You must have noticed the lights in your home flickering at some point in time. It may have seen to be insignificant to you, but this is a telltale sign that there’s an electrical surge happening at that particular moment.
A power surge is also known as an “energy surge.” Upon entering your home, a power surge has the ability to not only fry the circuit breaker but also spread to other power outlets. And, if any device or appliance is plugged in the outlets during a surge, it might not be able to survive the surge of voltage.
Of course, there are small and big power surges. While small surges deteriorate the lifespan of your devices and appliances, big surges can cause instantaneous damage to them by frying them at once.
In this article, we’ll be sharing what causes a power surge and the preventive measures you can take to protect your appliances and devices from getting damaged.
What Causes a Power Surge?
Power surges can be caused by several different factors. From your utility company doing maintenance works, nearby lightning strikes, to an animal damaging a power line, all of these could be the reason behind a power surge.
In fact, in some cases, if there’s a large factory near your home and both share the very same electrical system or transformer, even the powering on and off of heavy machines could actually cause a power surge.
When a power surge occurs, your best defense is preparation. Other than that, certain things can be done to reduce the risk of injury when there’s a power surge, especially if it happens continuously.
Whether from an equipment failure, storm, fallen trees, or anything else, a power surge can happen anytime.
How to Prevent a Power Surge?
First and foremost, if you live in an older home, your electrical wiring is most likely outdated, and won’t be able to sustain a powerful surge. Moreover, if you also have an older electrical panel or overloaded circuits, it’s best that your get those updated as well.
Here are some preventive measures you can take.
This might not seem like a big deal but is rather important. Make sure all your vegetation is trimmed and also that the electrical service around your house is debris-free. In certain cases, the electrical service entrance lines are usually underground.
That is why it’s so important that the entrance is properly protected from any form of damage, such as pest or lawn trimmer. You may be able to call your electrical service company to help you trim large trees if it’s obstructing your power line.
Surge protectors are very important when it comes to preventing any damage to your devices and appliances from a power surge. Surge protectors are for your most vulnerable and expensive electronics, such as computers and TVs.
So, how exactly does a surge protector work? Basically, a surge protector pulls the current from one power outlet and passes it through to appliances and devices plugged into the surge protector.
When there’s a power surge, surge protectors reduce the resistance of the high voltage surging through your wiring. In other words, it diverts all extra voltage to the ground to make sure your devices continue receding a consistent power level.
A surge protector also increases resistance if the voltage level is lower than they’re supposed to be.
Whole-House Surge Protection
If you want to be a hundred percent safe from all damage caused by a power surge, you can invest in a whole-house surge protector. This would be installed on the main electrical panel of your home.
The installation method is usually simple, and clearly listed by the manufacturer. All you need to do is attach the whole-house surge protector to the main electrical bus bar and after that to the neutral bus bar.
Be mindful to not double-tap into your electrical panel! However, you can also get an electrician to install it for you if you’re unsure of how to go about it.
Unplug Unused Devices
We often let our devices stay plugged in, even if we’re not using them. That is why, another way to prevent power surges is to simply remove unused devices, such as hair dryers, toasters, chagrin cables, and other devices that aren’t being used.
A surge protector is something you should consider if you can’t invest in a whole-house surge protector. That said, a lot of people confuse surge protectors with power strips when in fact they’re very different. A power strip cannot reduce or stop power surges.
Power surges happen at the most unexpected time and are more likely to happen in the home than older electrical systems or overloaded circuits. By using the preventive measure mentioned above, you can protect your personal items and home from fires.