Power surges and spikes in the home can be harmful to the electrical system, connected devices, and even people and pets indoors. When electricity is involved, it’s important to know how to stay safe. The licensed Atlanta electricians of Estes Services share how to prevent power surges to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your belongings in the event of a spike in electrical power or a sudden power surge.
What Causes a Power Surge or Spike?
When power surges come to mind, many homeowners mistakenly believe lightning strikes pose the biggest risk of this event. While lightning hitting your home during a storm can certainly cause electricity to surge and spike in the electrical system, storms aren’t responsible for most of the surges that occur in the average home.
Between 60 to 80 percent of power surges impacting a home start from an internal source, not lightning strikes. When electrical appliances and devices with compressors and motors start and stop, they can disrupt the flow of electricity to other devices plugged into the circuit or elsewhere in the home. This event causes electricity to flow through the system at a higher voltage than what it can handle, causing an arc which creates heat that can harm electrical components and devices.
While lightning strikes are able to generate large power surges that can instantly fry electronics and appliances, this type of event is less common. Power surges and spikes can also result due to outdated electrical system components – homes built pre-1980 that have never had upgrades to the electrical system likely have aluminum wiring installed, which is known to loosen over time and lead to surges in power.
Protection Against Power Spikes and Surges
Fortunately, there are things homeowners can do to protect themselves and prevent a power surge as well as the resulting damage.
- Upgrade old electrical systems. Have old aluminum wiring replaced with the copper wiring that is standard today. If switches and outlets become damaged, have them replaced.
- Protect the cords of plugged-in electronic devices from damage. Inspect cords before you plug in a device – if you see power surge damage, have the cord repaired before using the item again or replace the item altogether.
- Unplug electronics and electrical devices if you are at risk of experiencing a lightning strike. The power surge from such a hit is so powerful, no surge protector will be able to safely handle the increased voltage and properly protect your home and items.
- Use point-of-use surge protectors to protect electronics and devices at their point of use. Be sure to replace them every three to five years or after any major power surge in the home.
- Have a licensed electrician install a whole home surge protection system to safeguard the home’s entire electrical system and all connected equipment. These whole home systems provide far more coverage than point-of-use devices and are capable of protecting against larger electrical surges of power. Plus, they last longer, too!
Contact Estes Services for Power Surge Protection
Increase the protection inside your Atlanta area home and gain a way to protect your home’s electrical system and all connected items from damaging power surges and spikes. Estes Services has a team of licensed Georgia electricians who can safely install protection for your entire home – contact us today to request more information.