Lightning protection for buildings predates even electric power. Surge protection became popular in homes as electronic equipment, such as expensive computers and fax machines, became popular. Most of the time a surge arrestor would protect the equipment; however, occasionally, the home also needed lightning arrestors. Do you know what the difference is between the two?
Destructive Power “Bumps” and “Zaps”
Power company problems in the area and large appliances turning on and off elsewhere in the home can produce surges. Voltage bumps cause temporarily stress on devices, especially electronics. Surge arrestors address the problem of power “bumps” which occur within the power lines. These bumps can produce voltages that are either immediately dangerous to electrical equipment or cause wear and tear on electronics over time.
Lightning, like a tremendously powerful version of static electricity, is a brief burst of energy with the ability to jump through the air. Lightning arrestors divert that “zap” to a safe location, like the ground, and prevent any problems along the way. If lightning struck nearby and the home wasn’t protected by lightning arrestor equipment, then the equipment could fail.
Solutions for Protection? Surge Arrestor!
Inexpensive surge arrestor devices, usually part of a power strip, use a kind of fast fuse which sacrifices itself quickly. There are more advanced protection systems available which provide repeated protection against most surges and continue to protect attached devices. Whole-house surge arrestor devices are also available.
The goal in lightning protection is to redirect lightning energy directly into the ground without allowing it to enter the home. This means protecting any utility connections which enter the house with special lightning arrestor devices. It also means providing a bonded common ground between the connections for the best results.
Protection for sensitive electronic devices in your home depends on a complete, consistent lightning and surge protection strategy. For an expert electrician serving Frederick County, Maryland that clients depend on, call Tim Kyle Electric at 410-848-6324.