Any household that uses electronic devices and appliances should be prepared to deal with a power surge. Our lives are increasingly more reliant on modern technology. That means we are consuming more energy daily. This works fine most of the time. However, occasionally, there are instances where power fluctuates. This can potentially damage the electronic devices we rely on.
What Happens During a Power Surge?
A power surge happens when something causes a boost of energy along the power line. This can increase current that flows into your outlets. Common power surge causes include:
- Utility company switching power grids or experiencing problems with equipment
- Lightning strikes near a power line, boosting electrical pressure
- High-power devices like refrigerators, air conditioners, and heaters switching on
- Faulty wiring that needs to be repaired or updated
The severity of the power surge will depend on what caused it and how much energy is generated. For example, lightning strikes can produce millions of volts of pressure. They are strong enough to burn out routers, computer monitors, and televisions. A power surge caused by a device or appliance is not likely to be nearly as severe as one caused by lightning. It may not be as strong, but it can still be damaging.
What Should I Do After a Power Surge?
The first thing you should do is disconnect and reset all electronic devices. Once everything is unplugged, you can reset the circuit breaker. This should restore power back to normal functionality, assuming there isn’t a widespread outage.
Next, you should assess your home to check for any damage. Inspect all electronics and appliances. You should turn them off and on one at a time to ensure that everything is still working. Also, reset your HVAC system and have someone inspect it for damage.
How Can I Protect My Home from Power Surges?
The good news is that there are steps you can take now to protect your home and valuables from power surges.
First, keep all trees and foliage trimmed back from your home and power lines. Branches can touch or grow onto power lines, which can lead to power surges. Keeping them back will help reduce the risk. Talk to your utility company if limbs are too close to power lines and equipment to trim safely.
You can unplug small devices when not in use. If they aren’t connected to a power source, then they won’t be damaged in the event of a surge. Also, evaluate your home’s wiring and electronic components. Older properties may need an update. An aging electrical system can be dangerous.
Make sure you have quality surge protectors in use, especially connected to your high-end electronic devices like sound systems, computers, and televisions. Use a product that is specifically rated for this purpose and not just a basic power board. A surge protector that provides 600 Joules or higher is ideal.
Keep in mind that even with a surge protector, electronics can be damaged in the event of an extreme power surge, like one caused by lightning. The best course of action is to unplug expensive devices when you know a storm is coming. Taking these precautions can protect your home and help you save money on replacement appliances.