Preventing Power Surges from Damaging Electronics
As a society, we seem to have an ever-increasing reliance on technology. By virtue of that, we also increase our reliance on electricity. Barring something going wrong with the grid, that isn’t necessarily a problem. The thing is, things don’t always go the way they’re supposed to when electricity is involved. Sometimes power surges, or unexpected increases in the voltage flowing through an electrical system, happen. They can be caused by lightning strikes, electrical overloads, faulty wiring, and the power being restored after a power outage. Power surges can do a lot of damage to electronics, from computers and TVs to appliances like your dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, microwave, and washer and dryer. If it has a microprocessor, it can be damaged by a power surge. So what can be done to prevent power surges from damaging electronics?
Use Surge Protectors
Arguably the simplest and easiest thing you can do to protect electronics from power surges is to use a surge protector. It’s also one of the least expensive ways to prevent damage from power surges. There are different types of surge protectors. The most commonly used are surge protector power strips. It’s important to note that not all power strips offer surge protection, so make sure that yours has this feature so you don’t end up thinking you have protection when you don’t. Outlet adapter surge protectors are another good option, since they plug directly into your outlet without any cords. This can help you save space while protecting your electronics.
Use a Whole Home Surge Protection System
If a simple surge protector doesn’t sound like it’s going to be enough to do the job for you, consider getting a whole home surge protection system. These systems offer far greater protection than surge protectors do, though they come with a price tag to match. Still, you can’t deny their effectiveness against external sources of power surges. These systems direct power surges into the ground where they can dissipate without doing damage.
Unplug During Storms
Surge protectors can be great, but they won’t be able to stand up to the millions of volts that a lightning strike will deliver. That’s why it’s a good idea to unplug your electronics during storms. There’s no way to tell in advance where lightning is going to strike and how much of an impact it will have until it’s too late. Better to be safe, rather than sorry and unplug during a storm.
Be Smart about Outlet Use
Would it surprise you to know that you could cause a power surge yourself? All you would have to do to cause a problem would be to plug too many devices that pull too much power into the same outlet. This strains your electrical system, which can lead to power fluctuations that can cause harm to various electronics. Pay attention to which outlets are connected to which circuit breaker. That way you can spread out your large appliances and avoid putting too much demand on a single circuit breaker.
Keep an Eye on Wiring
The condition of your electrical wiring is integral to the integrity of the electrical system itself. Because of this, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your wiring and have it inspected on a regular basis. Remember, faulty wiring is one of the most common sources of power surges. It’s especially important to have your wiring inspected if you see signs of rodents. Rodents like to gnaw on wires and may be prone to building their nests in electrical junction boxes. All of that can spell serious trouble. Keep an eye out for cloth-wrapped wires, brittle insulation, and wires that aren’t rated for the demands placed on them by devices today. If you aren’t sure what to look for or what you’re looking at, have your whole electrical system professionally inspected.
You need your electronics in order to continue your life as normal, uninterrupted, and with minimal fuss. You got them for a reason, after all. Because you need them to function properly, it’s important to take steps to protect them and prevent power surges from damaging them. Use surge protectors as appropriate and consider using a whole home surge protection system. Take the time to unplug your electronics during storms and be smart about how you use your outlets. Regularly check your wiring as well and address any issues that come up with it as soon as possible. That will help you prevent power surges from damaging your electronics and having a negative impact on your life.
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