Home Home Improvement New Homeowner? Here’s All You Need to Know about Power Surges

New Homeowner? Here’s All You Need to Know about Power Surges

by M Sakhawat

Let’s face it. Our lives have been revolving around the use of appliances, computers, and other electrical gadgets for the longest time now. Hence, when a power surge strikes, it becomes paramount to protect these devices, especially if you are a new homeowner.

You have probably spent more than half of your life savings on your new home, so repairing or replacing damaged appliances and electronics from a power surge is the one cost that is nowhere in your budget.

Any form of surge protection is an investment when it comes to your appliances and electronics, and not forgetting your safety. This form of protection safeguards your valuable electronics in the event of a power surge.

A power surge can easily cause data loss or cause permanent damage to your appliances and electronics. In this article, we will be sharing all about a power surge that you should know if you want to protect all your home appliances and electronics.

What is a Power Surge?

First and foremost, what is a power surge? The electricity flowing in a typical wall outlet is usually 120 volt AC power. However, it’s not always delivered at 120 volts and fluctuates between 0-169 volts.

During a power surge, the voltage tends to exceed 169 volts.

How Does a Power Surge Occur?

Power surge from the electric companies is a common way of happening during the power grid switching. They can also happen if there’s any form of malfunctioning in a nearby transmission line or transformer.

Another common but rare cause for a power surge is a lightning strike. There are two types of power surges – internal and external. Both the causes shared above are external power surges.

Internal power surges occur within the house. When a high-powered appliance like your air conditioner or refrigerator is switched on or off, there’s the probability of a small power surge occurring.

That is because these appliances compressors and motors need a lot of energy to be turned on and off, this brief demand of power causes disturbance in the electrical system.

How Can a Power Surge Cause Damage?

When there’s a sudden boost of voltage that is higher than an appliance dedicated collage, it can cause damage to the appliance. This is due to the heat generated that ends up damaging the circuit board and other components in the appliance.

Also, when there’s a major power surge caused by lightning strikes, this form or surge can cause permanent damage to your device. However, smaller surges can cause unseen damage which over time permanently damages the device.

What are the Indicators of a Power Surge?

There are a few indicators that you can look out for if you want to determine whether a power surge just happened:

  • Your appliance or device is off, or can’t switch on.
  • The appliance or device’s lights or clock s flashing.
  • You can smell a burnt odor around the power source or device.
  • If your power strip or surge protectors require resetting.

How Can You Protect Your Appliances and Electronics?

In all honesty, you can’t prevent what a surge does outside your home, but you have the ability to protect what’s on the inside. In other words, you can purchase a good quality surge protector, which is also known as a surge suppressor.

This can help in protecting your home from the dagger a power surge may cause. And how does a surge protector work? Well, it diverts the excess voltage safely to the ground, rather than allowing it to enter your appliances or electronics.

Here are the different types of surge protectors you can consider:

  • Whole-house surge protector. This surge protector connects to your main electrical board and prevents any kind of surge from entering your home. There are various types of whole-house surge protectors in the market ranging from $50 to hundreds of dollars.
  • Surge protectors. You can also purchase single surge protectors and use them for heavy and sensitive appliances and devices. Simply plug it into the power outlet and then plug your electronics into it.
  • Power strips with surge protection. It’s not uncommon for people to confuse surge protectors with power strips, as they both look alike. That said, not every power strip has surge protection, hence if you want to buy a power strip, do ensure it has surge protection in it.


Power surges are common, and most of the time, you won’t even realize when it happens. However, you must know how they occur and how you can prevent them from damaging your appliances and electronics.

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