Article 21: Wiring and Surge Protection

Wiring and Surge Protection

Hi guys, welcome back to the Modern Nerd. This week I have a shortened article, but it’s concerning a topic that I feel is important. Having a desktop computer, a home entertainment system, a powerful stereo, or any other tech enthusiast setup can be all kinds of awesome. However, it’s important to remember that all of these goodies run on electricity. If you don’t have a solid wiring setup then it can be a safety or fire hazard. Power surges, if not protected against, can fry sensitive parts and be a very expensive fix. Let’s look at some ways that you can keep your tech safe.

I Have The Power!

When you have a desktop computer, you have a lot of components. Monitor, tower, printer, speakers, scanner, card readers, second display, there are a ton of options and therefore you need a ton of power.

You should invest in a power strip, with a surge protector first and foremost. The multiple plug boxes without any safety measures can overheat, and potentially catch something on fire. During a lightning storm, if you lose power to your entire house, it’ll give you a lot more peace of mind knowing that your computer will be ok.

Separate Circuits

Your house or apartment runs on an electrical breaker box. When considering any setup, take a look at the size of breakers, if they are 15, 20, or 30 amps. It is not advisable, for example, to power both a complicated computer setup and a television entertainment center on a single small breaker if you can avoid it. If you have the option, consider a second surge protector on your circuit breaker setup. They aren’t the cheapest things, and must be installed by an electrician, but are a great safety measure for your entire house.

What About that Tower?

Lastly, I’ll point out that your tower on your computer is the biggest power draw you have. Even more so if you run a gaming system with upwards of a 750W power supply. Even if you have a power strip for the rest of your components, plug your tower directly into the wall if you have surge protection on your breaker box.


This has been brought to you in memory of a computer that was fried by a power surge. In all seriousness though, don’t let a 20 dollar price tag on a power strip cost you $1000 for a new computer. Thanks for reading, check back next week for more!

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