What Causes Power Surges at Home?

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What Causes Power Surges in Your Home?

A sudden power surge can leave your electronics and appliances fried. You might think you know about power surges. You may even plan to buy power surge protection. That’s a great idea, especially during our whole-house surge protection special.

How much do you really know about these bursts of power? How much damage can they cause? Read on to learn more.

What Exactly Is a Power Surge?

To understand what happens in a power surge, let’s look at how the power company normally delivers current to your home. Most homes run on 120-volt, 60-hertz, single-phase, alternating current.

Your home’s appliances and electronics don’t receive power at a steady 120 volts. During normal delivery, the alternating current delivers varying amounts of voltage. The amount can be as low as 0 and as high as 169.

During a power surge, the current hits the peak voltage of 169 in every circuit. This overloads the circuits and shuts down your power.

What Causes This Shift to Happen?

Several things can trigger a power surge.

Overloaded circuits. Are you trying to run too many outlets on one circuit? You could also be overloading the circuit. This can happen when you plug too many high-voltage appliances into one circuit. If you frequently experience power surges, ask an electrician to look at your circuits and outlets.

Power company outage. When the power company loses power, your house does too. When the power comes back on, it can sometimes come on too quickly. To be on the safe side, unplug some of your electric appliances or devices during a power outage.

Damaged wiring. If your wiring is old, worn out or fraying, it won’t be strong enough to deliver current correctly. You should replace old wiring to prevent power surges and fire risks.

Tripped circuit breakers. If your circuit breaker trips, you might experience a power surge when the power comes back. You may need to replace the circuit breaker after it trips.

Lightning. Lightning storms frequently cause power surges. Lightning hitting a power line can send high voltage into your wires. If you’re using electronics during a storm, consider unplugging them and using battery power.

How Does a Power Surge Enter the Home?

A power surge can come from several sources. It can travel from the power lines into your home’s wiring. It can start in your house. It can also travel through your cable and satellite lines.

Are All Power Surges Instant Overloads?

No. Small, recurring spikes in power can also happen. These can damage any appliances or electronics that are getting an overload of voltage. The small spikes may not be enough to shut them down, but they are enough to cause wear and tear on your devices’ electric parts.

What’s the Best Way to Protect Your Home Against Power Surges?

Use surge protectors. Surge protectors are the best line of defense against a power surge. Surge protectors use Joule ratings to show how many electrical spikes they can handle. To protect your valuable devices, look for surge protectors rated 600 Joules or higher.

Unplug during a storm. Lightning can send millions of volts to your wires. Even a good surge protector might not be able to cope with that. If you’re working on a computer or watching TV during a lightning storm, consider unplugging your devices until the danger of lightning is over.

Get your circuits and outlets inspected. An inspection of your circuits, outlets, and wiring can pinpoint any weaknesses in your system. Get a thorough electrical inspection now to prevent future problems.

Check Out Our Whole-House Surge Protection Special

SESCOS is offering a great special on whole-house surge protection. We’re offering two options that both include quick, noninvasive installation by a professional electrician. Call us today to get protected before the next surge hits.

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