Protect Your Home From Power Surges

A Power Surge is a sudden, unexpected spike in electrical current that overwhelms an electronic device. Over time, even small power surges can degrade electronics. A power surge is a transient wave of overvoltage or current that can last for microseconds or even a second. Typically, a power surge will not permanently damage electronic equipment, but it can gradually degrade them. To understand what a power surge is, let’s define the term.

Signs of a power surge

If you’ve had a power surge, you may have wondered what to do. Initially, you may think the only symptoms are blackout TVs and smoking laptops, but you should remember that not all power surges cause damage. When a power surge occurs, electrical appliances and devices may suddenly lose power or stop working completely. Power surges can damage electronics until they no longer work, and a tripped circuit breaker or wire is also a symptom.

The signs of a power surge are many and varied. They can cause power outages in your home, and if your electrical equipment is plugged into a wall outlet or powerboard, you are at risk of damage. As soon as you notice any of these signs, unplug any electronic devices and check your power strips for faulty circuitry. Then, reset circuit breakers if necessary and test all devices.

Causes

Power surges can occur for a variety of reasons. Electrical appliances that require large amounts of power to turn on, such as televisions and air conditioners, can be a cause. Additionally, damage can occur to electronics and home appliances when exposed wiring is exposed or damaged. Power surges can also occur due to lightning strikes. In both cases, the sudden demand for electrical power can disrupt a building’s electrical system, and may even fry electronic devices.

The most common cause of power surges is an overdraw of public power grid equipment. While public grid equipment is robust, a heavy load can cause the system to fail and cause a power surge. Because of this, it is critical to monitor the voltage of all electrical devices to prevent power surges from occurring. A surge may occur during a storm or thunderstorm, or during a power outage. In many cases, a power surge can signal an imminent threat with a flashing clock.

Signs of damage

One of the most common causes of power surges is damaged wiring. Whether exposed or hidden, these wires offer little electrical resistance and can quickly spike the current. Luckily, there are ways to identify damaged wiring and protect your home from power surges. Listed below are some signs of damage from power surges. You should also check any outlets that don’t appear to be working. These outlets could be a sign of a wiring problem.

If a surge occurs in your home, there is a good chance that the voltage spike will be a lightning strike. This can disrupt your appliances’ normal functioning and damage expensive electronics. A lightning bolt can cause a power surge, as can faulty wiring. In some cases, a power surge can cause a short circuit, so be sure to check those appliances for these potential problems. Also, if you have a phone line in your home, consider putting a safety switch between the two.

Prevention

Power strips are great for convenience, but they don’t offer much protection against power surges. The best way to protect small appliances from damage during a power surge is to purchase a surge protector. While a power strip may look like a power strip, a surge protector contains circuitry to cut off current when a power surge hits it. This can protect your expensive electronics from being fried. UL (Underwriters Laboratories) tests surge protectors for safety. A surge protector with this certification will be labeled UL 1449. A surge protector with this certification is not a power strip.

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