While many people understand that a power surge generally causes power outages in their home, they really don't know what a power surge is or what causes them. Power surges can occur on a large or small scale and can trigger circuit breakers and shut off electrical systems in all or different areas of your home.
What Is a Power Surge?
Most of our homes appliances operate on a specific voltage range, typically between 0 and a peak voltage of 169 volts. During a power surge, the voltage in your home exceeds the peak voltage of 169 volts.
Power surges occur either through an unexpected interruption to the flow of electricity through the grid or when an appliance or device that is plugged in inputs power back into the system instead of drawing it out. Lightning strikes can also be a common cause of power surges. Whether a surge happens on a large or small scale, it can still be potentially damaging to appliances and other electronic devices.
What You Should Do After a Power Surge
- Reset electronics: If a power surge has caused a circuit breaker to trip, then you need to unplug any electrical appliances before resetting your circuit breakers.
- Assess the damage: Check all of your electronic devices and appliances to make sure no damage was done and that they do not pose any risk of fire. If the power surge or outage was caused by lightning, flooding, or a downed power line, then use caution when inspecting your home for any issues or have a professional assess your home for potential damages and other electrical threats.
- Reset your heating and cooling systems: If a triggered circuit breaker has shut down your HVAC system, follow your HVAC owner's manual on how to reset the unit. If you're unsure of the safety of your system, have a professional inspect it and reset it.
How to Protect Your Home Against Future Power Surges
Being proactive and protecting your home before a power surge occurs is the best way to prevent damage to electronic devices and appliances.
Here are a few things you can do to protect against power surges:
- Install surge protection at the end of expensive appliances and electronic devices
- Unplug appliances and devices not in use
- Install high-quality power outlets
If your home or devices have been damaged due to a power surge, then don't hesitate to call us at A-TEMP Heating, Cooling & Electrical and let one of our expert service technicians evaluate your home's electrical system for any signs of damage.
Call A-TEMP Heating, Cooling & Electrical today at (503) 694-3396 or contact us online to schedule an electrical inspection in Portland!