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Surge Protection for Your Phone System
 
What are electrical surges and where do they come from?
The main task of a surge protector is to protect electronic devices from “power surges.” A power surge, or transient voltage, is an increase in voltage significantly above the designated level in a flow of electricity. In typical home/office wiring, the standard voltage is 120 volts; if voltage rises above 120, the surge protector helps protect your electronic device.

The most familiar source is probably lightning, though it's actually one of the least common causes. When lightning strikes near a power line, whether it's underground, in a building or running along poles, the electrical energy can boost electrical pressure by millions of volts. This causes an extremely large power surge that will overpower almost any surge protector. In a lightning storm, you should never rely on your surge protector to save your computer. The best protection is to unplug your computer.

A more common cause of power surges is the operation of high-power electrical devices, such as elevators, air conditioners and refrigerators. These high-powered pieces of equipment require a lot of energy to switch on and turn off components like compressors and motors. This switching creates sudden, brief demands for power, which upset the steady voltage flow in the electrical system. While these surges are nowhere near the intensity of a lightning surge, they can be severe enough to damage components, immediately or gradually, and they occur regularly in most building's electrical systems.

Other sources of power surges include faulty wiring, problems with the utility company's equipment, and downed power lines.

 
Phone systems need dual protection
Even if you protect your business phone system with an electrical power surge protector, it is also exposed to damaging surges from other sources.  Telephone and internet lines can also conduct high voltage, so for full protection you should also guard against surges from your phone and cable lines.  Essentially, any lines carrying signals into your phone system can carry a power surge and can cause just as much damage as surges over power lines.
 
Surge protectors for phone lines can be separate devices and can also be integrated into an AC power surge protector.  For instance, the ITW Linx MCO4X4 is a surge protector that will protect from surges over incoming phone lines.  It has a modular design that allows you to attach it to the M4KSU AC power surge protector.  By using this configuration both units can share the ground circuit, and you protect against surges over phone lines and power lines.  The ITW Linx M8COM is an integrated unit that includes AC power surge protection as well as incoming telephone line and LAN line protection.
 

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Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

MCO4X4 protects up to 4 phone lines M4KSU protects up to 4 AC outlet connections M8COM protects up to 8 AC outlet connections, 4 phone lines, and 1 LAN line


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