electrician, Home Electric Repair
Written by Walt Meyer

Six Home Surge Protection Facts – Part 1

The desire for smart energy management has become a great incentive for installing home automation systems in the past few years. As utility costs increase, homeowners seek an easy and efficient method for monitoring and saving energy. However, what they often neglect is surge protection, which is important for the protection of electronic devices.

Surge protection also helps ensure that electronics function well, remain reliable, and have extended service lives. It has become more important because electronic components are increasingly more vulnerable to electrical surges inside the home. The following discusses six facts regarding surge protection.

More than Lightning

The majority of people know that a lightning strike may damage or destroy electronic devices. However, they are not aware that lightning is the cause of only about five percent of electrical disturbances, while power surges make up approximately 56 percent.

Most from within the Home

As discovered by a Symantec Disaster Preparedness Survey, 80 percent of electrical disturbances actually come from inside buildings. Such surges are unpredictable and have the duration of merely tens of nanoseconds to a few milliseconds. Equipment is struck with voltage so low level it is largely unnoticeable, despite occurring up to several hundred instances per day.

Surges are Frequent

These frequent low voltage surges, also called “transients”, result in what experts describe as “electronic rust”, which is the cumulative degradation of electronic parts. Although such damage is not apparent to its components, they eventually cause the premature failure of electronic equipment, shortening their service lives significantly. Their performance gradually degrades over time as the electronic rust damages the circuit board.

Typically generated by refrigerators, microwaves, or HVAC equipment that have inductive elements, transients course through electrical wiring and enter electronics and appliances. Examples of an inductive element are coils, transformers, or motors. When they are switched off, a magnetic field collapses, resulting in a back EMF (electricmotive force), and its voltage can be multiples of the voltage of the inductive element prior to being turned off.

Part 2 will discuss three more important home surge protection facts.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991 and serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services you can trust, including:

  • Standby Generator Installation
  • Panel Upgrades (Heavy-Ups)
  • Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations
  • Structured Cabling

Circuit Breaker Replacement

Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.