Electrical Surge…What is it and why should I care?

Do you know what an electrical surge is? If you have ever experienced one, then you know the devastating effects that one can have.

According to Nema Surge Protection Institute, “In general a surge is a transient wave of current, voltage or power in an electric circuit.”

In other words, it is an oversupply of power for a short period of time, often a second or less.

What causes Surges?

Surges can be caused by several things but some of the common reasons include…

  • Damaged or Exposed Wiring
  • Lightning Strikes…your home or business does not have to be directly hit by a lightning strike to experience a surge. A Lightning strike near you can cause a surge.
  • Power Outages…Typically the power going out will not cause a surge, but when the power is restored the surge can happen.
  • Air Conditioners, refrigerators and other appliances that pull a lot of power can cause a surge when they turn on, especially if there is faulty wiring within your home or business.

What are the effects of Surges?

Surges can “damage, degrade or destroy electronic equipment within any home, commercial building, industrial, or manufacturing facility.” (Nema)

Just think about this for a minute…look around your home at everything that is plugged in? Don’t forget things like your washer/dryer, refrigerator and heating/cooling system.

Now add up what it would cost to replace all the electronics in your home? 

Could you afford to replace all this if you experienced an electrical surge and it destroyed all or a majority of your electronics?

What can I do to prevent losing everything?

You might be overwhelmed at this point thinking of the cost to replace everything in your home if you experience a surge. You might also be wondering if there is anything that you can do to protect your home from a surge?

We don’t want you to be overwhelmed because yes, there is something that you can do.

To start, you can install power strips that contain surge protection (note…not all power strips have surge protection) for as many electronics as possible, such as your TV and computer.

But what about things where you can not install a power strip…Washer/Drayer, Refrigerator, etc.?

You can also install a Whole Home Surge Protection Device.

There are various types of Whole Home Surge Protection devices ranging from thousands of dollars to a few hundred dollars. These devices are panel specific and can be installed at your panel to “reduce surges that might otherwise overwhelm plug strips and damaged connected household equipment.” These devices can also provide “surge suppression for important items that are not compatible with plug strips such as washer, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, and lighting.” (Schneider Electric)

Want to find out more?

We would love to talk to you about your options for installing surge protection at your home or business. Give us a call at 717.392.0804 or Contact Us.