On Fri, 25 Jul 2003 07:51:25 +0100, Nick Nelson
A surge protector is a bit like the big dam that can be raised at the
mouth of the Thames - every so often a big swell (tide) comes along
which could flood parts of London, so they raise the dam to hold it
Your mains supply provides 240v average (actually probably about 235v
average, but let's not get ties down in numbers).
That supply will frequently have spikes and transients coming down it.
These spikes can have a lot of power within, and could do real damage
to sensitive equipment. You can also have surges where the voltage
rises for a perceptible time (usually not very long), say when the
electricity company switches over from one generator to another.
Kettles, toasters and other domestic appliances have no problem with
these surges. However stuff like cheapo computer equipment might not
be so robust.
So you put a surge protector in the mains circuit to snuff out the
surges. I don't rate the ones you buy in B&Q which are built into an
extension block - I run my PCs on a UPS (uninteruptible power supply)
which not only removes the spikes and surges but it protects against
brownouts too - where the power disappears momentarily (like when your
like suddenly go dim or out for a second).
The UPS is built to deal with the mess sent down by the supply
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