Power surges are caused by a boost in electrical potential energy. It is common to think that the most popular source of a power surge is the strike of lighting. However, the real problem is connected to the operation of electronic devices that consume a lot of energy, or high-power devices, such as refrigerators, air conditioners and elevators. These devices usually require a lot of energy to start their motors and compressors. That makes these units demand a lot of power when switching on or off, which creates a brief and abrupt demand for power and causes instability in the electrical system.
Power surges are sometimes called voltage spikes and they usually only last for a short period of time. However, they can cause a lot of damage to electronic devices. As the voltage increases above the considered normal, it foments in an arc of electrical current, which then generates an abnormal heat that will end up damaging electrical components, such as the electronic circuit boards. Constant power surges can slowly damage all kinds of electronic devices, for example smartphones, TVs, computers, DSL Internet modems, etc. In addition, they can be the source of many malfunctioning issues on these appliances. These voltage spikes will also be responsible for shortening the life span of many gadgets and other electrical equipment.
How to protect your electronics with a power surge protector
There are three ways to protect your equipment against power surges, they consist in simple actions that anyone can take, they are simple approaches that should be done as soon as possible to avoid the headache of malfunctioning devices.
1. Talk to a professional
If you have significant known power surge issues at your location the first step is to get the help of an electrician. These professionals can check your home’s entire grounding system and give you a reliable feedback on what is wrong. It is easy to avoid major problems when your grounding system is installed correctly and is working at its best, free of any defects.
2. Protect your whole home
The second step is to ensure you have a properly protected electrical service entry with a surge device. There are many options of surge protective devices available in the market, and they prevent exposure risk by protecting sensitive equipment, avoiding the damage of transients caused by the switching of utilities, internal loads, lighting, etc. It is important to consult a professional electrician before installing any service entrance protective surge device.
3. Expensive electronics need especial attention
Point-of-use surge protection devices can be very useful when the aim is to protect expensive electronic devices. It is common to install these devices at points of distribution like at your TV, stereo, or computer. The ideal is to combine a point of use device with another layer of protection, such as an electrical panel or a service entrance surge protector. Having two tiers of surge protection significantly helps to protect your home and sensitive electronics against the most potent power surges.