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Do Power Surges Hurt My Home?

Have you ever walked in the door from a day at work only to notice your microwave and oven clocks blinking "12:00" over and over again? There was probably a small outage or surge that caused this to happen. Unfortunately, these instances of power loss or surges can hurt your home.

Power Surges

How Power Surges Hurt Homes

The average electrical device and appliance operate at a 120-volt alternating current. During a power outage (when surges are common), currents can spike past the peak voltage of common electrical equipment - 169 volts. This sudden spike will cause an electrical arc within the electrical device or appliance, causing damage to electrical components due to the increased amount of generated heat.

How Power Surges Occur

  • During power grid switching via the electric utility company
  • When large electrical devices or appliances are turned on and off (Ex: air conditioners)
  • When lightning strikes, power surges can enter the home via power lines, television cables, telephone lines, etc.

How to Protect Your Home

  • Install a Generator – Power surges caused by blackouts or lightning can damage electrical devices and appliances in one instance. To protect against these large surges, have a standby generator installed with a transfer switch. The transfer switch will sense surges, turning your power on and off for you during optimal times.
  • Surge Protection Devices – Plug in all electrical devices and appliances into surge protection devices (SPDs) rather than directly into the wall. These SPDs will protect your equipment and prevent damage during smaller surges.
  • Service Your Electrical System – For those with old electrical systems, the smallest of surges can damage electrical equipment and the electrical system itself. Have your electrical system inspected if you haven't done so in the last few years. For those living in older homes, you may want to consider an annual inspection or a replacement if necessary.

Surges of power can happen on a day-to-day basis, and while you might not see them, their effects can be detrimental to your home. When your home needs electrical repair or a generator installed, contact Lancaster Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (717) 207-9952.