A power strip is an extension cord with multiple outlets, and a surge protector is an extension cord with multiple outlets that also absorbs power surges and prevents them from damaging any equipment that is plugged into them.
A power surge occurs when your electrical system exceeds its peak voltage. Faulty wiring, lightning strikes and attempting to draw too much power from a single circuit can all cause electrical surges. If you're experiencing a blackout, the sudden jump in current once power is restored can also cause a surge.
Electrical surges expose your appliances to levels of electricity above their normal operating voltage. This causes an arc of electrical current within the device, which can damage electronic circuit boards and other components.
These devices are particularly vulnerable to surges; a power fluctuation as small as 10-volts can disrupt their operation. Appliances containing microprocessors include TVs, phones, computers, gaming consoles, stereo systems and refrigerators.
And it's time for you to get your surge protector. Surge protectors work by diverting excess voltage to your electrical system's ground wire before a surge can reach your appliances. It does this through the use of a metal oxide varistor (MOV). The MOV allows normal current to pass through to your equipment while diverting any harmful spikes and surges through the ground wire.
Not only will a surge protector keep these expensive devices alive, but they’ll also allow you to plug in many devices in a small area. You might think these are very similar to power strips, but there are some big differences.
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