Power surges are temporary, fast voltage spikes that occurs either due to an interruption in electricity flow or when an increased rush of electricity flows back into the system. They can occur in a number of ways, such as when you turn large appliances on and off, when the electric utility company conducts power grid switching, or even when lightning strikes.
The average American home use electrical power in the form of 120-volt, 60Hz, single phase, alternating current. While most homeowners assume that the voltage in their home is consistently delivered at 120 volts, the voltage actually fluctuates due to alternating current, oscillating from 0 to a peak 169 volts.
Most electronics and appliances can withstand this fluctuation in current. However, when a power surge occurs, generating voltage that exceeds 169 volts, it can cause an arc of electrical current within the device. The heat produced in the arc results in damage to the electronic circuit boards and other components. This type of erosion can cause rust within your devices, shortening their lifespan or causing it stop working.
You can do the following to protect your appliances and electronics from power surge damage:
- Use point-of-use surge protection devices (SPDs), which protect specific home appliances
- Use service entrance surge protection devices, which protects the entire electrical system
- Ensure you have an adequate grounding system
- Install special electrical outlets which are equipped with surge protection
If you’re looking to add substantial protection to your home from power surges, speak with our Atlanta electrician at Lightning Bug Electric. Our entire staff is highly trained and experienced in helping you fulfill your electrical home needs.