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What is a Power Surge?

plug in an electrical outlet on fire

You could be sitting watching TV when all of a sudden all the electronics switch off – and then back on again. People usually call this a power outage, but the more accurate term for this would be a power surge.

These random surges of electricity can be damaging to your home and all the electronics within it. Therefore, it is important to understand what a power surge is and how to protect your home with something like a surge protector.

What is a power surge?

Power surges in your home occur when a high amount of electricity needed by an appliance to turn on disrupts the flow of electricity in a system. For instance, when your AC unit turns on, it requires a lot of energy. This can sometimes disrupt your electrical system because the demand is very high. Outside of your home, surges can be caused by issues with the local power grid or a lightning strike.

How to protect against power surges?

While often regarded as harmless, power surges can actually have very damaging effects on your appliances. The surge may not break your electronics instantly – but over time, it will cause lasting damage. That is why many people choose to protect their homes with surge protectors. A surge protector is a device that is designed to protect electronics from power surges by blocking or shorting to ground any spikes in voltage. These surge protectors often come in the form of a power strip and can be found at most stores where electronics are sold.

The best electronics to connect to surge protectors are expensive devices that you don’t want to be damaged in the event of a surge.

You can also take surge protection one step further with whole house surge protection. This safety measure is employed by installing a whole home surge protector right into your main electrical panel, which will protect every device in your home. Power strip surge protectors do well to protect TVs and computers, but they cannot protect things like a fridge or HVAC system. Having this protection in your home will help reduce the chances of something expensive breaking in the future.

To learn more about how you can protect your home from power surges or have a professional come out and install a whole-home surge protector, contact Benchmark Electrical Services today!