You should always keep a surge protection device on your electrical system to prevent power surges from damaging your electronics. As part of the process of assembling a computer or any other sensitive electronic device, a surge protector is probably a necessary piece of equipment. However, these general surge protection devices do not offer nearly the same level of protection as a properly designed and built surge protection device for your particular property. When protecting against power spike damage, it’s best to use both whole-home surge protection and additional plug-in surge protection device (for more expensive, more sensitive items such as computers). There are two tiers of this approach.
With the help of what is essentially a pressure-sensitive valve, surge protection device re-route extra energy once voltage reaches a certain point. Current flows normally with the correct voltage, but if a spike or surge occurs, the device kicks in immediately and redirects the excess current. Voltage spikes can damage electrical equipment, so surge suppressors protect them from voltage spikes. By either blocking or shorting to ground any unwanted voltages above a safe threshold, surge protection device attempt to limit the voltage supplied to an electric device.
Power surges generally do not damage your devices or even leave any visible damage, but they can result in electronic corrosion. Surge protectors protect your electronic devices from damage by preventing the degradation of internal microprocessors. Surge protectors do indeed protect electronic devices from power surges and lightning strikes from a distance, but they cannot protect directly connected electronic devices from damage caused by a lightning strike.
There is a limited lifespan to these protectors. According to most estimates, surge protectors have a lifespan of three to five years. It is recommended that you replace your surge protectors as often as every two years if your home is prone to brownouts or blackouts.