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What Is an Isobar Surge Protector?

Lightning is one potential cause of power surges.
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  • Written By: Mal Baxter
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2014
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An isobar surge protector is a device that typically connects home or office electronic equipment to a power source. Sometimes referred to as a surge suppressor, it regulate power flow and protects equipment from surges, and it might be rated to handle surges of as much as several kilojoules. These devices often feature connection points such as network connections, coax connections, television and modem connections, and they typically have two to eight receptacles. Some might feature light-emitting diode (LED) lights to indicate that the device is grounded and functioning. The term “isobar” refers to the equalizing and constant control of power flow and isolating networked electronic signals from each other to minimize interference.

In modern connected households and offices that rely on an array of electronic technologies, it is prudent for people to protect against unforeseen power eventualities such as utility spikes, surges and lightning strikes. An isobar surge protector will prevent damage to vital equipment, telephones, satellite receivers, televisions, computers and routers as well as to itself. Moreover, it might also extend the reach of an available power supply.

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For typical technology users, an isobar surge protector provides a necessary function not only in its protective value but also by enhancing the high performance of electronic equipment. The isolated filter banks on some devices can eliminate extraneous line noise and interference. This results in sharper audio and video as well as a longer lifespan for equipment. By suppressing excessive noise and interference, surge protectors provide efficient power and safety for electronic households and home theater system installations. They also enhance the performance of high-definition reception, recording and playback devices.

Added benefits from using an isobar surge protector with isolated filter banks include prevention of computer freezes, data errors, audio hisses or feedback and video degradation. Some surge protectors offer cascading circuitry that increases noise reduction with each successive filter bank. Others might provide for heavy-duty housing to prevent against accidental fires or impacts. Other features might include diagnostic LEDs, lighted circuit breaker power switches, limited or lifetime warranties and other accessories such as labels, cables and cords.

Any isobar surge protector has a finite life span. The technology can process only a certain amount of energy before expiring. Each device is rated by how much energy in joules it can handle. It might use a special LED or audible alarm to alert users of any problem. It can preserve and protect not only major equipment such as televisions, computers and stereos but also fax machines, phones, modems, Ethernet cards — and people, too.

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