It’s Not Just Lightning! Causes of Power Surges

Power surges are both inconvenient and potentially damaging to your house and possessions. They can cause a loss of power in your home, and will inflict injury on appliances—particularly complex devices like computers and home entertainment systems. You want to do as much as you can to protect your home and possession from surges along the power lines.

It’s a popular misconception that power surges are only catastrophic events that occur because of storms and downed power lines. These will indeed cause surges—but there are other, more common causes. And power surges don’t have to be major events; they can occur numerous times during a day without you noticing them. To help guard against these surges, contact our technicians in all things electrical in Southern Vermont at HB Energy Solutions.

What causes power surges?

  • Catastrophic events: We’ll start with the most obvious ones. Lightning storms can cause massive overloads when a bolt strikes near a power line. A lightning bolt can boost electrical pressure by millions of volts, and that’s enough to overpower almost any system—as well as local plug-in surge protectors.
  • Electrical demand from high-powered appliances: Lightning is one of the less common causes of power surges. The most common is from sudden demands on your power from a large system like an air conditioner or a refrigerator. When one of these appliances makes a large power demand, it upsets the steady voltage flow of the system. You may barely notice this (a slight dimming of lights), but it will cause cumulative damage to other appliances throughout your home.
  • Faulty wiring: When you experience a more severe power surge (one not due to a storm) leading to an outage, the cause could be trouble with the wiring somewhere in your home. This is a serious problem because of the potential for fire damage, so contact an electrician to see where the faults are and have the necessary re-wiring done.

Whole-house Surge Protection

You should definitely have power strips for your important devices, such as your computer. However, you need to have extra protection from surges, and only whole-house surge protectors in your breaker boxes and circuit panels can do the full job. You will need electricians to install this for you. For electrical services in Southern Vermont, trust to the over two decades of experience at HB Energy Solutions.

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