What is A Surge Suppressor?

By: CableOrganizer®


Power surges are very common occurrences, and they can be caused by any number of things, with culprits include nearby lightning strikes, power line disturbances and high-frequency electromagnetic noise.


Over the years, as technology has progressed, electronics have grown more and more sensitive to fluctuations in the electrical currents powering them. The microprocessors and other fragile components in computers and home theater equipment can be compared to temperamental little divas: they perform like a dream — but if working conditions become unfavorable — they’ll blow up on you. Because of this, it’s more crucial than ever to invest in surge protection.





Whether or not you’ve known it all along, chances are pretty good that you have been coming into contact with surge suppressors on a daily basis. Simply put, a surge suppressor (or surge protector) is a device that protects electronic equipment from damage in the event of a power surge.

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They can come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, but all surge suppressors are essentially power distribution units that take things one step further: they intercept excess electricity before it has the chance do any damage. The most common energy-diverting component used by the surge protectors found in our homes and offices is the Metal Oxide Varistor or MOV.






A MOV — usually made of zinc oxide — bridges the gap between the power and grounding lines of a surge suppressor. As long as the electrical current running to the surge suppressor — and, by extension, to the devices plugged into it — is holding steady at 120 volts, the MOV pretty much sits tight and minds its own business. However, as soon as it detects a power surge, the MOV instantly steps into the situation, intercepting excess voltage from the power line and diverting it to the grounding line in a process known as “clamping.”


When you’re shopping for a surge suppressor, keep an eye out for a couple of key features, which will ensure that you’re taking home a quality product:

  • • Indicator Lights: Indicator lights on surge protectors can keep you informed of two things: when a power surge is taking place, and the status of your surge protector MOV. It’s important to keep tabs on the condition of a MOV because after a few good surges, it can become less effective. With an indicator light letting you know what’s going on inside your surge suppressor, you’ll never have to guess whether or not your electronics are receiving the protection they need.

  • • UL Listing: A UL Listing is a great way to know that the product you’re purchasing is safe and up to standard. But with items like surge protectors, it’s important to pay attention to exactly which UL standard the device is listed for! There are some surge suppressors on the market that are UL Listed for their power cords only. If you want to avoid ending up with one of these, make sure that any surge-protection device you’re interested in is listed in accordance with UL 1449, the UL Solutions (formerly Underwriters Laboratories) standard for surge suppressors.

Whether they’re at home or in your office, if any of your valuable electronic components are still unprotected from power surges, shop at CableOrganizer® for solutions. With our wide selection of surge protectors and suppressors, you’re sure to find the perfect one to suit to your budget and application.

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