Warning: Storm Season is here!
Every year around this time through November I get calls from homeowners that have lost something due to an electrical surge. From TV's, stereos, computers, ceiling fans, to air conditioners or a major appliance due to damage from an electrical surge that could have been prevented.
Many homeowners believe that lightning has to hit their house in order to have a power surge. Nothing could be further from the truth. A lightning strike miles away could cause a damaging spike. An electrical surge can enter a home through phone or cable, as well as the electrical service.
Lightning is not the only cause of surges. Surges can originate in many other ways, including disconnection and reconnection of electricity from the power lines outside of the house. I had a surge at my own home many years ago that originated from the power lines coming into my home. As a result I lost my microwave.
What can you do to help prevent any loss from surges? Well, the first thing to do is to ensure you have a good ground system. By code, when your electrical service was installed a ground system was installed as well. By current code, this consists of a ground wire coming from your Meter Can running to a ground rod driven in the ground and possibly continuing on to a clamp on the water piping of the home (Metal Piping Only). Visibly check and inspect the connection of the ground wire to the rod, I recommend giving a tug on the wire to ensure the connection is good and the ground rod is good, and also check the connection at the water pipe.
Next you want to get good surge protection. Minimally you want a good quality surge protector installed at your Meter Can or your Breaker Panel. You want a surge protector that has an indicator light so you know it is working and check it occasionally. You also want to ensure you have secondary surge protection, like the surge strips and use them on anything electronic. It doesn't take much to zap a circuit board. Some older homes have a 2-wire system, which leaves the outlets ungrounded. In order for your surge suppressor to function properly you want to plug it into a grounded outlet.
Lastly surges can come in through cable and phone lines, so protect those as well.
Most people are eager to get surge protection after experiencing a loss. In the case of surge protection when you need it, it's too late.
If you have any questions you can contact Michael Pasquino at Theta Electric Inc. via email@example.com or (727) 213-8658.
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