A power surge is a spike in electricity that overloads electronic devices and electrical wiring. Power surges can occur from a source within your home, and from a malfunction in the power grid. Electrical surge protectors work by diverting any excess electricity that exceeds a certain voltage away from either entering your home or reaching any electrical devices.
Power Surge Causes
Power surges are broken up into two varieties: internal or in home power surges and external power surges.
In Home Power Surge
Power surges are most commonly caused by the malfunction and shorting of electronics inside your home. When electrical devices blow a fuse or short a circuit, excess electricity begins to build up on the electrical loop which can cause damage to electrical devices on the same circuit breaker. Luckily, with newer and safer electrical standards like GFCI outlets, grounding wires, and electrical circuit breakers it is less likely an in house power surge will cause severe damage.
External Power Surge
Lightning strikes and power grid failures are a less common cause of power surges, however, they’re far more deadly and damaging when they occur. Rather than affecting one circuit breaker loop in your home, lighting strikes will affect your whole home’s wiring, appliances, and electronics. The best way to combat from external power surges is to install a whole house surge protector. A whole house surge protector will stop excess electricity before it enters into your home.
Damage Caused By Power Surges
Power surges are incredibly dangerous to your home, not only because they cause a risk of electrocution, but also because they can lead to electrical fires, fry electrical wiring, and cause electrical devices and appliances to short. Fixing the damage caused by a power surge can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and can also lead to the loss of important computer files, photos, and documents.
Replacing your home’s wiring, electrical fixtures, and appliances are a costly and time intensive process that can all be diverted by investing in a whole house surge protection system.
Whole House Surge Protectors
Whole house surge protectors are installed at your electrical service panel and work as a protection from external power surges. Any surges that start from rolling blackouts, lighting strikes, or issues with the power grid will be diverted to a grounding wire rather than entering into your home.
GFCI Surge Protection
A ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI outlets are a great addition to a home especially in rooms like kitchens, bathrooms, and garages where short circuits and malfunctions are more likely to occur. GFCI outlets will stop the flow of electricity when a short circuit or any sort of electrical issue is detected. GFCI outlets are now required by electrical code in bathrooms because they can stop the flow of electricity in fractions of a second which could save you from water caused electrocutions.
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