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What Is a Voltage Protector?

R. Kimball
R. Kimball

A voltage protector is designed to protect electronic appliances from a voltage surge, which is an increase in voltage above a designated level in a flow of electricity. Some jurisdictions operate on 120-volt electricity flow and others operate on 220-volt electricity flow. The voltage protector protects electronic devices from a change in electricity flow. If the increase in voltage is too high, it can damage or ruin an electrical appliance.

Certain industrial electronic devices include voltage protectors within the device. Specialized protection elements are usually included as part of an industrial system or power distribution panel. These devices are used in order to protect an entire building or system from an electrical flow spike. A voltage surge could cause substantial financial damage and downtime for an industrial plant, so the plants take precautions to keep surges from occurring.

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Consumer electronic devices may also include voltage protectors, although they are not as common as in industrial products. Such voltage protectors might cause a device to shut down rather than regulate the voltage coming into the appliance. As the electrical product increases in price, one may find more options within the device’s voltage protection.

Voltage protectors work in a variety of ways to protect an electronic device from a surge in voltage. At least five sets of standards designate how a particular surge protector operates. Each standard functions in accordance with specific characteristics for a particular operational purpose. The party purchasing the voltage protection should determine which standard best fits its needs and purchase the device that incorporates that standard.

Electronic devices have been decreasing in size, and the components within them have become smaller and more delicate. A delicate processor is more susceptible to a spike in electrical voltage. Plugging each electronic device into a voltage protector rather than directly into the main electrical supply gives each electronic device an additional level of protection to extend its usable life.

Individual power strips may be purchased for the protection of electronic devices. Each device is plugged into a power strip that includes some form of surge protection within it. Some power strips include a battery back-up to supply power in the event of a power outage. Manufacturers of voltage protector power strips may offer a guaranty or insurance policy for the electronic devices plugged into their power strips.

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