One of the most significant threats to your home's electrical system is a power surge. Not only can surges destroy electronics, but they can potentially cause serious damage to the core wiring in your house. Over time, cumulative wear from repeated smaller power surges can actually ruin your electronics. Understanding why these surges happen can help you protect your home and your electronics.
Why Do Power Surges Happen?
There are many reasons that a power surge might occur, including fluctuations in the power supplied by your utility company. Lightning strikes can also cause power surges. In fact, a lightning strike can cause damaging power surges because of the concentration of energy in the strike.
Power surges can also start in your house. A malfunctioning appliance or even just cycling the power of a major appliance can cause surges. Appliances like refrigerators and central HVAC systems draw enough power that resetting them may lead to a brief power surge in your home's wiring.
How Do You Protect Your House from Power Surge Damage?
When you own your house, it's up to you to be sure that your house and wiring are protected. Here are two things you can do to reduce your risk of power surge damage.
Be Sure Your Wiring is Properly Grounded
There should be a series of copper-capped rods in the ground around the power meter for your home. Attached to the copper cap should be wire. This provides an electrical ground, which serves as a diversion point for excess electrical current in the system. A proper ground wire connection will draw smaller electrical surges away from the wiring and discharge it into the ground. If your wiring isn't properly grounded, call an electrician to take care of it for you.
Add Surge Protection
Surge protectors serve a valuable purpose in terms of creating a barrier between your electronics and electricity surges in your home's wiring. Many residential power strips are equipped with surge protectors integrated into the strip, making them an affordable way to create some protection.
Another surge protection option is to have an electrician replace all of the outlets in your home with surge-protection outlets. These outlets have an integrated surge protector. If you replace every outlet in your home with these surge-protection outlets, you'll create a defense barrier around your whole home.
Electrical surges are a serious concern for homeowners, particularly because they can increase the risk of electrical shorts, which can ultimately cause a structure fire. With the information here, you can not only understand some of the things that cause these surges but also two key ways to protect your home. For more information, contact Baldwin Electric or a similar company.