Why Surge Protection is So Important

If you’ve ever seen the damage from a power outage, you know that a power surge can be a devastating event. Normally, your home receives 120 volts of alternating current. While this fluctuates between zero and 169 volts, anything above that can cause serious damage to your electrical system and anything connected to it.

Power Surge protection can avoid such circumstances. Every home is at risk of an electrical surge, which can come from not only lighting or a surge event from the power company, but also large appliances. A surge can happen at any time, which is why having a surge protector is so important. Other reasons you should take it seriously, if your home isn’t protected, include:

Electrical Safety

Voltage measures the difference in electric potential energy between two points. It is somewhat equivalent to water pressure in hoses. At high enough voltages, electricity can overload the wire, heat it up, and cause a fire, explosion, or burn out an appliance or wiring.

Without surge protection, a single lightning strike can put your home, and life, in danger. For homes with fire alarms and video surveillance/security systems, these can provide alternative paths for power surges, potentially shortening out their sensors and communication elements. You could potentially be in harm’s way during an unforeseen emergency.

Protect Your Investments

Refrigerators, dishwashers, microwave ovens, televisions, computers, and anything else that relies on electricity can malfunction due to a surge. Or, they can deteriorate over time due to the cumulative effect of power surges. Small power spikes can therefore be damaging as well and should be addressed. They can also precede a larger, more dangerous event, but at the very least, will shorten the life of appliances and electronics, costing you money in the long run.

The risks can extend beyond large devices. Surges can affect distributed network and communications cabling, especially that which leads outdoors, causing current to jump to various sensitive elements throughout the system. You could get a shock where you’d least expect to, or the point of a spark or fire can occur deep within your walls or ceiling.

Use Power Surge Protection to Prevent Business Downtime

Equipment damage, fires, and other serious effects of surges can lead to downtime for businesses and lost profits. Modern-day businesses rely on electronic systems to store records, process payments, and communicate. Even a local store uses point-of-sale equipment and other systems that rely on electricity. The damage from a power surge can therefore prevent a business from functioning.

Power Strips Are Not Enough

While power strips are often called surge protectors, they don’t really offer much protection. They just add to the number of outlets available for use. Despite this convenience, they often only have a switch that can break the circuit, but that doesn’t provide the continuous monitoring and instantaneous response during a major surge event that diverts excess electricity into an outlet’s grounding wire.

Common surge protectors use a metal oxide varistor to divert extra voltage. A whole home surge protector serves as sort of a gatekeeper. Installed at the main panel, it can block dangerous surges from outside and protect your entire home. A combination of surge protectors can be used as well; local devices can protect your television, computer, or cable/telephone lines on paths lightning and other powerful electrical surges are likely to follow.

Contact Black Hills Home Services

We serve Olympia and surrounding communities and can help with all your electrical needs. Whether you need repairs or have an emergency, or have experienced electrical surges, our licensed electricians are here to help. We can assess your home to determine the best surge protection system for you and safely install it. Contact us at 888-402-3514 to learn more.