Before we delve into the dangers of power (voltage) surges, let’s first define what they are. A power surge is a form of electrical power disturbance, also referred to as voltage surges or transient voltages, and are defined as spikes in voltage. They occur within a very swift pocket of time, vary in voltage and last only millionths of a second. Now, here in the U.S., residences run on a voltage that rises and falls between 0-169 volts at a programmed rhythm. Consequently, power surges occur when the voltage rises beyond 169 volts. Power surges are dangers to your appliances and electronics because they can cause slow but steady damages to your electronics varying components. Voltage dips (Brown outs) are another form of surges in that they are the deliberate cause of a sudden drop in voltage. And it’s at this occurrence when there is grave danger to your electronic devices because dips can result in lost data or system failures.
Where do they come from?
Power surges are the direct result of one of two causes; the first is the result of a high energy appliance, such a refrigerator or air conditioner, coming on inside your home or damaged/exposed wiring. The second is caused by blackouts or nature’s fury, lightening.
A simpler way of expressing this is to consider the way your computer or air condition operates. These devices require a vast amount of power to “wake up” and it’s that type of action that can be the direct impression of internal damage. Lightening has several entry ways into your home and is likely to cause wide spread overheating of appliances. Also, fire is a very real danger of power surges. This happens when a power surge moves through the damaged wires, and if the wire gets hot enough it will very likely emit a fire.
Protection is verily available in the form of surge protectors. While this is not the only method it is a proven one. You should begin the task of protecting your home by taking a detailed account of every room to decide which areas are in immediate need of surge protection. If you have a home office, this is a definite place that will benefit greatly from your diligence in this matter. Remember, power surges and voltage dips are incredibly dangerous and can occur at any time so you have to make sure your home is thoroughly protected. So, don’t just stop with your office. Protect your refrigerator, air system and other equipment as soon as you can.