If you’re like most people, you consider your household electronic devices to be essential to your overall quality of life. You use them to communicate with family and friends, to keep current on world events, and to relax while watching a good movie, sporting event, or other entertainment. You may use them for work, and if you’ve got children in school, they undoubtedly rely on electronic devices for doing homework. If you’re like many consumers, you’ve also got smart appliances such as stoves, washing machines, and refrigerators in your home that depend on computerized technology.
You probably don’t put much thought into these devices until something goes wrong and they aren’t functioning as they should. Few things are more frustrating than discovering that your television doesn’t work right before you settle down with a plate of chicken wings and a cold beer to watch the big game, or finding out that your smart stove won’t heat up when you’re planning on preparing a nice home cooked meal.
Power surges are often the culprits behind these scenarios. Here’s what you need to know about them:
Power Surges Have Many Sources
Power surges are generally associated with atmospheric electrical storms when lightning strikes cause brief jolts of elevated voltage. Naturally, the first line of defense is to unplug all electronic devices at the first sign of a storm if you happen to be home at the time, but this isn’t always practical. Keep in mind that even devices that are switched off can be irreparably damaged by power surges if they’re plugged in. Household fires are another potential hazard caused by power surges, and they can also damage your wiring and outlets.
However, power surges can be caused by other things besides electrical storms. For instance, having too many devices plugged into the same outlet may lead to surges because it causes it to become overloaded. If you suspect this may be the case in your home, a qualified electrician can perform an inspection to determine whether an electrical upgrade is in order. Other possible causes include:
Damaged wiring frequently occurs in homes where mice and rats have accessed the inside of the walls. If parts of the wall feel hot to the touch, or if you smell smoke but can’t figure out where it’s coming from, there’s a good possibility that you’ve got this problem.
Power outages happen for a variety of reasons, such as vehicle accidents involving power poles or a high windstorm that knocks down power lines. The outage itself isn’t dangerous to your devices — the damage occurs as a result of the massive bursts of energy that occur when the power comes back on.
High-Powered HVAC Systems
If you notice lights flickering when your furnace or air conditioning unit kicks on, that means that your system is causing power surges. Even if they’re minor, they may damage your electronics over time.
Besides making sure your wiring is in good order and your appliances and devices aren’t overloading your circuits, surge protection strategies including using point-of-use surge suppressors combined with a good grounding system and using individual surge protectors in tandem with electrical panel protectors or service entrance surge protectors.
Please feel free to contact Express Electrical Services for more information on how to prevent power surges.