The silent culprits behind the damage to our expensive home electronics, Power Surges really are more dangerous than they may seem. The unexpected increase or sudden spikes in voltage are what are known as Power Surges. They are oftentimes also referred to as electrical surges.
There are plenty of reasons why power surges occur. They sometimes occur once in a while or even multiple times in a single day – there is no knowing honestly, and that is why our home electronic devices are prone to fall victim to this pesky phenomenon.
Common Causes of Power Surges
During thunderstorms or when there is excessive lightning right before, you would find your parents franticly trying to unplug electronics around the house – the TV and sound system, the expensive lamp in the hallway, kitchen appliances and all that. Why is that though, did you ever think? Well, it is because during these scenarios, lightning can enter our homes through electrical lines, sending massive amounts of voltage through the household, into power outlets and in turn damaging anything that’s plugged in – even something as small as a phone charger.
- Certain Electronic Appliances
Heavy-duty appliances like air conditioners, dishwashers, dryers, including some kitchen appliances like microwaves and blenders for instance, can trigger a power surge on their own. Hairdryers too sometimes – that is why you would find that hotels tend to have their own installed within bathrooms to avoid any problems.
How do they trigger power surged though? Well, when switching on these selective electronic appliances, it usually leads to an abrupt, excessive inflow of voltage, given that they require a higher amount because of the machinery itself. With the abrupt and excessive inflow of voltage, it can sometimes trigger a power surge that can damage the device itself.
- Faulty Wiring
Wiring is what gets electricity to be distributed around a building or a home. In a case where the wiring is faulty, or old because some homes and buildings date back to over 30, 40 years – these can trigger power surges.
But how do we know there is faulty wiring if we can’t see it? There are some telltale signs for you to figure out whether the wiring within the walls or behind power outlets have a problem. The first sign is a burning smell or burn marks around the outlet ports where you would plug a device in.
Another sign is a subtle but audible buzzing sound coming from the outlet, regardless of whether a device is plugged in or not. Lastly, constant tripping of the circuit breaker is also an indication of faulty or old wiring. In this case you may have to call in a professional electrician to gather your options to solve this problem.
- Power Blackouts
Power blackouts don’t happen on the frequent, but they can definitely cause some power surges that are damage worthy. That is because when the main power supply from a grid station is switched back on, there is an immediate flow of voltage into the electrical system.
An influx of that electrical voltage can potentially damage any electronic device or appliance that is plugged in. And the damage could either land you in hundreds of dollars worth of repair bills, or replace devices altogether which can also be expensive especially if it has to do with appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, Televisions, etc.
- Overloaded Circuits
Something as simple as an overloaded circuit can trigger a power surge. When devices are plugged into external power extension cords, or an external multi-plug, there can sometimes be a power surge if, let’s say one device requires more voltage compared to the rest. So plugging in your hairdryer in the same extension cord as your laptop charger is not a good combination at all – one of them must be unplugged while the other is in use, otherwise there is bound to be some damage.
How to Protect Electronics from Power Surges
There are ways to protect your home’s electronic devices from the damage caused by power surges. Here’s how.
Using Surge Protectors
A power surge protector is one that resembles power extension cords, only that they are more expensive and come with built in circuit breakers that ground the extra voltage instead of letting it pass onto the devices that are plugged in.
Surge protectors aren’t exactly a long-term solution to protecting your electronics but they usually last between 3 to 5 years which is good enough when it comes to protection for electronics.
Subscribing To Surge Coverage Plans
A surge coverage plan is like insurance against power surges, to put it into simple words. With subscriptions to these plans, any device that is damaged due to a power surge is eligible for repair and replacement, with no cost born by the customer whatsoever. These plans can cover anything from computers and laptops, to TV’s and Gaming consoles, kitchen appliances and even smart devices.
Power surges can be very lethal to electronics within our homes, dragging us down into repairment bills and sudden replacements at times that can take a big dip into our monthly expenses or savings as well. There are no sure ways to avoid a power surge because they occur at random. The best thing we can do is protect our electronics from further damage as much as is in our control.