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Not Just Lightning: The Causes of Power Surges

When people think of power surges and trying to protect their home’s appliances from them, the first image that comes to mind is something catastrophic like a lightning strike or power lines downed during a storm. Although those are definitely cause for concern and reason to find ways to keep your electrical system safe, there are more frequent reasons for power surges that can go on continually and add up to tremendous damage.

Power strips along the outlets are a layer of protection that works when it comes to power surges. However, they do not do well against most of the more insidious and frequent causes for surges. In addition to those power strips, you need to have a whole-house surge protector. Installation requires the work of professional electricians. For the necessary electrical services that will install a whole-house surge protector, contact the expert electricians at ACI Northwest today.

Causes of Power Surges

  • Lightning: Yes, this is a serious problem even if it isn’t as common as the others. A lightning strike on power lines can result in a massive surge that no home’s electrical system can bear. The power that comes through the lines is enough to ruin systems such as computers and home entertainment centers. A power strip is some defense against this, but not always. In any case involving expensive equipment, you need the best protection possible, and a whole-house surge protector offers a level above power strips.
  • High-Powered Appliances: This is the reason for most surges in a home: whenever an appliance comes on that demands large amount of power—such as the compressors of air conditioners and refrigerators—it put strain on system that can unbalance the flow of voltage. This may not necessarily cause a power outage, but the low-level will start to gradually damage other components connected to the system. Flickering lights are a common warning sign that this is happening and you should have a whole-house surge protector. Power strips do not help with this.
  • Bad Wiring: If you live in an older home, aging wiring can lead to uneven voltage that will cause similar damage to when powerful appliances turn on. For pre-1970 homes, you should have an electrician not only install whole-house surge protection, but also investigate if the wiring needs replacement.
  • Utility company problems: Surges can sometimes come from the power company itself if they experience equipment malfunction. These surges can range from small to “power line downed” level, so make sure you electrical system is prepared for anything.

Whole-house surge protectors are an easy installation for professional electricians: they connect them at the electrical control panel and test to make sure they work properly. To arrange for the work, call ACI Northwest today. We provide many types of electrical service in Spokane, WA.

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