Electrical appliances like your computer, refrigerator, and smartphone are a need of modern living.
However, an electrical or power surge can seriously harm your devices and appliances. Power surges are more prevalent than you might believe; they are not simply about dramatic lightning bolts blowing out your TV.
Let’s look at the finest safeguards for your home and electrical devices against power surges of all kinds to avert an equipment catastrophe. You will quickly discover that a small investment in home surge protection can go a long way toward protecting both you and your equipment.
What Is a Power Surge?
In the US, the normal domestic wall socket provides 120-volt alternating current (AC) power. An alternating current is just what it sounds like; the voltage fluctuates, or alternates, between 0 and as much as 169 volts. In the US, the majority of electrical products function flawlessly despite these variations.
When the electrical current reaches 169 volts, usually for a very brief period of time, it is referred to as a power surge, also known as a voltage surge or transient voltage. This momentary voltage surplus, though, can harm electrical equipment. Power outages occur regardless of where you reside.
How Do Damage-Inflicting Power Surges Occur?
Electrical devices may experience an arc of current due to a power surge’s increased voltage. The heat produced by the arc inside the device has the potential to harm its circuit boards and other parts.
Smaller surges can also occur, for example when your HVAC system is turned on. Your device might be gradually being harmed by them over time, but one day it might mysteriously stop functioning as a result of a final surge shorting the circuit. The lifespan of a device can be shortened by many years by these hardly perceptible, lesser surges.
On the other side, lightning strikes deliver significant power surges that can rapidly wreak a lot of harm.
What Causes Power Surges?
Power surges can occur in a number of ways. Lightning strikes during thunderstorms are the most dramatic. TV cables, phone lines, or an incoming electrical line are all potential entry points for lightning-generated electricity into your home.
Your home may occasionally experience lighting surges through electricity cables. Every year, around 20 million cloud-to-ground lightning flashes occur in the 48 contiguous states in the U.S., with each flash having between 100 million and 1 billion volts.
Power surges can also occur inside the house. Large, high-powered equipment, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, consume a lot of energy when turned on and off. Sometimes, this energy demand disrupts the normal electricity flow throughout the entire house, resulting in brief internal power surges.
Power surges are occasionally caused by utility providers as well. It’s possible that the companies are attempting to fix a defect or changing the supplies going to the electrical system. Power surges are frequently brought on by supply problems as well.
For instance, when tree limbs come into contact with electricity cables, the electrical system is briefly disrupted. Utility companies run the risk of causing a power surge while fixing these issues.
How Frequently Do Power Surges Occur?
It is impossible to estimate how frequently power surges take place. In contrast to storms and lightning strikes, which cause stronger surges, many smaller surges happen within a home. One reason why American businesses are investing in the national grid is that these greater surges have the potential to also create power disruptions.
What Indicates an Electrical Circuit Is Overloaded?
Electrical circuits that are overloaded may be dangerous. Electrical circuits that are overloaded may be dangerous. Here are some warning signs to be aware of:
- A breaker keeps tripping, cutting off your power supply.
- Note if your lights dim or flicker as you turn on additional appliances and lights.
- Warm-to-the-touch outlets or switches that make buzzing noises.
- A burning odor coming from switches or outlets.
- Devices lacking power.
- When you touch switches, outlets, or other appliances, you feel a tiny electric shock or tingle.
What Indicates a Power Surge Has Occurred?
There are a number of indicators that an appliance has been hit by a power surge:
- The gadget’s clock or lights are flashing, it’s off, or it doesn’t work at all.
- The area around the device or power source smells scorched and unpleasant.
- It could be necessary to restart a surge protector or power strip.
What About Power Surges and Insurance?
If certain requirements are met, your home insurance policy may pay for power surge damage charges up to a particular limit. These circumstances can include the manner and identity of the damage’s perpetrators, the existence of adequate power surge safety precautions, and more.
Before purchasing any policy, you must carefully study the terms and conditions of your house insurance. Find out from your insurer whether, how much, and under what circumstances you are protected against power surges. You might be covered by one of the many insurers’ specialized power surge, personal property, or equipment failure coverage policies.
Check the claim limits in detail as well. Surge-protected homes may not be covered by all insurers, so carefully review each policy. There are many things you may do to safeguard your house and electrical equipment before a power surge happens.
For example, installing the appropriate surge protection in your home can reduce the need for you to rely on an insurance claim.
All in All
Your home and electronic equipment are vulnerable to significant harm from power surges. You can prevent both immediate harm and long-term wear and tear to your property by installing surge prevention systems. Watch video about electrical surge coverage form first energy.
You can save money, ensure the safety of your electrical equipment, and experience more peace of mind by investing in surge protection systems. Electricity can possibly cause damage to both large and small items in a fraction of a second, costing money and causing hassle in the process.
We hope you now have a better understanding of how to prevent and deal with power surges.