While some power surges cause only minor damage to your appliances, others can result in fried circuits and blown fuses that completely ruin your valuables. In the most extreme cases, a power surge may even cause a house fire. With the safety of your home at stake, it’s important to know why power surges occur and how you can get protection. Here’s what you need to know about protecting your property from power surges.
What Causes Power Surges?
Power surges occur when the flow of electricity to a device is disrupted or when something sends electricity flowing back into a device.
There are two common causes for power surges: internal and external. External causes come from outside the home. These include lightning strikes and interferences with power lines by tree limbs or small animals. Lightning causes some of the most powerful surges, producing thousands of volts, which is why you’re advised not to use your appliances during big storms. When lightning strikes, it can travel through telephone lines and other electrical service lines connected to your home.
Power surges can also come from internal causes, which are those inside your home. These surges can occur when large appliances, like air conditioners and refrigerators, are turned on and off. Even smaller devices, such as a hair dryer, can cause a surge of five to 10 volts when turned on.
Power surges also commonly occur when the power comes back on after an outage.
How Surge Protectors Can Protect Your Home
While it’s rare to experience power surges that completely fry your appliances, smaller, more common, power surges are still of concern. You likely will not see visible external damage after a small power surge; however, these surges can can cause a device’s internal circuitry to gradually degrade over time. Without proper protection, power surges may shorten the lifespan of your valuables.
Fortunately, a simple solution can be found in surge protectors. While many people think of surge protectors simply as power strips, their job is actually a lot more important, as they help protect circuits and fuses from the effects of surges. The average surge protectors protect smaller devices like televisions and game systems, or appliances like microwaves and toasters. More expensive appliances, likes refrigerators and washing machines, require a stronger surge protector.
Protect Your Appliances From Power Surges!
If you’re looking for protection against power surges but aren’t sure where to start, call Mister Sparky! Our experienced electricians will assess the needs of your individual electronics and appliances to help you get the best protection for your home and the valuables in it. Call today!