Most people associate power surges with thunderstorms and lightning strikes. But, did you know that the power can surge in your home 20 times a day, on average? With all of that electricity surging through your house, it’s important to find ways to protect your devices from power surge damage.
What Causes a Power Surge?
Power surges can be caused by a lightning strike, yes. But, lightning would need to touch down relatively close to your home (and this doesn’t happen as often as you would think) to spark power surge damage. However, it doesn’t need to be storming for your home to experience a power surge. More often, electricity in your home will surge when an appliance cycles or turns off. Think: when your air conditioner completes a cycle, your washing machine finishes a load, or your stove is turned off after being on. These appliances were using a lot of power during their “on” cycle, so when they turn off, the rest of your home experiences a temporary surge.
What Happens During a Power Surge?
During a power surge in your home, the voltage coursing through your home (and the devices plugged into your outlets) will increase. If your devices are unprotected, they could burn out or fry over time. A single incident can cause appliances or electronics to go out, like the electricity blinking on after a power outage, but often it will happen over a longer time period.
3 Steps to Protect Yourself from Power Surge Damage
Install Surge Protectors
Protect your most sensitive electronics — like computers, laptops, TVs and phones — from power surges by plugging them into power strips with surge protectors. You can also set up surge stations for phone and cable lines. Another option is to work with an electrician to install UPS, or an uninterruptible power station, which creates a stable supply of electricity.
Consider Whole-Home Surge Protection
Your electrician can install a whole-home surge protection system that is connected to the service panel. These whole-home surge protectors act as a gateway for electrical current and prevent sudden surges. If too much power surges into your house, a surge protection system will send the additional current to a ground wire.
Think About Your Outlets
Every room in your home is on a breaker system. When you are setting up your rooms, think about how much power each item will draw, and take care to plug in appliances that will draw a lot of power into different outlets on a different breaker. For example, your refrigerator, oven/stove and dishwasher should all be plugged into different outlets, and each on a separate breaker. Sound complicated? It can be — consult an electrician to optimize electrical use throughout your home to prevent power surge damage.
Power surges can wreak havoc on your appliances and devices. It’s a smart idea to protect everything that plugs into the wall with Residential Equipment Breakdown coverage. For as little as the cost of a cup of coffee, you can protect all your electrical devices from damage. This add-on coverage will cover the replacement cost of anything damaged by a power surge. Talk to your local Farm Bureau agent to protect your home, and everything inside.