An appliance or device that protects electrical devices from voltage spikes is a surge protection system. It is the function of a surge protector to limit the voltage supplied to an electric device by either blocking or shorting to ground any unwanted voltage above a safe level.
Surge Protection Systems re-route the extra energy by means of a pressure-sensitive valve when voltage reaches a certain level. Normally, current flows through the device as normal, but with a spike or surge, it kicks in immediately and redirects the excess current.
It is strongly recommended that you install a Surge Protection System on your computer. It contains many voltage-sensitive components that can be damaged very easily by a power surge. There is always the possibility that a power surge will pose a serious risk to these devices, even with a Surge Protection System installed.
Power surge protectors will protect computers and other electronic devices from power surges and most distant lightning strikes, but they cannot prevent a direct lightning strike from damaging these devices.
Does Whole House Surge Protection Actually Work? Absolutely! Surge suppressors provide comprehensive lightning protection by instantly blocking surges from entering circuits. Hard-wired electronics cannot be protected by plug-in suppressors, because they are not plugged in.
Surge protectors are not guaranteed to last a lifetime. An average surge protector has a lifespan of three to five years, according to most estimates. You may want to replace your surge protectors as often as every two years if your home is subject to frequent brownouts or blackouts.
Surge protectors themselves do not drain power. When extra voltage occurs, they absorb it and monitor the electricity flowing into the appliances they protect.