Does Your Smart TV Need a Surge Protector?

Does Your Smart TV Need a Surge Protector

Most homes experience around 2,000 power surges a year, which is ample opportunity for one to damage your Smart TV or other electronics.

Thankfully, there are many ways to mitigate these spikes in electricity and protect your appliances. 

Your smart TV needs a surge protector. Power surges are a lot more common than people think and can easily damage the intricate parts in this expensive appliance. Surge protectors are inexpensive and it’s worth buying one to safeguard your smart TV. 

In this article, I’ll discuss what a power surge is and how a surge protector can safeguard your smart TV and other appliances.

I’ll also discuss the different kinds of power surges, and how to determine which surge protector is right for you. 

What Is a Power Surge? 

Before discussing whether or not your smart TV needs a surge protector, it’s worth discussing what a power surge is. 

A power surge is a brief spike in power above what your electrical system can handle, and can damage plugged-in electronics in your home.

Most home electrical systems can withstand small power surges but will fail if a significant surge enters the electrical grid. 

A power surge happens for several reasons, which can be internal or external to where the surge has occurred. 

External factors include a powerful lighting strike or damage to power lines.

Internal power surges occur from the switching of electrical loads from different power supplies.  

Types of Power Surges You Should Be Aware Of 

Power surges can vary in their intensity and level of damage they can potentially cause.

Below are the types of power surges you should be aware of: 

  • Destructive: This type of surge is the most common and most destructive. Stemming from outside the home, a surge of electricity enters the main power line and can knock out your power and damage anything that’s not plugged into a surge protector, including your smart TV. 
  • Dissipative: These types of power surges are most common in areas where the power grid is shared with a large industrial site. Should their equipment fail, it sends a higher than average electric current through the power grid, which, over time, can damage your electronics. 
  • Disruptive: If you have two or more different types of equipment running simultaneously, it may cause a disruptive surge. Fortunately, your smart TV or appliances won’t be damaged, but they may turn off, or change speed, or setting. 

How Many Volts Are in a Typical Power Surge? 

There are typically over 169 volts in a residential power surge but it can be more if it is a commercial system. A commercial electrical system can see a surge of 1,000 volts or more. 

For reference, North American power outlets have 120 volt circuits.

Internal vs. External Power Surge: The Differences Explained 

Power surge causes can be split into internal and external causes. Both can damage your smart TV and other household appliances, so you should be aware of the characteristics of each:

  • Internal power surge: An internal power surge can occur when too many appliances are running on one circuit, causing a spike in the electricity running through your home. 
  • External power surge: An external power surge can happen right after a lightning strike or if the power lines are damaged. These surges can send many volts through your home’s electrical system, potentially damaging your smart TV and appliances.  

How Does a Surge Protector Work? 

A surge protector works by routing electricity to the devices plugged into it.

In the event of a spike or surge, it will reroute the excess electricity to a ground wire in the device and away from your smart TV and other electronics. 

Types of Surge Protectors 

Depending on your electrical system, you have multiple surge protector options.

Some work better for homes, whereas if you run a business that depends on multiple electronics, you may want to use a heavy-duty option instead. 

Below are the most common surge protector types: 

  • Service entrance surge protectors: Service entrance surge protectors offer the most protection but are the most costly and tedious to install. They protect your electronics before a power surge enters your electrical system but you must hire a certified electrician to install it in your home. You will need additional protection in your home as these protectors only mitigate large surges. 
  • Whole home surge protectors: These surge protectors are easier to install and fit inside your main breaker. You can also customize which circuits you want to protect. For example, you could use it to mitigate surges affecting your smart TV’s circuit. 
  • Receptacle surge protectors: These surge protectors are the most common, cheapest, and easiest to install. They come in the form of a power strip plugged into the wall, and devices can be plugged directly into it. Since the previous options are more involved and costly, this option is the top choice for most people trying to protect certain electronics such as a smart TV. 

How To Determine Which Surge Protector Is Right for You  

Considering the typical power surge is around 170 volts, buying a surge protector that can handle at least that much voltage is best.

Both of the products outlined below can route that number of volts and protect your smart TV. 

  • ECHOGEAR Surge Protector: This product has a high voltage tolerance and eight ports to ensure that your smart TV and electronics will be protected through a power surge. Its compact design, mounting capabilities, and six-foot cord guarantee you’ll be able to fit it anywhere you’ve set up your smart TV. 
  • GHome Smart Store Smart Power Strip: This surge protector features three plugs and three USB ports. It’s also a little smaller than the Echogear surge protector and easier to store or hide behind an entertainment cabinet. Another incredible perk is the voice control feature, which is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. 

How To Protect More Than Just Your Smart TV

Considering that power surges are a lot more common than people know and have many internal and external sources, it’s a good idea to plug in your expensive electronics to a surge protector to prevent damage.

It’s worth remembering that not just your smart TV is susceptible to damage. 

You can achieve this in a few ways: 

  • Plug in a surge protector for all electronics.
  • Unplug your devices during a lightning storm.
  • Consider installing a whole home or service entry surge protector for long-lasting protection for your electronics. 

Does Your Smart TV Need a Surge Protector? Final Thoughts

Power surges are a fact of life. Whether they occur from a lighting strike or a damaged power line, your home is bound to experience one. 

For this reason, your smart TV and home electronics should be plugged into a surge protector.

They can protect your electronics and give you peace of mind during frequent power surges. 

Nelson Barbosa

I'm an engineer in love with smart home tech. On my website, I share useful tips and tricks to help my readers get the most of their devices and make their lives simpler by adding just a drop of technology in everyday routines!

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