Electrical power surges are all too common, and yet, they are not completely common knowledge. Power surges just happen out of nowhere and once the power is back on, most people don’t give them a lot of thought.

However, if you notice frequent power surges in your home or in your area, it is not something to ignore.

Learn more about electrical power surges, take precaution, and do your best to prevent them.

What happens in an electrical power surge?

There’s power all throughout your home, which typically runs in a flowing circuit to your wall outlets, lights, appliances, and anything else that requires power.

During an electrical power surge, a driving force suddenly boosts the electrical charge within power lines, which increases the potential energy and sends it rushing through your outlets, lighting, etc.

A surge can be as small as five to ten volts, or as large as thousands. Depending on the size of the surge, you might notice an electrical power surge when the lights suddenly get brighter and then back to normal, or a complete overpower of your surge protector when everything loses power.

What are the causes/ effects?

In order to understand power surges, you must first know that there are two types: internal and external surges. Internal power surges are smaller and can happen up to dozens of times a day. Power usually surges for a second as devices are turning on or off, but then returns back to normal. These are caused by refrigerators, air conditioners, microwaves, even smaller devices such as a hair dryer.

An external power surge comes from outside the home and usually has a much more powerful effect. These are typically caused by trees or branches hitting power lines, lightning, or small animals getting into transformers.

Several different effects can result from power surges, some minor, and some major. The most common effects are lights flickering and power going in and out, or completely off. Other effects might include ‘frying’ in which wires and other electrical components are literally overheated, possibly even giving off a burnt smell or melting electronic parts. Frying may cause much more permanent damage.

How can you prevent an electrical power surge?

While electrical power surges might occur more often than we realize, it is still best to try and avoid them as much as possible.

Start by inspecting the wiring in your home and connected to your devices. Even minor faulty wiring can become worse during a power surge.

You might also unplug your devices when you know a storm is coming. This will help because then there is less to ‘surge’ and either shut off or become damaged. In every home and every situation, you should use surge protectors as much as possible, they really do prevent some of the effects of power surges.

Of course, you can always use an electrical contractor. If you’re still unsure about the electrical quality of your home, don’t leave it to chance. Safeguard your home and get help from an experienced, certified, and licensed electrical contractor.

Bratcher Electric is a full service electrical contracting firm that has been working with businesses and residents throughout Michigan for over 50 years. We take care of our customers by providing complete customer satisfaction for every job we perform; residential, commercial and industrial. Our electrical services include new home wiring, generator service and installation, electrical code and service upgrades, surge protection and much more! Contact us today to learn more about our electrical services!