Most of the power surges that occur in a house are internal. Power surges can occur many times in one day depending on when the device is started or switched off and how the electricity is getting diverted from that device to the other electrical appliances. Some power surges may cause brief disturbances or voltage spikes. However, if the power surge occurs on a waveform, it can cause a lot of destruction, damage, or degradation to your electronic equipment.
Power surges can be generated either due to environmental conditions like lightning or due to human errors like telephone utility cables and electrical lines. The other power lines like electronic dog fences, irrigation systems, yard lights, low voltage lights systems, et cetera, can also act as entry points for power surge into your home.
Every electrical equipment that is present in your home has been redesigned to work at a specific voltage. Some equipment work at 140V, some at 120V or 480V, et cetera. Such electrical appliances are built to handle minor variations in the case of voltage. However, if there is a major voltage variation or a power surge, it can cause huge damage to the equipment.
Sources of a power surge at home
Internal power surge
Electrical load switching
There are many different sources for internal power surges. These can take place either due to unintentional or intentional use. There are times when we tend to cause surges without even knowing about it. Such a surge can lead to a huge voltage input or a huge voltage loss in a very short duration of time. This switching surge can be very damaging to the equipment.
Inductive and magnetic coupling
When current flows, there is the generation of a magnetic field. When the magnetic field extends from one wire to the other, it causes a voltage generation in the other virus well. Therefore, a magnetic field generation in the first wire generates a voltage in the second wire. This voltage generation in the case of the second wire may not be desirable and instead cause a power surge.
Electrostatic discharge is how the charge gets transferred between two bodies that are on different electrostatic potentials. If this electrostatic energy discharge occurs in the case of your equipment, it can lead to physical damage to your equipment as well as malfunction. Equipment malfunction can cause locking up of the equipment as well as corruption of the data. Physical damage to the equipment can lead to equipment damage as well as loss of life in severe cases.
Thus, to protect your devices from any unwanted electrostatic charge, the entire design system must be taken into consideration both in case of direct discharges as well as the field charges. You must also have a surge protection device to minimize such conditions from occurring in your home.
Surge protection devices
Surge protection devices are appliances or devices that work to protect your electronic device from any power surge or voltage spikes. The surge protector’s primary responsibility is to limit the voltage supply to the electronic device in either one of the two ways. The surge protector can directly block the current. Alternatively, the surge protector can short the current and bring the levels below the safety threshold. The shortening of the incoming current is done via discharge tubes, spark gaps, or Zenor-type semiconductors. The blocking of the voltage is done by conductors.
Surge protection devices and transient voltage source suppressors can be installed in a variety of places like power distribution panels, process control systems, communication systems, or any other industrial system to protect such systems from power surges and electrical spikes. The scaled-down version of power surge protection devices is used in residential electrical panels to protect the equipment present inside the house from any power surge issues.
The surge protectors used in residences are available in the form of power strips. Alternatively, surge protectors are also available as specific devices that can be placed in your power panels. The socket in your house usually contains three types of wires: the neutral wire, the line wire, and the ground wire. Most surge protectors will connect to all three wires in a pairing fashion. The surge protector will connect to neutral-ground, line-ground, and line-neutral. When there is a condition like lightning, there is a chance that the line and the neutral wires may suffer high-voltage spikes. This way, the surge protector will be able to short the spike to the ground as quickly as possible.
If you are planning to buy surge protectors, check out First energy Home. They have one of the most affordable surge protection plans in the market. They will protect your house from any unwanted damage and also have reimbursement options in case you need them.