What is a power surge?
Power surges are generally an ephemeral wave of current, voltage or power within an electrical circuit, and happen when the electricity flow is interrupted then started again, when something sends electricity flowing back to the system.
Common Causes within your home
More than half of household’s power surges are caused due to factors within the home, and these are known as internal power surges. Internal power surges occur when devices or appliances with motors start up and shut down, this diverts the electrically to and from other devices or appliances.
External powers surges take place when the cause comes from outside of your home, for example a tree branch touching a power line, or lightning striking a transformer. Surges often occur when the power comes back on following an outage, and it is possible for it to come into your home through the telephone or cable tv lines.
- Overloaded outlets or circuits
Check all areas of your home where a power board is being used, make sure it is not overloaded and that the wires are not tangled. If you are using too many power boards perhaps an upgrade of your electrical plan is required to add more power points to avoid the use of too many power boards.
- Damaged or Exposed Wires
If you have any damaged wiring or exposed wiring this needs to be attended to immediately. This may be causing the wiring to fail and therefor causing a power surge as the electricity that is flowing through it is not being directed to the correct location. Exposed and damaged wires are also a huge fire hazard.
- Lightning Strikes
Lightning need only touch down near a power line to lead to an extra spike in electrical voltage. Everyday appliances like Foxtel boxes, lamps, and TV’s do not stand a chance of surviving a power surge caused by a lightning strike, unless you have a power surge protector on your home.
- High powered Electrical Devices
High energy appliances or machines, like refrigerators, air conditioners can cause energy spikes and power surges. This occurs when you switch them on as they are drawing large amounts of power to activate and as the extra power travels along the circuit it can overpower other appliances within the same circuit.
- Power Outages
When your power has experienced an outage, you will notice that when the lights come back on, they may seem a little brighter than before. This is because there is a huge burst of energy and then as other lights, appliances in your home and neighbourhood switch back on it will gradually go back down to the correct wattage/voltage as before.
How to avoid a surge
A simple surge protector that you plug in to the wall at the outlet, is a very quick and easy solution. If the power was to spike, then that protector would divert the excess energy into its grounding wire.
One of the comprehensive ways to protect your appliances is to install a surge arrestor. This will protect all electrical circuits in your entire house.
One of the best procedures you can do within your home, that does not require an Electrician, is to unplug all appliances and devices that are not being used.
Are they dangerous?
Power surges are capable of damaging and destroy appliances and devices, and in worst case scenarios, can start fires.
Getting help and protecting your home
The best way to avoid or prevent a power surge is be proactive, by placing surge protectors at power points, which is a great cost effective and quick solution. If you would like to look at protecting the entire house, then having a whole home, or building protector installed by an Electrician would be the best form of defence. Powered Electrical & Data can help keep you and your family or business safe from power surges, contact us today for more information and for a free onsite quotation.