Electricity is one of the most used inventions in the world. Among the countries consuming the most electricity, the US ranks second. Usually, you’re able to get an uninterrupted supply of electricity. However, power surges can sometimes occur for different reasons. These surges can damage your appliances and electronics, and outlets, and even cause electrical fires.
As the name suggests, power surges are an increase in electrical power above the normal range. Most countries operate on 120-220 volts. Appliances in US households operate on 120 volts. When significantly more voltage runs through wires into devices, it’s called a power surge. This is when damage can occur. It’s important to understand how the damage happens in the first place to better protect your electronic appliances and outlets. Keep reading to learn about the causes of power surges that can damage your electronic devices and the steps you can take to prevent electrical damage.
Causes of a Power Surge
Blackout or Damage to the Power Grid
Power outages usually occur due to a large-scale power grid failure. The return connection after an outage can cause a sudden jump in current when the power is restored. This may result in a power surge that could damage your plugged-in appliances and devices.
Plugging in too many appliances in one socket or overloading an extension cord can cause power surges. This is because too much current is being directed towards one circuit, which causes a voltage spike.
Bad or Faulty Wiring
Faulty wiring is a common reason for power surges. If your wires are exposed or damaged in any way, it is more likely that a power surge could occur. Noticing these faulty wires can be difficult, especially if the wiring is behind walls or furniture. Some signs to look out for that could mean faulty wiring are burnt outlets, a burning smell coming from wiring or outlets, and buzzing noises coming from outlets.
Prevention of Damage from Power Surges
There are ways you can protect your appliances and devices from internal power surge. However, damage from external power surges can sometimes be unavoidable. As a precaution, you should always unplug your appliances if there is any chance of a thunderstorm or heavy rain. Using surge protectors are a great option to help protect your appliances and gadgets by blocking any excess voltage in the event of a power surge. You can also add a grounding system with surge protectors to help protect your appliances and devices from external surges.
Install a Whole Home Surge Protector
Based on the same concept as surge protectors, a whole home surge protector is attached to the main electronic box of your house and acts as an intermediary between your house and the power grid. This way, it protects every electric appliance in the event of a power surge.
Evaluate Your Wiring
If you’re living in an older home, it’s a wise idea to hire an electrician to check your wiring. This is because old and outdated wires in your house can lead to disrepair and eventually, power surges.
Even if you live in a new home, checking your wiring for any potential faults is good practice to make ensure your electronic devices and appliances are protected.
Buy Energy Efficient Appliances
Newer models of appliances tend to be energy efficient, resulting in a lower electricity bill. More importantly, they draw less electricity, so they are more resistant to power surges in comparison to older appliances.
Be Ready For The Post Blackout Surge
After a power blackout comes a sudden surge in power. If you are in the middle of a blackout, make sure you have switched off and unplugged your devices and appliances to avoid damage.
All Solar Energy Solutions will help protect your home from power surges and repair any outlets that have been damaged. Our electricians are fully licensed. We offer standardized and competitive-priced solutions for all electricity needs. Additionally, we provide generator services, heat pump installers, and mini split installation in Portland, Brunswick and Topsham. You can contact us today for a free estimate, and our experts will reach out to you in no time. For more information, call us at (207)536-5935.