge protector is working. When that goes out, it should be a signal to head to the store for a replacement. If you’re unsure if your surge protector is still working, you could consult with a professional.
Monitoring and checking your surge protector to ensure it’s still working is nearly as important as buying the protector itself. A surge protector with a low rating could go out after a single surge, so be mindful of the weather and check your surge protectors after storms. It’s easy to forget about surge protectors, as they can be easily hidden behind couches or consoles and relegated to your home’s dark corners. Setting a reminder on your calendar can go a long way in ensuring those surge protectors are working the way they should. You could even buy some backups to prepare for the potential outage and save yourself another trip to the store.
Contact Wiretech Company for Surge Protection Installation Services in Raleigh
It can be challenging to know precisely when to get a surge protector and navigate the complicated aspects of joule ratings and calculations. You may be intimidated or unsure of all the elements. In these cases, it’s crucial to find a professional service that can walk through all of your surge protector needs.
Wiretech Company can offer you an expert hand to ensure all your appliances are safe and protected from storm surges. We provide primary surge protection installation that gives you a high rating of protection from lightning strikes and general power surges, as well as secondary surge protection to protect appliances inside the house.
Whatever your surge protection needs, Wiretech Company can help you find a solution. Contact us today!