surge protector

Home Power Surge Protector and Lightning Strikes

Have you ever lost an appliance to lightning strikes? Apart from the risk of fire and total destruction to your home, losing things like computers, freezers, telephones, sound systems to power surge and lightning strikes can be a painful experience. You are happy to be alive but you know you will have to shell out to replace the appliances destroyed by the power surge and lightning strike.

Do surge protectors really protect your equipments from lightning strikes?

The answer to this is NO! That might be strange but if you have a surge protector attached to your equipments and lightning strikes close to your house, your surge protector doesn't stand a chance. The strange thing is that a surge protector only protects to a certain voltage. Lightning strikes don't come in 220volts. Lightning strikes can be thousands of volts and your little surge protector will easily be overwhelmed.

Does it mean that surge protectors are a waste of money with regards to lightning?

There is another side to the issue. If the lightning does not strike near your house, it can still damage your equipments. This is where surge protectors can help prevent lightning strike damage. The idea is simple, if the voltage emanating from the lightning strike is not too strong, your home power surge protector will help. There is also the problem of wireless appliances like wireless or cordless telephones. These appliances are more vulnerable to lightning strikes and therefore are more difficult to protect with home power surge protectors.

Can you sue the makers of power surge protectors if your appliances are damaged by lightning?

You can sue the manufacturers of your home power surge protector but that will not get you very far. You need to read the instructions before you blame them for the damage lightning strike has caused to your home. How are you going to prove that the damage done to your equipments is due to the lack of adequate protection from the home power surge protector? What if the lightning strike came from other source? What if the power surge protector did burn the fuse but the lightning strike jumped and burned your appliances? The best thing to do is unplug all electrical equipments during storm and connect them back to the power surge protector once the storm and lightning strikes are over.

Are home power surge protectors useless and a waste of money?

The fact that you don't get full power surge protection against lightning does make the device useless. It is like wishing that an airbag will fully protect you in the case of a car accident. You will get some level of protection but that will also depend on the speed of impact. If you are driving at 150km/h at the moment of impact, you don't really stand a chance. The same goes for home surge protector and lightning strikes.

How much should you pay for a home power surge protector?

Surge protector prices range from $10 to $30. The number of outlets on the surge protector and the brand will determine how much you pay. A little protection from your surge protector against power surge and lightning is better than none.