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Do Surge Protectors Protect Against Lightning? 

Do Surge Protectors Protect Against Lightning? 

  • Electrical

In today’s technology-driven world, safeguarding our electronic devices from power surges and lightning strikes is important. Power surges resulting from lightning strikes have the potential to inflict damage on our electronics, leading to expensive repairs. In this blog post, we will delve into the relationship between power surges, lightning, and the comprehensive surge protection services provided by Ryan Gath Electric. Our aim is to answer the vital question: do surge protectors truly protect against lightning?

What is a Power Surge?

Before diving into the effectiveness of surge protectors against lightning, it is important to understand what a power surge is. A power surge is a sudden increase in electrical voltage that surpasses the standard flow of electricity. These surges can occur due to various factors, including lightning strikes, utility company issues, or faulty electrical systems. 

How Can Lightning Cause Power Surges?

Lightning is one of the most common causes of power surges. When lightning strikes nearby power lines or utility poles, it releases a large amount of energy. This energy then can travel through the electrical grid. The resulting power surge can surge through power lines and enter homes or buildings, affecting all connected electrical devices.

What Do Surge Protectors Do?

Surge protectors are devices designed to protect electronic equipment from power surges. They work by diverting excess voltage away from connected devices, acting as a barrier between the electrical outlet and your valuable electronics. Surge protectors typically feature metal oxide varistors (MOVs) or gas discharge tubes that can absorb and redirect excess voltage, preventing it from reaching your devices.

Do Surge Protectors Protect Against Lightning?

While surge protectors are highly effective at protecting against many types of power surges, it’s important to understand their limitations when it comes to lightning strikes. Surge protectors can provide a level of protection by suppressing smaller power surges caused by indirect lightning strikes or electrical grid disturbances. However, direct lightning strikes are incredibly powerful and can overwhelm even the most robust surge protectors.


It’s important to note that surge protectors cannot provide 100% protection against lightning strikes. In the event of a direct lightning strike, the energy discharge can bypass the surge protector’s capabilities and cause damage to connected devices. Therefore, for comprehensive protection against lightning strikes, additional measures such as lightning rods, grounding systems, and whole-house surge protection are recommended.

The Role of Surge Protectors in Electrical Safety

In conclusion, surge protectors play a vital role in protecting your electronic devices against power surges, including those caused by indirect lightning strikes or electrical grid disturbances. While they provide a level of protection, it’s essential to understand their limitations when it comes to direct lightning strikes. For comprehensive protection against lightning, considering a combination of surge protectors, lightning rods, grounding systems, and whole-house surge protection is the most prudent approach.

When it comes to protecting your electronic devices, entrusting the expertise of Ryan Gath Electric ensures the longevity and functionality of your valuable equipment. By implementing a multi-layered approach to electrical safety, you can have peace of mind knowing that your devices are well-protected from power surges and lightning strikes.

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By Ryan Gath Electric

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