More often than not, people associate power surges with powerful thunderstorms. Without denying the fact that a lighting strike near your house can short circuit all your expensive electronics, take note that power surges can originate from almost anywhere in your home. In fact, faulty wiring or overloading the electrical system by plugging in a new AC unit or a TV set are more likely causes of power surges than thunderstorms. Following are some guidelines on how to protect your electronic gadgets from upsetting power surges.
- Contact an electrician for an evaluation
Nowadays, most electronics need a lower voltage in order to operate effectively. Therefore, while older electronics can survive a typical power surge, there is a high chance new gadgets could fry immediately from the same surge. In the eventuality that you invested in several new appliances â€“ a new plasma TV for your home theater or an expensive PC for instance â€“ you should call in an electrician to evaluate your current wiring and electrical system before plugging them in. The electrician will let you know if your electric system needs an upgrade and will help you avoid a several hundred dollars disaster.
- Unplug your electronics during a thunderstorm
The only foolproof method of protecting your expensive devices from power surges is to disconnect them from all power sources during a thunderstorm. Not only do you need to unplug your electronics, but also the physical devices connected to them, including internet cables, cable lines or phone lines.
- Invest in a quality surge protector
Most people simply plug in the appliances into a power outlet and think they have safeguarded their devices from surges. While everything will work fine for years, the truth is that it only takes one power surge or a spike to damage your electronic devices. Adding a quality surge protector to act like a buffer between the devices and the wall outlet will surely help in avoiding the disaster. Surge protectors incorporate a fuse that will typically trip or blow when exposed to power surges, while diverting the extra voltage back into the system or to the ground.
- Consider Uninterruptable Power Supplies (UPS)
Certain electronic devices such as the modern plasma TV sets undergo a cooldown cycle before shutting down. Unfortunately, an abrupt loss of power will affect the lifespan of the appliance, which in turn will eventually be unable to safeguard the internal components of the device. To prevent damage to electrics with specific shutdown cycles and keep your device safe from power surges, it is advisable to invest in an UPS.
- Manage spikes with a line conditioner
Even though the role of the electrical sockets is to provide a constant voltage of electricity, in some cases the voltage can suddenly decreases resulting in a power spike. Regardless of the cause of the spike, fluctuation of the voltage can damage appliances and even render them completely inoperable. If youâ€™re experiencing constant spikes in your area, then you should call in an electrician to install a line conditioner. The device regulates and conditions incoming voltage to match the safe limits and will protect your gadgets against sags and surges.