Electric surges, all you need to know as a responsible homeowner

Electric surges cannot only cause damage and destruction of electrical appliances present in the house over time, but they can also cause a fire hazard. Therefore, as a responsible homeowner, you must make sure that your house has specific protectors in place which have electric surge ability so your home can be protected.

What is an electric surge?

A power surge or electric surge also referred to as transient voltage, is a sudden increase in voltage. If this increase is strong enough, it can cause severe damage and even destroy electronic devices. Around 80% of the power surges observed come from inside one’s home. We all have large electrical appliances like furnaces, washing machines, dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators, etc., which need a high amount of power. When they need the power, suddenly, a huge amount of power is driven into these appliances. When you shut off these appliances, that huge amount of power is suddenly taken away. This kind of large power supply fluctuation is referred to as a power surge. The power surge that comes from external sources is generally lightning strikes and changes by the electrical utility companies.

When a current is sent to an electric device that is over its operating range, it leads to the formation of an electric arc in the appliance. This electric arc gets heated up and can destroy the component and electrical wiring of the appliance. Even if you are using small appliances like a hairdryer, etc., these electrical surges can damage it over time.

How to prevent power surge-related damage from occurring at home?

If you want to prevent the destruction of your appliances due to the power surge as well as prevent a fire hazard from occurring, you need to get surge protectors installed. To control the internal power surge, you can opt for the power strip surge protectors. These are relatively inexpensive and are designed to protect the point of use devices mainly. These protectors do not block or arrest the charge; they divert the charge into the ground. These surge protectors also come with a light or indicator alarm which gets activated when the protector needs to be replaced.

Protecting the whole home from electric surges

If you are aiming to protect your entire home from electric surges, specifically external electric surges, you will have to get a whole home surge protection device which is also referred to as a service entrance surge protector. These devices are mounted near the main electrical panel of the house. These types of surge protection devices are responsible for protecting the components or electric appliances which cannot be attached to the point of use devices like lights, switches and outlets. An example of such device would be your automated garage door which is connected to the wiring of the house. They are very efficient at taking care of large voltage surges which the power strip surge protectors cannot handle.

Here are a few other ways in which you can protect your home from a power surge:

Check all the old wiring

If your house is old or is over 10 to 15 years in age, you need to have a look at all the wiring of the house. Wires can be referred to as the nervous system of your house. They are not only responsible for delivering power to the different appliances, they also take the power back and re-route out the power when needed. With constant and everyday use, the wires become loose and break starts to appear in them. This may cause short-circuiting, power surge or even fire. Therefore, if you feel that the wires are old, get them properly checked

Protect your big electronic appliances

You must have a television, air-conditioner, refrigerator, etc. Does each of these have a voltage stabilizer inbuilt in them? A voltage stabilizer stabilizes the incoming voltage before allowing it to enter the appliance. If your appliances do not have inbuilt voltage stabilizers, get voltage stabilizers for them today. Your voltage stabilizer will prevent your big electrical equipment from unnecessarily experiencing a large amount of voltage induction and getting damaged.

Protect the other household appliances

If your house is located at a place that experiences frequent power cuts, your appliances will also be experiencing power surges, especially when the electricity returns. Therefore, get the service entrance surge protectors and the power strip surge protectors for the complete protection of your home.

One final word of caution, no level of surge protection can provide your home protection from a lightning strike, especially if the lightning strike directly hits your home. Therefore, it is a good practice to unplug all the electronic devices if they are not in use when your area is experiencing an electrical storm.

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