Most people know at least one person who has had damage in the home occur due to a lightning strike. Such damage is common and causes millions of dollars of damage in the U.S. every year. Many homeowners treat power surges as something that happens to other people but not them, but that can be a very dangerous approach that results in expensive repairs or even worse.
What Causes a Power Surge?
A surge is an electrical load that is more than house wiring or an appliance is designed to handle. Lightning storms are a common cause in Florida, which is why lightning protection is so prevalent in the state. The excess power can also come directly from the power grid or inside the home even. For instance, large appliances, such as refrigerators and air conditioners, can cause them.
How Does a Power Surge Cause Damage?
Under normal circumstances, voltage oscillates between 0 and 169 volts. When voltage spikes above that amount, it causes an arc of electrical current. That arc can burn wiring, cause fires and damage appliances and electrical equipment. Power surges can also cause damage over time, either through repeated, small surges or due to a large surge that permanently affects the integrity of the device.
How Can I Protect My Home?
The first step in protecting your home is to ensure that it is adequately grounded. If you live in an old home, it helps to have the wiring inspected. A service that provides surge protection in West Palm can include that inspection as part of the appraisal. It is also a good idea to use a surge protector between outlets and devices that can be permanently damaged by a surge.
A Two-Pronged Approach
A point-of-use device, such as a surge protector, used in a properly grounded home should be enough to protect electrical and electronic devices. If you want comprehensive protection, however, then it is necessary to combine the point-of-use device with a surge protector in the electrical panel or a service entrance surge protector.
Service entrance devices are a popular form of surge protection in West Palm and are typically installed in the main electrical panel or at the electric meter. The great benefit of such a device is that it provides protection for the entire house and every device connected to it. It is still a good idea, however, to use point-of-use devices at the outlets.
When choosing point-of-use devices ensure that they are UL Standard 1449 approved and come with a warranty. The best surge protectors actually cover the devices connected to it, even if the home has a service entrance device. Keep in mind that a powerful lightning strike can undermine even the best protection, which is why it is best to have lightning protection installed by a pro.
If you are a homeowner considering lightning or surge protection for his or her home, then call Carpenter Electric, Inc. C.E. is a locally owned and operated company that has been serving West Palm since 1982. The company has an impeccable reputation for customer service and will go the extra mile to develop the surge protection solution that is perfect for your home. www.carpenter-electric.com.