A power surge can happen when you least expect it. If you’ve never experienced what happens during a power surge firsthand, the results aren’t pretty, and the consequences can be expensive – even lethal. How can you protect yourself and your home from a power surge?
What Is A Power Surge?
As a child, maybe your parents warned you about plugging too many devices into an electrical outlet. Or maybe you were told to turn off and unplug your electronics during a thunderstorm. Though it might sound a bit superstitious, electricity is difficult to control – and lightning is impossible to predict.
Power surges – also called “transient voltages” – happen when too much energy flows through an appliance at one time. They’re fairly common and vary in scale, but at their worst they can overload a device’s hardware and damage it, potentially beyond repair.
When lightning strikes and overloads a generator, an extreme amount of untamed electricity enters your circuit at once. It only takes one lightning-quick instant to crash hard drives and lose valuable hours of work, or permanently fry a circuit board.
What makes power surges dangerous and not just inconvenient is the unpredictable scale of electricity’s power. An overloaded circuit can ignite an electrical fire which must be extinguished in a very specific way or else the danger will only grow.
So What Can I Do?
As far as electrical wiring goes, prevent issues from sneaking up on you by having them inspected regularly. Faulty wiring, wires made of old or outdated materials, and wires that are burnt from overuse or past surges can all pose a hazard.
There are certain measures you, as a consumer, can take to safeguard your electronics. Many appliances that see heavy use throughout the year (such as air conditioners and refrigerators) have energy efficient versions. You might also consider using power strips to better distribute your outlets, or USB ports to protect plugged-in devices in case of a surge.
One of the best preventative measures against power surges is the installation of surge processors. The main breaker between your home’s electrical system and grid is hardwired to the primary surge protector unit, preventing damage that exceeds 40,000 amps. J.D. Patrick Electric offers whole house surge protection backed by alarms and fuses, so you’ll know exactly when one of your devices has experienced a surge.
Electrical surges are scary, but your local experts are here to keep what matters most to you safe from natural disasters. Contact JDP for a quote today.