Ways to Protect Home Electronics from Surge Damage

It is so common for us to leave our electronic devices plugged in while not in use. We’ve all been there, right? But what looks like a harmless act can indeed be quite dangerous due to the occurrence of power surges. A power surge is a spike in the voltage level that causes more electric current to flow towards a circuit than normal. It usually lasts for a few seconds, and there’s no knowing when they can be triggered – sometimes once in a while and sometimes multiple times in a day.

If your laptop or any other electronic device is plugged in while a power surge occurs, chances are it might cause it to overheat and get damaged. In extreme cases, it may cause the battery to flare up too, or burn the charging adapter or the plug that’s plugged into the outlet. That’s why it is extremely important to make sure that you unplug all electronics from power outlets when they are not in use, to prevent them from any sort of damage.

Causes of Power Surges

The most natural cause of a power surge is lightning. Given that lightning strikes carry voltage in thousands of watts it is able to trigger a power surge, which is why it is recommended to unplug any electronic devices from their power outlets during lightning and thunderstorms. These power surges can cause damage to the wiring of your home and can even lead to dangerous scenarios like short-circuiting.

Faulty wiring is also an underrated but very dangerous cause of a power surge. Any exposed or damaged wires contribute to internal power surges. You can tell that the wiring within walls is damaged if there is a buzzing sound coming from the outlet when the power is on, or if there is a burning odor or burn marks on the outlet openings. Similarly, if a power outlet is used to plug in one too many electronic devices simultaneously, this overcrowding can also trigger a power surge.

Power coming back on after a breakdown in the grid or a blackout is also another cause of power surges. When power stations turn the power back on, it releases a massive amount of voltage into the grid system and this sudden burst of power can trigger a surge, and sometimes damage electronic devices in the process.

Protection from Power Surges

1. Surge Protectors

One of the easiest way to protect your home electronics from power surges is to use surge protectors to plug your devices into. The purpose of a surge protector is to protect the connected electrical appliances from the spikes in voltage that are beyond the required voltage and current level of those devices. This way, they suppress the surge by grounding the excess voltage to ensure no damage takes place to the electric appliances.

However, it is important to remember that surge protectors do not have an infinite lifetime. They must be replaced once they’ve run their course in order to keep your electronic appliances protected. They are also a bit pricey though they may look the same as a normal power extension cord, but the prices for surge protectors is justifiable.

2. Unplugging Electronic Devices

This is the simplest and easiest task to protect your devices from power surges. Since we are not warned before a power surge takes place, it should essentially become a habit to unplug all electronic devices when not in use. This can really save our devices from random power surges and make sure that we do not have to pay hefty sums of money for repairment in order to fix our devices or buy new ones altogether.

3. Surge Coverage Plan

Surge coverage plans are not too costly and serve as an investment for your home. When you buy the coverage plan, it is as cheap as for instance paying $8.99 a month for the plan that FirstEnergy offers its customers. It covers anything from laptops to computers, kitchen appliances like stoves, refrigerators, to air conditioners and TV’s, and gaming consoles as well. This works out to be a great deal especially because it saves you the expense of repairs and replacements by reimbursing the cost for your existing electronic devices in case they get damaged, or for new ones if necessary.

How a surge coverage plan works, is that in case a power surge damages any electronics as listed in the agreement, the company will reimburse you for that cost. So you won’t be stuck paying a lot of money to buy new products or change the wiring because the surge coverage plan will quite literally have you covered! Take it as insurance for your home electronics.

It explains a lot now, when certain appliances stop working or malfunction out of the blue without any obvious reason as to what must have gone wrong. The answer most of the time is a power surge. These few seconds can prove to be quite damaging, and though there isn’t really a solution to get rid of the problem entirely, there are ways to protect your electronics as much as you can. Hope this article gave you some great ideas on how you can do just that!