Power Surges Explained

The phenomenon of a power surge is the silent killer of electronic devices. Also commonly known as an ‘electrical surge’, its occurrence can be obvious but most of the time it can go unnoticed. And just so you know, sometimes a house can experience multiple surges in a day, and that is considered normal. The burning odor from an outlet or device, lights flickering, a sudden burst of power in the household and then back to normal – these are telltale signs of a power surge occurring. Sometimes it could be life-threatening as well, resulting in short-circuiting.

There are numerous reasons for why they occur, but also many ways for us to protect our electronic devices from getting damaged by these surges. How does a power surge affect our electronics to the point of damage though? 

Here’s a read on all things about power surges, and hopefully some answers to the questions that you must have always pondered over. 

Power Surge

Why Power Surges Occur

Power surges occur due to the following reasons:

  • Lightning near power lines can result in an extra spike of voltage. Our home electronics do not stand a chance against the thousands of volts induced.
  • Overloaded power outlets can result in power surges due to the fact that the outlet overworks itself in trying to power all the devices plugged in.
  • Power outages, believe it or not, can cause a surge. In the case where the power comes back on and with excess electricity flowing in the power lines, it can cause a sudden influx of power, more than what the electronic devices can handle.

A major influx of power or frequent fluctuation as a result of the reasons mentioned above are what result in power surges. 

Power Surge

How to Protect Your Electronics 

There are some ways that you can prevent your electronics from getting damaged because of power surges. Implementing some of these methods can otherwise save you hundreds of dollars in repairs, and replacements too if the damage is quite irreversible. Here’s how:

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1. Electrical Surge Coverage

Subscribing to a surge coverage plan will probably be the best thing you do for your home. For a small monthly fee, protect all your home electronics – anything from laptops, refrigerators, television, smart devices, kitchen appliances, gaming consoles, air conditioners and more. 

A surge protection plan ensures that all damages and repairs are paid for so that it does not fall as a burden on the person themselves. No deductibles, no hidden charges, and nothing extra to install.

2. Surge Protectors & Power Strips

Not that it is a long-term solution, like surge coverage plans but a surge protector quite literally as its name suggests, protects your electronics from a power surge. It is basically like a specialized electrical socket that redirects the excess power influx into the ground rather than letting it flow through. 

However it is slightly more expensive than power strips. A power strip is like an extension cord with multiple outlets in it to plug in your devices using a single outlet. It is much more convenient; so you can plug in the laptop charger and phone charger at the same time without having to make the choice of what gets first priority. 

3. Unplug Expensive Devices

Something that doesn’t require any money (unless you damage your electronic devices), unplugging your devices when not in use, should be a usual habit of each individual. Firstly and of course to protect the electronics from damage by power surges; secondly because sometimes even when plugged into an outlet, we still consume energy which could end up racking up a big electric bill for you. 

Always unplug chargers, televisions, the microwave, lamps or any other expensive device in your home when not in use, or even just at night before heading off to bed. 

4. Call in a Professional 

With damaged or exposed wiring, or if any electronic seems to be not working properly – like the refrigerator not cooling, or an outlet that is sparking, call in a professional and have it checked. This could prevent your electronics from damage in the future and eradicate any potential threat that could have resulted thereof. 

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