I’m sure that I’m not alone here when I say that it’s only in more recent times that awareness and understanding around the need for surge protection – particularly in domestic locations – has been heightened. This has been ramped up a further gear since new requirements for surge protection were introduced as part of the latest 18th Edition regulations.
In short, nearly 35% of all surges are caused by things such as lightning strikes, utility grid switching or heavy motor loads from nearby industry or even electrical accidents. The remaining 65% are therefore generated within our homes or work places from various sources, ranging from microwave ovens to laser printers.
Installing Type 1 and 2 SPD devices is not necessarily ‘job done’. The regulations advise that consideration for additional coordinated SPDs closer to the equipment with a lower voltage protection level shall be given if the physical distance from the circuit SPD is greater than 10m. The majority of all my sockets exceed this distance from the consumer unit. It seems that a localised Type 3 protection is required if damage is to be avoided to all the electrical and electronic appliances we now have around us in our homes.
One interesting solution to this requirement has come in the form of ‘surge protected’ sockets, as recently introduced by M2 Electrical. Put simply, these new sockets provide you with localised Type 3 protection with very little fuss, easily replacing standard socket outlets without the need to change to a deeper wall box.
The front plate features two Neon indicators: red to indicate protection and that the surge module is operative, and green to inform you that there is a valid earth path. The integral module, which will sustain a 2.5kA maximum surge, protects both socket outlets simultaneously.
I found the socket to be extremely easy to install and was pleasantly surprised at the stylish look it offered once fitted, thanks to the curved profile face plate. In use, it would be an advantage to install or replace this socket where there is a single Twin & Earth cable, as the connections could be very tight for multiple cables, spurs or ring main.
Most SPDs are tucked away hopefully doing their job in the consumer unit or distribution board. At least this socket will indicate should it experience a massive surge and becomes inoperable, providing you with the time to replace prior to the next surge that could seriously damage your kit.. With these fitted at home I now have peace of mind that Type 3 surge protection is in place, and will be recommending to my customers that they consider this sort of solution in the future.
To view the M2 Surge Socket click here.