Houston Commercial Electrician Recommends Surge Protectors

equipment plugged into a surge protecting power strip recommended by Houston commercial electrician
Your Houston commercial electrician often recommends surge protectors to prevent damage to sensitive electrical equipment.

Businesses of all types rely on reliable electrical power for a variety of equipment. Yet, power surges can damage this equipment beyond repair. That’s why your Houston commercial electrician may recommend using surge protectors throughout your facility. In this article, we’ll discuss why surge protectors are important in commercial buildings and some tips for choosing the right ones. 

Why Your Houston Commercial Electrician May Recommend Surge Protectors for Your Building

Power surges are where the electrical voltage being supplied increases beyond the normal range. This can happen for many reasons, including interior and exterior causes. The problem is that these surges can damage electrical equipment. That’s why surge protectors are important for your building

Surge protectors work by taking the excess power and directing it to the ground wire in the electrical outlet. This gives the extra electricity a neutral route to pass through, rather than frying electrical equipment in your building. This is why your Houston electrician generally recommends using surge protectors at minimum for any critical or costly equipment in your commercial building. 

There’s a common misconception that power surges are rare. External power surges are certainly rare, such as when lightning hits a nearby transformer or a tree limb touching power lines. However, there are many internal causes of power surges, such as when high powered equipment connected to the building’s electrical system powers off. One example would be when a motor in your facility turns off, which causes the extra power to suddenly go elsewhere, such as nearby outlets in the building. These small surges are common and frequent, even some buildings experiencing them dozens of times a day. These, too, can damage electrical equipment. Talk to your Houston commercial electrician about best ways to protect your building from power surges and also invest in surge protectors to prevent unnecessary damages. 

Which Surge Protector to Get for Power Surge Protection?

Which surge protectors should you get for your commercial building? There are many different options and several factors to consider. For example, there are whole building surge protectors that offer protection for the entire electrical system. However, a major drawback is that they only protect against external surges, not internal surges. 

In addition, whole building surge protectors do require special installation from your Houston commercial electrical contractors. They are typically mounted next to the building’s electrical panel to help control the voltage supplied to the different circuits in your building. They last about two to five years (which is about the expected lifespan as smaller surge protectors) after which they’ll need replacement. 

Therefore, most commonly you’ll be looking for smaller surge protectors. These provide protection at the outlet rather than for the whole building. Many power strips commonly come with built-in surge protection, making them a popular option for offices, retail locations, schools, and other buildings. 

Surge Protector Features to Consider

There are some features to consider before purchasing surge protectors for your building. Your Houston commercial electrician can help you get a sense of what types of protection you need. One important thing to look at is the protection rating, usually listed in joules. Ratings from 1,000 to 2,000 joules are typically fine for smaller equipment, like copiers, printers, and basic power tools. However, for computers and other common equipment found in commercial buildings, you generally want protection of 2,000 joules or more. 

It’s also important to note that surge protectors only offer a limited amount of protection. They can protect your devices up to their listed joule rating. That is how much energy the protector can absorb and redirect before it fails. Once they have provided protection up to their rating, then they are no longer effective. In most cases, this means they have a lifespan of about two to five years. Some surge protectors will give you a warning or shut down once they fail, while others give no indication at all. You might consider getting surge protectors with at least the warning feature to help you properly manage surge protection in your building in the long-term. 

Trusted Houston Electrician for Commercial Businesses: Windsor Electrical Service

Our team at Windsor Electrical Service is here to help you with all your electrical repair, maintenance, retrofit, and installation needs. We are proud to serve the greater Houston area with superior commercial electrical services. Our team of electricians offers quick, efficient response when you need service. Contact us now to get a free quote and request service for your building.