Electrical Repair, Meyer Electrical Services Inc.
Written by Walt Meyer

Surge Protection for Hotels & Motels – Part 1

Caused by sudden electrical changes in a circuit, power or voltage surges are brief bursts of energy that inevitably occur in electronic or electrical equipment. Usually lasting only a millisecond, a power surge can increase the voltage within electronic circuits from hundreds to thousands of volts.

Power surges are among the most common hazards to sensitive electronic equipment in hotels and motels. The research found power surges are the reason there are more than $25 billion a year in costs from downtime, repair, and replacement.

Why Surges Occur

About 60% to 80% of power surges are caused by electronic and electrical equipment problems inside a guest facility. The rest result from external incidents impacting the electrical system through power cords, telephone lines, cables, antennas, and satellite lines.

Internal Events

As mentioned above, turning on and off large electrical devices such as motors or elevators generate internal surges. Circuit breakers tripping and fuses blowing will do the same. These surges are not severe most of the time, but they gradually degrade electrical equipment in a hotel or motel.

Lightning Strikes

Causing about 2% of the damage from power surges, lightning strikes often strike the ground around 100 times per second. When lightning strikes cables that power electric equipment, it can cause destructive power surges. Lightning can also damage electrical equipment by creating powerful electromagnetic fields that cause power surges. 

Utility Company

Your local utility company is the cause of the most commonplace external power surge. Problems such as capacitor switching, faulty wiring, equipment failures, downed power lines, and grid shifting can cause harmful power surges.

Frequently turning on and off large electrical equipment like HVAC systems create brief and sudden demands for power and can destabilize the steady flow of current, resulting in power surges that can affect every facility connected to the same power line. An external surge may also be caused if two power lines touch each other.

Part 2 will cover Guest Facilities at Risk, Protections From Power Surges, and How to Minimize Disruptions.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Meyer Electrical Services is an authorized Generac and KOHLER Sales &

Service Dealer serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. We provide custom standby generator installations and are trained and licensed to perform the regularly required important factory service and maintenance. Receive a free consultation today by calling (301) 941-1400.