Protect electronics when the power comes back on

Use these tips to avoid power surges

When the power goes out, the lifespan of your electronics could be at risk. It doesn’t have to be! The next time you’re experiencing an outage, you can take these simple steps to ensure your electronics will not be harmed by a potential surge when your power is restored.

Restoration surges

Electrical surges don’t only occur when lightning strikes. They can also occur at the end of an outage when your power comes back on. When you lose power, the affected power lines are empty of electrical current. Due to the nature of electricity, those lines are rapidly filled with electrical current upon restoration, and that current can exceed the amount your electronics are designed for.

External surges are less common and occur when the power supply to your home is flooded with more voltage than your home is designed to receive. Typically, this is caused by lightning striking a power line or a broken utility line.

While restoration surges are a possibility, the most common surges are internal. These generally occur when power to a large appliance, like your HVAC compressor, is restored. When this happens, a sudden increase in demand on the power supply can result in a small, but potentially harmful surge throughout your home.

What you can do

The best protection against an unexpected surge is a good surge protector. It’s important to understand that surge protectors and power strips are not the same thing. Power strips provide you with additional outlets, but no protection against a power surge.

Surge protectors are designed to die in the event of a surge to protect your things. In the event of any extended outage, it is safest to unplug all electronics. Surge protectors are also a convenient way to disconnect several devices at once. When the power comes back on, wait a few minutes for the electricity to stabilize before plugging your things back in.

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