Power surges occur frequently and almost every time go unnoticed. What is a power surge though? It can be described as a sudden spike in electricity or the voltage level that is considered abnormal. These sudden spikes last for just about a few seconds, however, they can prove to be very damaging to your home electronics and electrical systems.
Surges can be triggered at any random point; sometimes happening once in a while, sometimes multiple times in a single day! There are also ways of which you can prevent your devices and homes from the intensity of the damage, for instance like unplugging electronics before bed or using surge protectors. The purpose of surge protector is to protect a device from a power surge.
What Are The Root Causes Of Power Surges?
Lightning is one of the most obvious causes of power surges, and that is because they carry millions of electrical watts. So a lightning strike is most definitely dangerous for households, electronics, and people as well. There is obviously a reason behind why our parents almost always panic and ask you to unplug the TV or any other expensive electronic plugged into a power outlet.
2. Faulty Wiring
It’s tough to know whether the wiring that’s on the inside or behind any power outlet is damaged. However there are telltale signs: a burning odor, burn marks around the outlet, or even slight, audible buzzing sounds. Exposed or damaged wiring can trigger a power surge, whether there is just one device that’s plugged in or multiple devices connected to a single power outlet.
3. Power Blackouts
Power breakdowns are another cause behind power surges. Whenever power companies switch the power back on into the entire grid, it releases a very high amount of voltage back into the grid system. This sudden excessive influx of electricity usually triggers a power surge on a multiple scale, meaning several homes can experience power surges simultaneously – some with minor to no repercussions, while some that can be damaging.
All You Need To Know About Surge Protectors
You may find that anytime anybody asks for a possible solution to protect their home electronics against power surges, almost every time they are referred to using Surge Protectors. What are surge protectors? These devices resemble multi-plugs or extension cords that can allow for multiple devices to connect to a single outlet at a time – but there’s a catch.
Unlike regular extension cords and multi-plugs, surge protectors come with built-in circuit breakers that have the ability to ground the extra voltage instead of letting it pass onto the plugged-in devices. This prevents your electronic devices from any sort of damage at the hands of a power surge.
One thing about Surge Protectors though. These may be a great preventative against power surges but their lifespan ideally depends on the amount of times and the intensity of power surges that it bears throughout a certain point. Once it’s run its course, the device becomes useless, and must be replaced with a new one.
Other Ways of Protection against Power Surges
1. Unplugging electronic devices when not in use
Something that is more habitual, but unplugging your electronic devices when they are not in use could potentially increase their lifespan drastically since they won’t be subject to damage at the hands of power surges – well at least not very frequently. As we previously mentioned, power surges have no warning signs, and occur at random at any time. Hence it would be a smart move to make it a habit of unplugging devices when not in use, or at least at the end of the day before you hit the bed.
2. Subscription to a Surge Coverage Plan
An alternative to using surge protectors is subscribing to a surge coverage plan provided by your local electric company. For prices as low as $8.99 monthly, as provided by FirstEnergy, customers can get a sort of insurance on their electronics at home.
So how does a surge coverage plan work? By subscribing to one such plan, any electronic device in your home, as listed within the agreement of the plan, that gets damaged with the root cause being a surge, the electric company provides monetary compensation or you can say covers the cost of its repairs or even replacement if need be. This essentially saves you from sudden hefty bills that are piled up because your TV stopped working or even the refrigerator, all thanks to a power surge, or having to suddenly dip into the savings just to get a new one.
So if we were to say whether surge protectors are reliable, they definitely are. And like all things these devices also come with a certain lifespan after which they must be replaced as well. It’s better to protect your home and its electronics from power surges while you can. Other alternatives like the Surge Coverage Plan for instance are also great protection methods – it really depends on what suits the individual and what falls within their budget.