The Clarity Blog


The Clarity Blog

4 + 1 Tips for Protecting Electronic Equipment from Power Surges

on Jul 15, 2014 2:12 PM

A lightning strike, a downed power line, even normal utility switching operations … all can result in power surges that spell trouble for computers, credit card readers, cash registers, fax machines, copiers, and heating/air-conditioning systems.

4 + 1 Tips for Protecting Electronic Equipment from Power Surges

In fact, some 50% of electronic equipment failures today are the result of electrical surges, according to Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, a Jewelers Mutual partner that is a leading specialty insurer and authority on equipment breakdown.

Follow these suggestions to being protecting electronic equipment from power surges:

  • Use a surge protection device (SPD) that is properly sized and grounded for the particular equipment.
  • Be sure that the cable between the equipment and the SPD is short and straight to minimize the resistive path of the circuit to ground.
  • Avoid using extension cords.
  • Ask a licensed electrician to evaluate your business. An electrician can:
    • Evaluate your business’s grounding for NEC compliance;
    • Check outlets for proper polarity and an equipment ground conductor impedance;
    • Determine if the grounding system is robust enough to fulfill the function of the SPD — i.e., proper wire size and tightness of connection;
    • Determine specific corrective action required to bring the grounding network to both NEC compliance and to the level of performance to address transients and electrical noise.

Although surges and electrical noise can’t be totally eliminated, by following these tips you can reduce the damage and prolong the life of electrical equipment and systems.


Remember that, if a power outage affects the functionality of your business’s alarm system, you should contact your insurance agent or carrier to report the issue.

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