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What is a Cable Surge Protector?

Article Details
  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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A cable surge protector is a device intended for use between electrical and cable outlets and the devices plugged into them. One end of the device plugs into a wall outlet, often with a coaxial cable running from a wall outlet to the surge protector, and then other devices can plug into the surge protector. These often replace standard power strips, providing multiple outlets for electrical devices that all plug into a single wall outlet. A cable surge protector often provides a high level of surge protection for electrical devices, while also protecting devices from surges running through coaxial cable.

Surge protectors are typically used to protect electronic devices, such as computers and televisions, from potential damage due to power surges. A power surge can happen due to fluctuations from power plants, though they typically occur because of a lightning strike or similar natural occurrence. If a surge comes through a house’s electrical systems, devices connected to the electrical outlets can be critically damaged. Surge protectors effectively absorb the excess energy produced by such a surge and prevent the surge from reaching the electrical devices connected to them.

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A cable surge protector works like any other type of surge protector, though it includes extra connections for coaxial cable. Surge protectors will typically feature a single male plug, which is connected to a wall outlet, and a number of female plugs for other devices to be plugged into them. This allows a single surge protector to be used for a number of devices, such as a television, media player, cable box, stereo system, and other devices that might be found together. While a surge protector will usually protect devices against power surges coming through electrical sockets, a cable surge protector provides additional protection.

Power surges can come through telephone lines and coaxial cable lines just as easily as through electrical outlets, and so a television could be protected by a standard surge protector, yet end up damaged due to a surge coming through the cable connection. To avoid this type of damage, a cable surge protector allows a user to run a coaxial cable from a wall outlet into the surge protector, and then another coaxial cable can be connected to an output connection on the cable surge protector and connected to a television, modem, or other device. Different surge protectors provide different levels of protection, which is usually listed as a joules rating. A higher number indicates greater protection.

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