Surge Protectors and Suppressors

All Appliance Repairs in Port Elizabeth

Electrical Filter is the layman's term for suppressors and surge protectors. Most good appliances has Surge protection unit build into them.

Microwave Oven Surge PCB

All Appliances in South Africa has been taking beatings and major abused from our National Electrical supplier with their inconsistent ("Loadshedding") power supply schedules.
Although the "loadshedding" has become less, we still have daily uncontrollable electrical spikes.

In South Africa and most other countries receive AC power (alternating current) from their national grid supplier. Like the names says "Alternating Current" - it means the power supply is alternating (like waves in the ocean) The voltage goes Up and Down. Sometimes it will spike at 300+Volts and then down to 180 Volts. In the RSA we use 220 volts, the USA and Europe use 110 Volts.

Surge spikes (also called transients) are measured in units of 10 -6 Second. Transients that cause havoc inside appliances normally are in the several hundreds range and a lightning strike goes into the Thousands.

Electrical Surges and Spikes are a fact of life and they will always be with us

This is the reason why all appliances need surge protectors and suppressors

TVSS (transient voltage surge suppressors)

These little devices  or commonly called SPD (surge protection devices) come in many different and sizes but for this simplicity I will only cover the ones you find and use in everyday Household appliances.
Washing Machine Electrical Line Filter that has exploded

Surge Diverter

The surge diverter relays (or blocks) a electrical spike above a certain voltage down to the ground. This normally creates a electrical short in your system but I will discuss this effect more in detail in another post.

Transient Voltage Suppressor

TVS's  is commonly used in Household All Appliances and it react to momentary voltage spike . Commonly known as voltage Zener suppress diott.

Metal-Oxide Varistors
Hoover PCB With MOV

MOV is more found in electronic circuit boards and TV, sounds systems and top range microwaves. The Mov's are fast and they respond to a voltage surge much quicker than any of his other suppressor buddy,s. Their main function is to protect the other electronic components  from a "over-voltage"

One can just keep on going about the many different types of suppressor and diott that is out there - like you also get a unit that is filled with gas.

OK, ok! I will stop now!

I do not want to risk losing you because of overexpose to boredom. My fascination might be toxic to your entertainment system.
Getting back to the reason why I am telling you about these little appliances (suppressors) is because of safety and also to tell you it doesn't always pay to be a cheapskate.

MOV has been Documented to Burn

Some electronic manufactures tend to be cheap when designing voltage protectors and the installation thereof.
Defy Dishwasher PCB overheated causing panel to meld

While the overvoltage might not be enough to blow the fuse or destroy the MOV, it does cause the PCB unit (printed circuit board) to overheat. The overheated MOV will eventually then start the fire.

The are many factors that separate the good manufacture from the not-so-good ones but here are a couple easy noticeable ones
  • Silicone wire is used or flame retardant materials (Defy appl use it in most of their units)
  • The surge PCB is installed in a remote area inside the appliance so that even if it catches fire it will not cause the whole appliance to burn
  • As a habit one should always try to fit and use surge protection units but there are so many dummy units out in the market place. It is very difficult to direct you from a distance what to look out for because on the outside they all look legit.
  • I would recommend is to find yourself a good electrical supplier (be careful for the national franchises because they buy in bulk from the east on "good deals") and also think twice next time when you buy cheap unbelievable deals. (they can make it so cheap because they schimp on necessary safety equipment). 
  • Always ask about the appliance backup service because after the supplier guarantee period has expired you could be stuck with an electrical item with no backup service. 

Hope this information has added some value to your time and should you need more leave a comment below or see you over at our facebook page

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