A power surge occurs when the voltage within your home spikes for longer than ten milliseconds. Although this seems like an incredibly short amount of time, surges can damage your appliances and electronics or even spark house fires, especially if you have no surge protection in place. Roughly 40% of the surges are generated outside the home, but over half of all electrical surges are generated within the home.
What Causes Power Surges?
If you live in an area that commonly sees severe weather, like Kansas City, you may think that the most common culprits of surges would be lighting strikes. While a lightening strike near a power line that supplies power to your house could result in burnt out televisions or computers, lightning isn’t the most common cause of surges.
More often than not a surge occurs when a large home appliance kicks on. Whenever the motor in your refrigerator or air conditioner turns on it can create spikes in the electrical current in your home. Space heaters are also notorious for creating power surges.
These issues are often amplified by old or damaged wiring in your house. Old wiring systems can struggle to handle the electrical demand of our modern world. Old circuit breakers or short circuits can also contribute to the amount of surges happening in your home.
What Is Surge Protection?
Surge protection takes the additional energy that is introduced to an electrical system during a power spike and dissipates the energy safely to the ground before it can damage the electrical system. Plug in surge protectors are effective, but only if they are large enough to handle the appliances depending on them. Surge protectors come in all sizes, but its recommended that your protector be rated to handle 600 Joules or higher, especially if your home has older wiring.
What Is Whole Home Surge Protection?
The most effective way to protect your home and appliances from power surges is to invest in whole home surge protection. A whole home surge protector is a single device that is connected to your main electrical panel that reduces surges before they enter your house or aid your electrical system in dealing with in-home power spikes.
Should I Call An Electrician?
If your house experiences frequent power spikes a professionally installed whole home surge protector can protect your appliances and devices.
A Mister Sparky Kansas City electrician can also help determine if your wiring system may be to blame for frequent power surges, appliance burnouts and even flickering lights. Contact us to learn more about our surge protection services or call us at (816) 535-8808!