For most people, buying a new computer, television, or electronic device is exciting and protecting those items is important. The cost of these things is often a major expense and the last thing you need is something damaging the equipment without even seeing it coming. Power surges, shorts, or water can do a lot of damage to these kinds of things so taking a step to protect them is important and could save you money down the road.
The easiest and most cost-effective way to protect your electronics from damage is to install a surge protector in line. The surge protector is built into a power strip or cord that you plug into the wall then plug your computer or electronic equipment into. In the event that there is a power surge on the line, it acts as a buffer between the incoming electricity and the electronics that are plugged into it. If the surge is large enough, the surge protector has a circuit breaker built in and it will trip, shutting the power off to the electronics completely until it is reset.
Ground Fault Interrupter
Water is the natural enemy of your electronics and protecting them from it is important. But what about water getting to the electrical circuit that your computer or tv is plugged into? If there is no protection on the line, the water can cause a short that can damage whatever is plugged into the line or outlet. A ground fault interrupter or ground fault circuit interrupter can help protect the equipment from this situation. The GFCI or GFI is designed to trip an internal breaker in the event of a short circuit from water or a fault in the line. A bad ground, moisture, or even a bad power outlet can cause a fault or short on the line and again, you would never know it until it has already happened. GFCIs are available in inline GFCI configurations just like the surge protectors and you can even find some power strips that do both tasks at once.
Installing Protective Outlets
Along with inline surge protectors and GFCIs, you can take the protection further by installing new outlets in your home that will handle these tasks for you. The outlets are available from most home centers or electrical suppliers and are no harder to install than a standard outlet. If you are not comfortable installing these outlets in your home, hiring an electrician to come in and take care of it for you may be the way to go. The cost of the outlet and the installation is cheap insurance against damage to your expensive electronics and takes just a few minutes to do.