You may have experienced scenarios when a thunderstorm hits your neighborhood and lightning strikes nearby; the power cuts out for a second. However, when you try to switch your TV, computer, or another device, they don’t seem to work.
Electric surges are quite common and can instantly overload and shorten the circuity of house electronics, and everything else plugged into the wall. This can cause permanent damage and eventually cost you a lot of money.
You can always resort to hiring a commercial electrician who can advise you on how to protect your devices, or you can follow these tips and tricks and save money on repairs.
How can electrical surge cause damage?
According to some statistics, the majority of homes in the U.S. use alternating current, single phase, and power in the form of 120-volt, 60 hertz. However, this voltage tends to oscillate, while falling and rising in predetermined rhythm, from 0 to 169 volts. Luckily, most devices used in the U.S. are designed to operate in this manner.
When a power surge occurs, the voltage exceeds the peak of 169 volts, which causes the malfunction of your electronics.
What causes a power surge?
In most cases, a power surge is a result of lightning, but it can also happen when an electric utility company switches the grid. Additionally, when large appliances such as refrigerator motor or air conditioning devices keep turning on and off, it can cause a power surge within your home.
If you are wondering how power surge can enter your home, well, there are several pathways, and you should be able to stop them if you act on time. For instance, in the case of lightning, a power surge can enter through cable TV, satellite dish, phone line, or through some other electrical service line.
How to protect your home against power surge?
Proper multi-layer surge protection is all you need. First of all, the protection needs to be installed between your home’s power meter and street power line. Next, the whole house protection should be placed between the meter and the breaker box. And, last but not least, it is crucial to install point-of-use protection in all wall outlets.
In addition to previous layers of protection, it’s essential to ensure proper grounding. If you don’t have appropriately grounded outlets and home, all excess energy has nowhere to go.
Unplug devices during the storm
When lightning strikes, most of your electrical appliances and devices can die. Therefore, it’s essential to unplug them during the storm. This is the easiest and fastest way to protect your electronics from damage.
On the other hand, you could inspect your wiring because wires that are exposed or damaged don’t provide much resistance and disrupt the flow of current. To identify faulty wiring, you will notice buzzing sounds from outlets, often circuit breaks, and unpleasant smells and visible burning marks coming from outlets.
Once you apply all these recommendations, you home will be finally safe.