A power surge occurs when there is a significant increase in the amount of power flowing to an outlet or an appliance. Homeowners often contact electricians to address damage caused by these overloads. Here are four reasons surges happen and how to prevent them.
What Creates Power Surges?
1. Electrical Outages
The electricity in your home may temporarily shut off because of a power station failure, damaged lines, or severe storms. When the power is restored, your area may experience a surge because of the energy intensity.
Homes usually have 120 volts and 60-hertz current, but it may jump to 169 volts during a surge. This overflow can heat electrical circuits and fry the inner workings of anything plugged in.
Add surge protectors into the wall before plugging in important devices, like computers and appliances, to limit voltage capacity. The devices have a voltage-sensitive valve that redirects extra power during a surge, preventing it from sending the item or appliance too much power. Use surge protectors for appliances like computers and washers to protect expensive devices and data.
2. Devices That Need a Lot of Power
Appliances like air conditioners, washers, dryers, and fridges require a lot of electricity. As they cycle on, these devices draw a lot of voltage, taking power used by other appliances that need less power like light fixtures.
When these devices turn off, they quickly restore power to everything else on the circuit, creating a surge. Have an electrician create dedicated circuits for high-power appliances to prevent them from affecting other electrical items.
These 20-amp receptacles feature outlets that look like a sideways T instead of an 11. They transport power from the electrical panel to one outlet or device, preventing that item’s power use from affecting other parts of the home.
3. Wiring Problems
You may notice circuit breakers tripping and outlets buzzing if the wiring is faulty. Pests or construction can expose wires, preventing electrical resistance, and spiking the power if a conductive material like metal is nearby.
Contact an electrician immediately if you smell burning or notice char marks on outlets as these are common signs of wiring problems that cause power surges.
Lightning can pass through the electrical system and surpass surge protectors because it may have up to one billion volts of electricity. Consider unplugging essential appliances, like computers, during a storm to protect them from this natural energy. An electrician can install a grounding system for your home to prevent damage from surges by redirecting power to protect the wiring.
Home- and business owners who need an electrician to address power surges should schedule an appointment with E-Con Electric, Inc. in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. The company has been in business since 1970, offering commercial and residential electrician work for lighting, HVAC, and other appliances. Call the Wood County location at (715) 423-8440 or visit the website to set up an estimate.