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What Happens During A Power Surge

What Happens During A Power Surge

A power surge is a sudden increase of voltage that significantly exceeds the standard 120-volt flow of electricity that normally enters your home or building. As it shoots through the lines, it can cause tremendous damage to electronics, appliances, even your HVAC equipment.

Power surges can carry thousands, even tens of thousands of volts into your home’s wiring. That’s enough to crash your computer, fry a circuit board, ruin your home movie theater, and shut your HVAC equipment down permanently.

While they can occur in a variety of ways, one of the most common is through a bolt of lightning. Imagine lightning striking a utility pole, sending a wave of voltage into a nearby home. In seconds, it can burn out the appliances in the kitchen, fry the motherboards on the home computers, take out the power switches throughout the home. It can even start a fire, leaving tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage in its wake.

Not all power surges are alike. How they impact your home depends on what causes the surge in the first place.

Lightning – lightning causes the most powerful surges that move through your home. If conditions are right, a lightning strike within a mile of your home can send as much as 200,000 amps through your 20-amp wiring, burning and melting all around it.

Downed power lines – harsh storms can also take down power lines, which change the pattern of the electrical circuits and cause surges depending on the situation. Voltage can fluctuate wildly, causing sporadic surges until the electricity goes out.

Internal fluctuations – changes in electricity can happen for a variety of reasons. Powering on and off high-energy appliances can cause a surge. So can a sudden burst of usage in one area of your home. Light may suddenly flicker, but in most cases you rarely realize they occur. However, even these small fluctuations will eventually take their toll, causing problems with your appliance, and eventually with your wiring.

The first step in home protection is to make sure your appliances and electronic devices are adequately protected. Choose power strips with adequate surge protection to create the first line of defense against any internal fluctuation that may occur within your home.

The second step is to install a whole house surge protection system. This system acts as a buffer for voltage that slips by power strips, creating a protection system that covers all electrical appliances throughout your home. It brings peace of mind no matter that your home and your family are well protected.

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