What Causes Power Surges?

Antique Voltage Meter

Odds are you have surge protectors in your home. Maybe they’re cluttering the living-room floor. Or, perhaps you have surge protector receptacles elegantly installed in the wall.

You know you need protection for your electronic gadgets, but how much do you understand about power surges? Spikes in your home’s electrical current happen with surprising frequency. Most surges last for a fraction of a second. While the spikes don’t last long, they can be powerful enough to cause damage to electronic devices.

What Are Power Surges?

A power surge can happen when electricity is interrupted then immediately re-established.This occurrence forces too much current through the system. Power surges have the ability to knock out your delicate electronics, cause fires, and wreak havoc up and down the circuitry of your home or business.

Internal Power Surges

Internal power surges are the most common type. More than 50 percent of household power surges are of this variety. They may occur dozens of times every day. Most power surges are too small to be detected by the human senses. They pass through your home’s wires, and no one’s ever the wiser. Fortunately, modern electronics are designed to resist these kinds of minuscule spikes.

Refrigerators, air conditioners and other appliances can cause surges when they’re switched on. This type of problem happens most often when your home has faulty wiring. Tripped circuit breakers and short circuits can also create spikes in current. This kind of internal surge is powerful enough to cause damage. If you suspect your home has bad wiring, call us immediately.

Hanging light bulbExternal Power Surges

External power surges are usually greater than the internal variety. They may happen when a tree, branch or anything else, drops on a power line. Lightning is another cause. One strike near a power line could fry a television or computer monitor.

How to Prevent Power Surges

Eighty percent of all power surges and voltage spikes that occur in the home are caused by the everyday powering on and off of major appliances. Any appliances that are connected to individual circuits will cause big power draws and major power stoppages when they are powered on and off, and any electronics that are connected to the same circuit will deal with the same impact across the board.

This is why it is so mission critical to take advantage of individual power surge protector “bricks” as much as possible, but especially when plugging expensive and rather delicate electronics into the wall. The last thing you want to happen is to have your expensive new laptop or beautiful new big screen TV fried simply because your washing machine kicked on and your laptop or TV was plugged into the same circuit.

 Get your hands on a whole home search arrester.

The first thing you need to do when you are looking to protect your entire home from power surge attacks is to invest in a whole home arrester as soon as possible. While a bit more expensive than plugging power surge protectors into all of your outlets and hoping for the best, a whole home search device is going to protect your circuits directly at the electrical panel, modulating and controlling power and making sure that it flows efficiently and steadily no matter what.

 This is the kind of upgrade you want to make with the help of the best electrician in the area, as they will have to do all the heavy lifting to install this kind of setup. Once installed, however, you will never have to worry about power surges again.

Experienced, Professional Electricians in the Pacific Northwest

Call the experts at Prairie Electric today to learn more about how you can protect your home or business today. We can’t wait to work with you.

 

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