What is a power surge? A power surge is an unexpected and temporary increase in current or voltage in an electrical circuit. 

There are many reasons a surge can occur starting from outside or inside your home, including electrical overload and faulty wiring, or as the result of power restoration efforts during a power grid switching or a lightning strike.

When a surge occurs, sudden jolts of electricity can carry thousands of volts of electricity through your home, damaging appliance and other electronics.

Signs of a power surge

Common signs that may indicate your appliances or electronic device has suffered from a surge are:

  • When a surge is happening, your lights may flicker, flash or dim more than usual
  • Your Appliance and/or device are off or does not work
  • A pungent burnt odor around a device or power source
  • Your surge protector or strip requires a reset.

Tips to protect your appliances and electronics

Most appliances and devices are designed to withstand minor voltage changes however low level surges can still cause damage.  In an effort to prevent this, as well as electrical hazards that may arise from a surge, consider these useful tips:

Use surge protectors: A surge protector safeguards wiring in appliance and electronic devices against unwanted voltage spikes. Surge protecting power bars: These are designed to protect all wiring in your home from a power surge.

Surge arresters: are pre-installed in your electrical panel and limit the amount of electricity that flows to all outlets and appliances throughout your home.

Unplug devices not in use:  Have a walk around your home and unplug any device that is not in use, you’ll find many such devices.

Upgrade inadequate wiring: Frequently blown fuses or lights that flicker or dim when larger appliance kicks in are usually signs of inadequate wiring.  It is best to hire a licensed electrician to safely repair or upgrade your home’s electrical system.

Fix overloaded circuits:  Limit the amount of electricity supplied to one outlet, this will aid in protecting your electrical devices from power surges.  With the aid of a licensed electrician, you can set up a dedicated circuit for each large appliance.

Grounding your outlets:  Ungrounded outlets (often found in older homes) increases the risk of surges, they also pose a number of safety hazards and must be updated as soon as possible.

Having your lights come back on will certainly bring back a sense of peace to your family.  Keeping these tips will help to ensure that feeling.

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