Technology

What are the Risks of Power Surges?

A power surge may harm your electric devices. It’s important to keep them protected.

Maybe you’ve heard this before: A thunderstorm strikes. The power went off for a few seconds, then it returned. You try to turn ON your TV, all to no avail.

A power surge can trigger an instant short out of the home’s appliances or any device plugged into the socket. Or even, possibly degrade these devices. Having the right knowledge of how a surge works and the basics of power surge protection can help you save some bucks while keeping your electronics safe.

What are the possible risks of a power surge?

Voltage spikes can pose a harmful threat to your home’s devices and electrical appliances. A sudden voltage increase above the typical operating voltage can result in a spike in the applied electrical current.  Plus, the heat during the sudden increase can damage the appliance components like the circuit board.

A small, concurrent power surge may be responsible for the sudden shutdown of your TV. The small surges may be steadily damaging your electronic compost until it eventually erodes. In a nutshell, a power surge cuts down the lifespan of a home appliance.

What are the causes of a power surge?

A power surge may occur from a power utility company especially when switching power grids. Powerful Lightning is another cause of power surge. A power surge may also occur when high-end appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners switch on or switch off.

There are lots of pathways for a power surge to enter the home. For example, lighting can enter via satellite cable, TV cables, or even through landlines.

Sure-fire ways to prevent power surges

Combining surge protective devices, also called SPD’s and great grounding systems should have your devices and appliances protected from power surges. A surge protective device won’t trap the surge, it only diverts its energy to the earth (the ground).

Some SPDs look like the typical plug strip. But unless confirmed, it’s pointless to assume that your plug strip is an SPD.

Some dedicated electrical outlets protect against an electrical surge. You can mostly find these surge protection outlets in areas with no plugin surge protector, like near the microwave oven.

The two-tiered portion

Point-of-use devices offer protection to some devices (but not all) in the home. A better way to protect against surges is to use point-of-use devices in combination with other devices such as the electrical panel surge or the service entrance surge protector. The two tiers of protection offer better protection against surges.

Service entrance surge protector devices are usually positioned in areas with the primary electrical panel or at the electric metre’s base.

A service entrance surge protection device protects the complete electrical system, safeguarding appliances like light switches, motors, outlets, lights, and other ‘plugless’ items at home.

And if the surge is caused by power irregularity from utility providers or lightning, the service entrance surge protection device can minimize the power surge to the barest minimum before it reaches the point-of-use surge protection device.

You’ll need the service of an electrician to perform a service entrance surge suppression device installation.

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