Carpenter Electric
1333 53rd Street West Palm Beach, Florida 33407
Phone: (561) 848-7881


 News: The November Surprise |  Rick Seymour Helps Sheriffs Foundation |  MEET YOUR SERVICE MANAGER-CHUCK MANCUSO! |  Vance Carpenter spotlighted by AGC! |  CARPENTER ELECTRIC IS HIRING |  Fire Marshal's Association Recognizes Martin R. Perrone! |  Why Surge Protectors are Important for Electronics |  Springtime Electrical Tips |  Outdoor Lighting can Showcase Your Home |  Improve the Look of Your Kitchen With Lighting Upgrades |  EXCITING NEWS! |  Q&A: Electrical Safety Inspections |  Pet Owners Can Save on Energy Too |  5 Fabulous Florida Lighthouses |  What Businesses Should Know About LED Lighting |  Utility Bill Breakdown: Where Does the Money Go? |  Why TEGG-Certified Electrical Services? |  Rising Demand for Car Charging Stations |  Running Out of Time? We Can Handle Your Holiday Lighting Display |  Nine Ways to Save Energy and Money This Holiday Season |  Safety Tips for Stringing Outdoor Christmas Lights |  Power Outages Come With Unexpected Expenses |  DIY or Call an Electrician? |  Ways to Green-Up Your Lighting Project |  What are Building Automation and Control Systems (BACS)? |  Carpenter Electric, Inc. Celebrates 30 Years in West Palm Beach |  Automation and Control Systems Increase Your Shade's Efficiency and Functionality |  Why an Energy Audit? |  Don’t Neglect Landscape Lighting When Purchasing New Electrical Services |  Tips for Hiring an Electrician or Carpenter |  Tips for Buying Emergency Standby Generators |  It's Hurricane Season—Be Prepared! |  Jupiter Light Lodge Masonic Fishing Tournament to Benefit Quantum House |  Hybrid Operating Rooms Present Design Challenges |  Alarm Fatigue Listed Among Top 10 C-Suite Technology Issues |  Commercial Parking Lot Lighting in West Palm |  West Palm Lighting Accents for the Home |  Energy Management Standards are Changing |  Van's Electric is Purchased by Carpenter Electric |  Carpenter Electric and Leviton will be featuring “green” energy saving systems for the hospitality industry along with electric car charging stations. |  Vance Carpenter – Chairman of Carpenter Electric and CSI: Palm Beach is reappointed to serve on the Town of Palm Beach Building Board of Adjustments and appeals. |  Ontario gives electric cars an $80M plug |  Smart Grid Privacy And Security Risks |  2 Easy First Steps to Energy Management |  A Safety Check Can Help You Avoid Electrical Fires |  Many Homeowners Underestimate the Need for Lightning Protection |  Marine Lighting in West Palm by Carpenter Electric |  Benefits of Dimmers for Lighting in West Palm |  Residential Lighting in Miami for Decor and Luxury |  The Importance of Energy Generators for the Home |  50th ASHE Annual Conference - Trivia Question for 1993 |  ASHRM Celebrates National Patient Safety Awareness Week |  Recent Code Changes Benefit Hospitals |  Expanded Sustainability Roadmap Allows Users to Contribute |  Questions on NFPA 101 or 99? Ask Now for HITF Answers |  PDC Summit: How Hospitals Can Thrive in a Changing Environment |  50th ASHE Annual Conference |  Summit Brings Together Planning, Design, Construction Professionals |  Fire Marshal: Hand Sanitizer, Olive Oil Involved in Hospital Fire |  Life Safety Code Conflicts with ADA Standards on Wall Projections |  PDC Summit Highlight: Sustainability Roadmap Helps Hospitals Cut through the Hype |  The ASHE LISTSERV...Your Professional Information Exchange Network |  COUNTDOWN TO ATLANTA |  CHFM Update |  Registration Open for 2013 Healthcare Construction Certificate Workshops |  Local Conferences Include Opportunities for ASHE Courses |  Workers Must Be Trained on New Hazard Communication Standard by Dec. 1 |  Survey: Hospital Construction Focused on Providing Value under Affordable Care Act |  Deadline Approaching for ASHE Awards, Senior and Fellow Status |  Health Care Crosswalk Compares 2000, 2012 Editions of Life Safety Code


To understand the importance of surge protectors, one only has to consider the changing nature of household appliances. Computers and other complex devices have set a new standard of quality in electricity itself, and old-style power is too variable and uncertain for the modern household.

There was a time when the term “household appliances” mainly meant simple motorized devices. Mixers, vacuum cleaners, fans and other such machines can function without precise voltage regulation, and the slight fluctuations that typically plagued municipal power supplies were scarcely noticed. Televisions and radios were also able to function through slight variations in voltage. Homes had fuses or circuit breakers to guard against lightning strikes, and that was enough.

Decades have passed, and today’s appliances are a different breed. Computers require more precise voltage regulation, and sudden fluctuations can lose data or render the device completely inoperable. Many home systems such as climate control and security are also computer regulated and need constant voltage.

Power companies make an effort to control their voltage as closely as possible, but their abilities are limited in this regard. Nature also makes electricity in the form of lightning and other phenomena, and our power grids will always be vulnerable to surges from those sources. Since it is impossible to eliminate the surges, it is necessary to protect our devices. The machines providing that protection are called surge protectors.

A surge protector works like the drain on a bathtub. A tub has a little lever to pull up the plug, and that lever is set in a round fixture with a small hole in the bottom. If the bath water rises to that level, it drains out through the hole and does not rise any higher in the tub.

A surge protector does this with electricity. When the power reaches a set limit, the surge protector drains off the excess and sends it to the outlet’s grounding wire. This prevents the power going to appliances from rising too high and causing damage.

A conductor is needed for the connection between the “hot” wire and the ground wire. This conductor may be composed of metal or gas, depending on the brand.

Some surge protectors use metal connectors called metal oxide varistors or MOVs. They work on the principal that some metals change their electrical conductivity according to the amount of power flowing through them. When the voltage is low, the electrons in the MOVs cause very high resistance, and none of the power can flow through them. When the voltage rises above an acceptable level, the metal’s resistance suddenly drops and the excess electricity flows through the MOVs into the ground wire.

Other surge protectors connect the hot wire to the ground wire using a tube filled with gas. This gas normally has a high resistance, and power is unable to flow through it. When the power exceeds the acceptable limit, the gas ionizes and loses its resistance. Excess power is then able to flow through it into the ground wire.

<< Back to news  | View Related Link