How to avoid a power surge

Many people have their computers plugged into surge protecting power strip. But is it REALLY enough?

Everyone knows a power surge isn’t good but what exactly is a power surge?


A power surge happens when there’s an unexpected spike in the voltage supplied through an electrical line. It happens very fast; it may last for only a few millionths of a second. However, a surge can carry tens of thousands of volts.

Ok, but what will happen if a power surge occurs??

A power surge can and often does damage electronic equipment. Now only your computer can be affected, but almost all electronics, even the new HDTVs.

How does a power surge happen?

  • Lighting storms are the more obvious but those surges are still the most powerful. Although, it may not happen as often.
  • Your outlets aren’t grounded. You will be surprised what you will find or don’t find, especially in older homes. I have seen some crazy things and thought: “What a cheap job” or “What was that electrician thinking?”
  •  Downed power lines from storms or accidents
  • short circuits
  • tripped circuit breakers
  • a sudden change in electricity usage by a nearby factory
  • Refrigerators can sometimes cause a power surge as well as window air conditioners.
  • The wiring in your house can be at fault if not installed properly, or your wiring may be old and in need of an upgrade. Again, I see this a lot more in older homes.
  • overload circuits or fuses (Think of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation )


What I can I do to protect myself from a power surge?

Plugging your devices into surge protection power strips is a great start for small surges. Most people have already taken this step. So, what is the next step?

Get a professional electrician to inspect your home. He or she will determine if you are well protected enough for the set up and items you wish to protect. The electrician may make suggestions such as:

  • Install a whole-house suppressor if your home is in risk of large power surges
  • Suggest a panel upgrade (He will make sure the panel is large enough to handle the size of your home)
  • Upgrade your wiring if it was not installed properly or is too old

To ensure the safety of you, your family and your home, you should have a professional  electrician thoroughly inspect the wiring in your home if you feel you are experiencing any electrical problems.

Feel free to give us a call for a free estimate 🙂

Call (267) 371-3193