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Are Power Surges Killing Your Electronics?

Picture this: it’s raining cats and dogs outside. Thunder is roaring and you see flashes of lightning every couple of seconds. Then, the power goes out and you’re left in the dark. And when it comes back on, you go to turn on your TV to gather information about the storm, but it won’t turn on. Your TV just became another victim of a power surge.

What is a Power Surge?

You might be wondering why your television won’t turn back on – after all, it was working just fine before the storm hit. Well, most homes in the United States use electricity in the form of 120 volt, 60 hertz, single phase, alternating current which does no harm to your devices. But, a power surge happens when there is a spike in electrical current and it can quickly damage anything in its path.

Why are Power Surges Dangerous?

When there’s a spike in electrical current and more electricity flows through a device than it can handle, a common result is excess heat which can damage the circuit board or even cause a fire.

Even if it’s not a major power surge, repeated smaller surges can cause your devices to stop working over time. In this case, your toaster oven, telephone or stereo may continue working until the integrity of the electrical components passes over the threshold.

How Can You Protect Your Electronics?

The first step is to make sure there are no issues with the wiring system in your home. You can do so by upgrading old wiring and keeping an eye out for any red flags with older wiring. If you find yourself stuck in the middle of a nasty storm, we strongly suggest unplugging your devices until the bad weather passes.

Finally, you can equip your home with surge protectors. Keep this general rule of thumb in mind: when it comes to surge protectors, bigger usually means better. For optimal protection, look for one that is 600 joules or higher.

Updates and improvements not only increase the value and status of your home, they help you save money and energy while increasing your property’s safety and security. Give the expert electricians at Lon Lockwood Electric a call today to find out how we can help!