Protecting Your Home From Electrical Surges
The simple zap of a power surge can destroy treasured technology across your home. It can also cause damage to your electrical system, or worse, start a fire. Take a look at David Gray’s top tips for protecting your home against electrical surges this season.
Understand the Causes
A power surge is an unexpected, temporary increase in the current or voltage of an electrical circuit that can degrade, damage, or destroy sensitive electronic devices. The average home experiences 20 power surges a day. Half of these are internal – as in, they are caused by the switching on and off of appliances which altar the flow of electricity across your home. From hairdryers to HVAC systems, the appliances in your home create surges all the time.
The other common causes of a power surge come from outside the home. Lighting strikes can create hundreds of thousands of amps of electricity that then jolts across your house. Downed power lines or a change in the use of power by a nearby factory can also create a significant surge. But no matter the cause, it’s important to prepare your home in advance of power surges to mitigate the damage on your devices and appliances.
Invest in Protection
Fortunately, whole house surge protector are able to protect your home from any unwanted leap in power. Consult a licensed electrician to install a whole-home surge suppressor.
Surge protectors are installed in the main panel box, the heart of your home’s electrical system. They are designed to stop lightning or power surges at the panel, before they enter the rest of your home. This is unlike the point-of-use surge protectors (such as those incorporated into power strips) that stop a surge after it is already in your house. The panel surge protector diverts all of the energy away from your home and out into your home’s grounding system.
Besides saving your devices from a lightning strike, a whole-home surge protector will also “clean up” the minor fluctuations in energy that occur throughout the day, minimizing the wear and tear on televisions, computers and more. Most surge protectors also come with insurance for added peace of mind should uncontrollable electrical damage somehow occur.
Take Extra Steps
Even with a whole-house surge protector, sensitive electronics can benefit from added protection. Taking the extra step to protect these items can not only bring peace of mind, but can also prevent you from having to replace expensive items due to a major power surge. Use power strips with verifiable surge protection for all of your devices, and plan to unplug both the device and the power strip itself during a storm.
Homeowners should also take time to inspect the wires in their home to make sure they are undamaged. Exposed or damaged wires offer little resistance to surges and greatly disrupt the flow of currents, increasing the likeliness of a surge to begin with. If your wiring is making a buzzing or vibrating noise, or you notice visible burn marks or burning smells coming from any outlets, be sure to have your wiring checked by an electrician immediately.
T & H Electrical Services provides whole home surge protection along with additional coverage for your phones and computers if desired. Call us at (813) 710-4399 to get started in protecting your home or business from surges.