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What Homeowners Need to Know About Power Surges (and How to Stop Them)

Updated: Dec 16, 2020


Power surge damage is a leading cause of electrical equipment failure, which can result in costly damage to your home.


Power surges happen when voltage power is higher than the average flow of electricity during a span of up to a few seconds.


Surges can wear down the lifespan of your appliances or lead to other serious problems like home fires.


Although some can be caused by things like lightning strikes, most of them are caused from large appliances or an internal electrical malfunction from within your home.


Here are some of the main causes of power surges:


Surge #1) Large appliance inside your home


Up to 80% of power surges originate from within your home.


Many big appliances or systems in your home cause small cycling surges throughout the day.


Items that draw major amounts of power to work and then cut off, like a heating system, cause these cycling surges.


Surge Cause #2) Lightning


Lightning is another big cause of surges.


According to the Insurance Information Institute, the cost of insurance claims on appliances from surge damages caused by lightning have increased in the recent years.


This is most likely due to the increase in electrical appliances/items, like smart devices, that people own.


While some surges can cause immediate damage or even housefires, the constant electrical strain will cause damage over time.


This means your appliances and devices will wear out much faster.


Damage from surges can be avoided with the proper surge protector for your home.


According to the executive director at the Lightning Protection Institute,


“Certified lightning protection systems are readily available to significantly mitigate loss due to lightning strikes. Insurance companies as well as policyholders benefit from certified lightning protection systems that reliably protect residential and commercial properties from catastrophic lightning events.”

There are different options for surge protectors, it is recommended to have at least 2 types of surge protectors for best results.


Type 1) Whole House Surge Protectors:


These are installed at the main electrical panel (the point of entry). These will protect your entire home from surges.


Type 2) Point-of-Use Protectors:


These are most commonly known as surge protector power strips. You can plug up multiple devices on these to protect from surges.


A professional electrician should be able to make a recommendation about which type is best for your home after a thorough inspection.


Give us a call to speak with a licensed electrician about the right way to protect your home from costly surges.



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