Surge Protectors, Power Boards, and UPS: Everything You Need To Know

Surge Protectors, Power Boards, and UPS: Everything You Need To Know

If you have sensitive electronic equipment it is a good idea to protect it against power surges. These are surprisingly common and a sudden surge can damage your chipboard, leaving your equipment damaged, possibly beyond economic repair.

The risk of damaging items is becoming great thanks to more and more home electrical items having smart circuits. These are circuits that can be connected to a hub and accessed remotely. The chipboards, or power boards, in these types of circuits are especially vulnerable to power surges.

The Differences Between Surge Protectors & UPS

To protect your power boards you need to have a device that will capture the surge and maintain a regular supply to your device, effectively preventing it from being harmed. The two most common options are surge protectors and UPS, although it is worth talking to your local level 2 electrician to verify what other possibilities exist. They may recommend protection at the circuit box.

Surge Protectors

In a sense, the circuit breaker in your main fuse box is a surge protector. It detects currents of electricity higher than the breaker is regulated for and will shut off the power. This is effectively the same as a surge protector, although they tend to be more sensitive and regulate the power supply instead of turning it off.  In short, the surge protector will ensure a consistent power level for your device.

This type of protection is usually found built into extension cables and socket splitters.

UPS

The Uninterrupted Power Supply(UPS) is designed to protect your devices by regulating the supply in the same way that a surge protector does. However, the UPS also has a battery inside it that is charged through the standard electricity supply. When the power goes out the UPS will automatically switch to its internal battery supply, ensuring your product still has power.

While the power will not last indefinitely, it should be good for 2-3 hours and will certainly give you time to shut any device down properly. This protects it from issues with power surges and damage by being shut off instantly, without following the correct procedure.

Choosing Between UPS & Surge Protectors

A UPS device will include surge protection while a surge protector doesn’t offer a continual power supply. Of course, it is generally more expensive to purchase a UPS system as it offers more than a surge protector.

Choosing between the two is a relatively simple process. The key is to think about what item you wish to power and how it will react if the power is shut off instantly. The more likely it is that this will damage the appliance the easier it is to say yes to the UPS. If it is unlikely to be damaged you can comfortably choose the surge protector.

You can verify the risk by looking in the appliance manual or referring to social media sites and talking to others regarding their experiences. It will help you to make the right decision.



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