A power surge is simply a surge of electrical power that is too high. Most electrical devices in the United States use about 120 volts of power, and many appliances can tolerate a surge of up 169 volts. When hundreds or thousands of volts are forced through, an appliance can be damaged, sometimes beyond repair. Here are ways to prevent your appliances from being “fried” by a power surge.
Invest in a Surge Protector
A surge protector is not just a power bar. A power bar gives you more outlets that can be plugged into a circuit. A surge protector also has a circuit breaker. Some power bars do come with surge protection, and they’ll have a label that tells you so. It should also tell you how much protection the surge protection gives through its suppressed voltage rating.
There are three main types of surge protection. One is the point-of-use protection that you can have in a power bar/surge protector. The other two protect your whole house. One protects your electrical system from surges between your home and the outside power lines, and the other protects your home between your meter and circuit box.
Another aspect of surge protection is to make sure that your home and your outlets are grounded properly. If you’re not sure of this, call in a professional electrician to check.
Have Wiring Checked and Repaired
Winter is a good time to have your electrical wiring checked and repaired if necessary. Having your wiring checked is especially important if you hear buzzing sounds, your lights flicker, your circuit breaker or fuses keep tripping or burning out, or you notice the smell of burnt plastic.
Get Rid of Old Appliances
Old, energy-wasting appliances can actually lead to power surges if all of them are being plugged in and used at the same time. The holidays are the time of the year when you may have many appliances such as your fridge, stove, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and microwave oven running concurrently. Buy new, energy-efficient appliances to lower the risk of power surges.
Unplug and Switch Off Your Appliances
An obvious way to avoid power surges is to simply unplug or switch off the appliances that you don’t need. Appliances and devices that may need to be unplugged as opposed to just switched off include anything that works by remote control. Even when these appliances or devices are “off,” they’re still using the energy that allows them to respond to your remote control in the first place.
Learn More About How to Protect Your Home From Power Surges
You can’t do much about a lightning strike or a snow or ice storm that damages power lines. However, there are things you can do inside your home to protect your electrical system and the appliances that depend on it. For more information about surge protection, contact the electricians at Allstate Electric in Bentonville, AR.