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What Causes a Power Surge

A person putting a plug into an outlet.

We’ve all heard about power surges, but what really causes them to occur? Understanding the reasons for power surges is essential in preventing them and protecting our appliances and electronics. In this blog, we’ll delve deep into what causes a power surge and offer actionable advice to ensure the safety of your home and devices.

Understanding Power Surges

Before diving into the reasons for power surges, let’s first clarify what a power surge is. Simply put, a power surge occurs when there’s a sudden spike in your electrical system’s voltage. This increase can last for a fraction of a second, but it can cause significant damage to your electrical devices and pose safety hazards.

Common Causes of Power Surges

Power surges can be disruptive and damaging to your electrical appliances and devices. They can also cause circuit breakers to trip. Ultimately, there are various situations that can lead to power surges, and understanding these causes is the first step towards preventing them in the future.

Lightning Strikes

Lightning strikes are one of the most powerful and devastating causes of power surges. What causes a power surge of such intensity? When lightning hits a power line, the excessive energy can travel down the line and into your home’s electrical system. This often results in fried appliances or electronic devices.

Large Appliances and Equipment

Believe it or not, your very own appliances can be reasons for power surges. Large appliances, especially air conditioners, require a lot of energy to switch on and off. When they cycle on and off, they can cause fluctuations in your home’s power supply.

Faulty Wiring

Although it can be overlooked, faulty wiring can sometimes be what causes a power surge. Actually, it’s often considered a common cause of this issue. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to know that damaged or outdated wiring can cause power surges. Signs to watch out for include buzzing sounds, burn marks around outlets, and flickering lights.

Overuse of Extension Cords

An overuse of extension cords can lead to an electrical overload, increasing the chances of power surges. Always ensure that you’re not plugging too many appliances or electronic devices into a single outlet.

Issues With Power Lines and Transformers

Occasionally, issues outside your home, like problems with power lines or transformers, can lead to surges. For instance, if a power line falls or a transformer malfunctions, power surges can occur in the affected areas.

Preventing Power Surges and Protecting Your Home

If you’re a homeowner worried about power surges, you might be uncertain about what to do. Thankfully, you can take action to prevent power surges. Let’s discuss some preventative measures you can take in more detail below.

Invest in Surge Protection Devices

One of the best ways to protect your home and devices from power surges is by turning to professional surge protection companies for help. Surge protection devices are designed to detect excessive power being drawn and cut off the power to prevent damage, so installing them in your home can be a wise investment.

Maintain Your Appliances and Electronics

Ensure your appliances and electronics are in good working order. Regularly check them for signs of wear and tear. Older devices might be more susceptible to causing surges due to their inefficiency.

Monitor Your Electrical System

It’s crucial to keep an eye on your electrical system. Watch out for signs like flickering lights, buzzing sounds, and burn marks around outlets, which might indicate faulty wiring or an overloaded system.

Consider a Whole House Surge Protector

A house surge protector is installed directly to your home’s main electrical panel and offers protection against most surges. By safeguarding your entire home, you reduce the risk of damage from any unexpected spikes in voltage.

Schedule Your Surge Protection Installation Today

Understanding what causes a power surge and the reasons for power surges can make a world of difference in protecting your home. With the right knowledge, precautions, and assistance from professionals, you can prevent damage and ensure the longevity of your appliances and devices.

If you’ve experienced frequent power surges or noticed any alarming signs, it’s time to consult the experts. Whether you need assistance with your electrical system or want to invest in surge protection, professionals can help. At Dilling, our electricians in Charlotte, NC, can provide you with a reliable surge protection installation.

Remember: it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Be proactive in preventing power surges and protect your home’s electrical system. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!


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