Every year in the USA, around 51,000 house fires result from electrical problems. So, it’s important to know as much as possible about this vital resource so you can protect yourself.
Power surges are one of the most common electrical phenomena in the US, but are they dangerous?
Find out more about how to identify an electrical power surge and how these events can affect your wellbeing.
What Causes an Electrical Power Surge?
During everyday use, around 120 volts of AC power circulate throughout your home. It’s not a constant flow, though; the voltage can fluctuate between zero and169 volts.
When a power surge occurs, the voltage shoots up to as much as 169 volts.
Various occurrences can cause this massive boost in power supply.
You could experience a power surge from the electric company during grid switching. A malfunction in a nearby transmission line or transformer might also cause an increase in power.
An electrical storm power surge due to a lightning strike is one of the most common and most damaging of all surges. Occasionally, large appliances can cause power surges when you switch them on or off.
Signs of a Power Surge
The most obvious indication of a power surge is when your lights flicker or dim momentarily. Yet, you’re not always awake or at home when these incidents occur.
An acrid burnt smell near an appliance is a sure sign that it’s succumbed to a power surge.
Other devices might display flashing lights or simply stop working. If you mysteriously need to reset a power strip or surge protector, a power surge’s likely to blame.
Can Power Surges Cause Damage?
Excessive voltage passing through your electrical system can cause arcing. This phenomenon creates a lot of heat that damages the circuit boards and other electrical parts of a device.
Massive power surges, like those caused by lighting, will put paid to electrical items immediately. A series of minor spikes may cause small damages that accumulate over time until your appliance stops working.
According to Alba Electric And Remodel Inc., most modern homes have adequate protection from electrical surges. If you live in an older home, you’re more at risk of electrical power surge damage.
If you live in one of these older abodes, the only way to prevent damage or fire from a power spike is with electric power surge protection devices.
A surge protector stops excess electricity from entering your home by diverting it into the ground. There are three main types of surge protectors:
- Whole-house surge suppressors
- Power strips with surge protection
- Transient Voltage Surge Suppressors
If you’re unsure about whether your home has adequate protection, get in touch with a qualified electrician right away to ensure your peace of mind.
Most people have experienced an electrical power surge in their homes before. Unless you’ve undergone serious damage as a result of one, you’re unlikely to spare them a second thought.
Flickering lights can mean that trouble is afoot. Consult an electrician to upgrade your surge protection before it’s too late.