Surge Protector Vs Stabilizer
Voltage Stabilizers and Surge Protectors are commonly used devices that help regulate and control voltage supply to the electric appliances. Both devices have many similarities but are not the same.
They have slightly different uses and are suitable for different situations. This article will briefly explain how both of these devices function and what purposes they are used for. It will help the readers decide what the best choice is for them.
What Is A Voltage Stabilizer?
Put simply, a voltage stabilizer is a control device that is commonly used to control fluctuations in supply to the electric appliances.
It helps in running your electrical appliances when the voltage is fluctuating. It is called a stabilizer because it helps stabilize or regulate the voltage whenever the need arises.
Moreover, it ensures that your electric appliances are provided with consistent and stable voltage even when the input voltage is too high or too low.
Boost and Buck Operations
Experts explain that a stabilizer performs these functions through ‘boost’ and ‘buck’ operations.
Whenever the voltage is too low, the boost operation helps increase it according to requirement.
Similarly, when it is too high, the buck operation decreases it to the desired level.
It is capable of automatically adapting to different situations and responding accordingly. Without any doubt, it is one of the most fascinating inventions of mankind.
Pulsed Power Supplies
Since power fluctuation can occur anytime due to a sudden high demand for electricity or unforeseen problems with the electricity grid, most electronic devices are now created with built-in pulsed power supplies that serve as excellent stabilizers.
They regulate the voltage without any need for an additional stabilizer. Despite this, it is always better to have an external stabilizer to ensure safety.
Choosing a Stabilizer
When you are selecting a stabilizer for your home, there are two important factors that you should consider.
Firstly, the size of your stabilizer depends on the appliances and their requirements.
Secondly, you must also consider the future expansion of the load while determining the total power rating.
Ideally, it is better to go for 20% more than the actual power requirement.
What The Stabilizers Can’t Do?
Contrary to the popular belief, most stabilizers available in the market cannot be used in place of surge protectors.
These stabilizers can only correct voltage supply when the input is high or low, but they cannot always protect your appliances from the damage that a surge in power may cause.
You should not believe anyone who tells you that stabilizer is good enough to protect your appliances from power surges.
There are only a few highly expensive stabilizers that have a surge suppressor installed in them. And even these suppressors have limitations and can never replace surge protectors.
What Are Surge Protectors?
Surge protectors are also commonly known in the market as surge suppressors.
As the name suggests, they help protect your electric appliances from the damage that unexpected electrical surges and fluctuations can cause. Whether there is faulty wiring, or power fluctuation due to lightning during rain, any kind of surge in electric supply can permanently damage your expensive devices such as refrigerators, computers, and air conditioners.
A surge protector is designed to divert the surplus electric current away from your appliances
Why Are Surge Protectors Important?
Many people rely just on the stabilizers and are unaware that they are not sufficient to protect their devices.
In contrast, surge protectors are more reliable and safe because they not only stabilize the voltage but also divert the high voltages away from your appliances.
They are the best choice for expensive electronic devices.
While surge protectors are relatively more expensive than stabilizers, they are still worth buying because the cost of damage is far more than their price.
Who Should Buy A Surge Protector?
So far, the article has explained the major differences between voltage stabilizer and a surge suppressor.
We have established that surge protectors are much better and safer than the regular voltage stabilizers, but that does not mean that everyone should always buy a surge protector.
Whether you should get a surge protector, or just simply use a stabilizer depends on what your need is and what is the nature of appliances you are using.
It does not make sense to invest in a surge protector just for a few lights and fans. However, you should definitely have one for your heavier and more expensive devices such as a computer, air conditioner, washing machine, refrigerator, etc.
These devices have voltage-sensitive components that can easily get damaged due to a high voltage. Moreover, constant fluctuations will decrease the life of these devices even if a stabilizer is in place.
Buying a Surge Protector
Surge protectors contain varistors, which are more commonly known as MOVs (metal-oxide varistors). It is with the help of these MOVs that surge protectors help protect your appliances.
The problem is that these MOVs can sometimes stop working and you never actually find out.
In order to avoid this problem, it is always better to buy those surge protectors that come with indicator light. This will keep you informed whether your surge protector is functioning to protect your devices or not.
You should also ensure that there are no other potential sources of a power surge other than the main supply.
For instance, many PCs dial-up internet connection and connect to telephone lines through a modem. In such cases, a surge protector with a phone-line input jack is necessary to ensure complete protection.
Similarly, for those devices that are connected to a coaxial cable, you should also get a cable surge protector because surges on these lines are as dangerous as over the main power supply.
The article has explained the key differences between a stabilizer and a surge protector.
It has shown how stabilizers only regulate voltage and ensure consistent supply, while surge protectors also prevent the damage that high voltage may cause to the electric appliances.
While the stabilizers are sufficient for small devices, surge protectors are necessary for your expensive electric appliances.