Power Surges - What Are They, and How to Protect Yourself

Power Surges - What Are They, and How to Protect Yourself - Image 1


You’ve probably experienced a power surge, whether it was during a storm or when you plugged just one too many things into an outlet. But do you really know what’s happening when they occur? Let’s go over the what, where, when, and why of power surges - and how to prevent them.


What (is a power surge)?


A power surge is a burst of high voltage electricity that flows through the wiring in your home or business and can cause a ton of damage.


When (are you likely to see a power surge)?


A power surge can happen anytime, but they’re common during extreme weather, since lightning strikes anywhere near a power line can increase voltage to your home. Even heat waves or blizzards can cause them, because the sudden influx of power coming back on after an outage can overload your circuits.


Where (do you see the effects of a power surge)?


The most common thing you’ll see in a power surge is a blown breaker or a POP when you plug in something that draws a lot of current. If you’re not using a surge protector, you can wreck electronics or even burn out power outlets with a surge. You could even start an electrical fire.


Why (do power surges occur)?


Other than the weather mentioned above, there are a few common causes of power surges. Damaged wiring from poor installation or even wild animals chewing it is one cause. Even a simple overloaded circuit can cause one, especially if you plug in something that draws a lot of energy.


How (do I protect against power surges)?


Map your breakers. Know how many outlets are powered by one circuit and make sure no single circuit is carrying too much of the load.


Install surge protectors. A whole home/office surge protector can protect you from surges between the power lines and the building, but individual units at outlets can protect against surges within the building.


Inspect your wiringIf you’ve noticed regular surges with no known cause, it might be an issue with faulty wiring. Call an electrician for help!


Power surges are a big deal, but there’s a lot you can do to safeguard your home, business, and possessions against the effects. Call today to schedule an appointment and talk about your options.


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Grand Bay Electric
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Kentwood, MI 49512
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