Most people know what a power surge is and how it can affect the electrical system in their home. It also ends up triggering circuit breakers in most instances. But do you know what the reason for power surges are or how they can damage equipment on your property?
Almost every household will experience a power surge at some time or the other and electrical storms are a common reason for this. There are various things you can do to recognise the potential dangers and protect your property from significant electrical damage.
Power surges can occur when the flow of electricity in the grid gets interrupted in some way. It can also happen when devices that are expected to draw electricity put them back into the circuitry instead. In Australia, the mains voltage operates at 240 volts and 50 Hz, many other countries such as Japan and the US have appliances that use 110V 60Hz etc.
If you plug any such device into power outlets in your home without proper protection, it can result in a power surge causing extensive damage to the device. Harnessing electrical energy is not an easy task.
Whenever all of these other aspects come into the picture, power surges can be dangerous. While there are no significant dangers in using electricity on a day-to-day basis, there are certain risk factors you need to keep in view at all times.
Whenever there is a sudden spike in the electrical current, it is less than a thousandth of a second, which is very quick. But the surge in the voltage can vary between hundreds and thousands of volts.
You must know that voltage oscillates and there is never any fixed current that it runs at. While oscillation is part and parcel of how an electrical current would behave, whenever there are things like three-phase power etc. added to the mix, it becomes more complicated.
This type of power creates different electrical phases within the alternating current. Since every country follows specific standards, electrical devices are manufactured to varying quality levels. All of these aspects have a role to play when it comes to power surges on your property.
Various elements can cause power surges, and many of these are within our control, such as:
When there is a power surge on your property, it can cause considerable damage to your electrical appliances. Sometimes, the appliance or device might stop working entirely, while at others, multiple power surges can impact the quality of the appliance or device over time. In some instances, a power surge can also cause an electrical fire, but this is a rare occurrence.
Power surges occur very fast, and there isn’t much you can do to prevent them. However, there are certain indications that there has been a power surge; these include:
There are various things you can do to minimise power surge risk in your home, such as:
You can get surge protection devices for individual electrical appliances in your home. But check all the rooms in your house and determine which appliances and equipment need surge protection. Any voltage that is above 240 volts can damage electronic appliances and devices connected to power outlets.
When you install a surge protector, it effectively channels all the extra voltage into the grounding wire of that outlet. This prevents the electricity flow from flowing through into the electronic appliance or device while allowing the standard voltage to move along its standard path. It means you can continue using the appliance even when there has been a power surge in the circuitry.
Electrical surges are very damaging to computing equipment; they can fry the internal components such as the hard drive or the motherboard. While it is good to install surge protectors in your home, you must understand that they would not be able to protect your appliances and devices from lightning which is one of the most common sources of power surges.
Lightning carries millions of volts of electrical pressure, and even the most advanced and effective surge protectors are ineffective against this. During an electrical storm, the best way to prevent any damage to your electrical equipment is to unplug all devices that could become seriously damaged.
If you are not very sure about what kind of surge protection device you need on your property, contact a licensed electrician. They will survey your home, make a note of all the appliances that would require the most protection. For instance, media centres your TV, computers and other expensive and sensitive equipment would need surge protection.
You must also know that surge protectors can cause RCD tripping, which is one of the downsides of installing them. This is why it’s best to limit the use of these devices to the expensive or high-value electronic equipment. The licensed electrician you hire will install the surge protectors in specific areas of your home, to industry standards.
For more information on surge protection devices, feel free to get in touch with AllRound Electrical at 1300 169 263 or write to us at email@example.com. You can also fill in this Contact Us form, and we will get back to you shortly. We can help with the installation of these devices.
Thanks for reading,
1300 169 263