How surge protectors work?

Surge protectors or surge protective devices are designed to control transient overvoltages and divert surge current or both. They come highly recommended from electricians in Victoria BC. It has a minimal one nonlinear part. In short, SPDs or surge protective devices intend to control overvoltages with an aim of avoiding damage and downtime to equipment and because of transient voltage surges getting to the devices they protect.

So you can understand better, here’s an example: think of a water mill that’s being protected by a pressure relief valve. The valve doesn’t do anything until there’s an overpressure pulse happening from the water supply. If that happens, the valve will open and pushes the extra pressure away so it will not get in the water wheel.

If there’s no relief valve, then extreme pressure could destroy the water wheel or maybe the linkage for the saw. Even if the relief valve was there and functioning properly, traces of the pressure pulse will still go to the wheel. However, pressure may have been lowered not to destroy the water wheel or upset its functioning. This shows how surge protective devices work. They lower transients to intensities that will not destroy or upset the work of sensitive electronic devices.

How does it function?

The electrical appliances you’re using get power from wall sockets. The power coming from the socket goes directly to the appliance through the cable. In surge protective devices, the main power line has another connection connected to it that goes into the ground wire also called the Earth wire, which is a wire that sends any unwanted electrical current to the earth. Usually, the surge connection is not active. But, if there is the presence of a large than the normal voltage that created excessive current, the excess electric current is sent safely to the ground. This means that there’s no excess current flowing in your appliance, so it is safe from danger.

How can the surge connection identify if it’s time to divert excess current? Through a device known as a varistor or voltage-dependent resistor, created from a material known as a metal-oxide semiconductor, which is normally a bad electricity conductor. If there’s excess voltage, the varistor becomes a good conductor and begins carrying electric current normally. As long the surge voltage continues, the semiconductor sends excess current into the ground. After everything goes back to normal, the semiconductor switches back.

This means that your appliance isn’t only protected, but it will go on to work normally.

Thanks to Jaycox Industries for explaining how surge protectors work.

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