Service.Cook Electric
Written by Larry Cook

Surge Protection Basics for Your Home – Part 1

The growing demand for smart energy management has resulted in increased installations of home automation systems. As utility costs increase, homeowners seek an easy and efficient method for tracking and conserving 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 longer service lives. Surge protection is growing more important because electronic components are increasingly more vulnerable to electrical surges inside the home. The following discusses the basics regarding surge protection.

Power Surges More Damaging

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%.

Majority From Home

A recent study discovered that 80% of all electrical disturbances actually come from inside the home. These surges are unpredictable and may last just mere tens of nanoseconds to a few milliseconds. Equipment is struck with such low-level voltage that it is largely unnoticeable, despite occurring up to several hundred instances per day.

Frequent Surges

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 with 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 (electromotive 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 basics.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs. For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at (410) 266-9040. We will be very glad to help you.