Power surges – you probably know they can trigger a circuit breaker and shut off electricity to your house, but do you know what causes them, or how they can potentially damage electrical equipment around your home? Most households experience power surges at some point. So here’s what you can do to recognize the dangers and protect your home from electrical damage.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES OF A POWER SURGE?
Power surges can be caused by a number of elements, most of them within your control:
High-powered major appliances can cause power spikes when powered on. A component of a major appliance, like a motor, can also cause a power spike when activated. This can affect other electrical appliances around the home. Examples of these devices include refrigerators, air conditioners, and space heaters.
Tripped circuit breakers might protect your home, but if they are damaged in the process, they can become a power surge risk.
Bad or faulty wiring is a cause of many power surges. Bad wiring needs to be replaced. Consult with a professional electrician if you think your wiring is faulty.
Tree limbs can touch power lines and cause power surges, by growing to and touching a live power line, by being moved into live lines by the wind, or by breaking off in bad weather. Take pictures of any trees that look like they may damage power lines and notify your local electric utility immediately.
Animals can get into electrical equipment like transformers and cause a power surge, often electrocuting themselves in the process.
Restoration of power after a blackout can cause power surges as electricity flows back into all your appliances at once. If you experience a blackout, turn off all your equipment at the breaker box and unplug major appliances not protected by surge protectors. After power is restored, plug in each appliance one by one to bring them back online. Lightning strikes are unpredictable occurrences that can cause great amounts of property and personal damage. If you live in a rural location or area where the metal in your home can attract lightning strikes, you need to install one or more lightning rods near your home.
TIPS in KEEPING YOUR HOME SAFE FROM POWER SURGES
There are a number of measures you can take to minimize the risk of power surges in your home. Here are a few:
Phone line protection – Reduce the risk of damage to your home's landline phone.
Surge protection at the end of expensive appliances – Avoid using poorly made appliances or appliances in severe disrepair. These unsafe appliances can damage other appliances or cause a fire.
Quality safety switches – Don’t settle for cheap power plugs. Use high-quality equipment to protect your appliances.
Service provider protection – Notify your electric utility of any risks you observe outside that can lead to power issues.
Unplug appliances, not in use – This is the best way to ensure your risks are minimal, as well as save money on the power bill.
Protecting your home from damages due to power surges involves measures that are easy to implement. Power surges can quickly travel into anything that conducts electrical current, including home wiring and copper plumbing, damaging appliances connected to these lines. Expert knowledge is perhaps the best protection against power surges in the home. Contact a professional electrician to find out how you can protect your home and electrical equipment from damage due to electrical surges. Or give us a call today.
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