Who pays for power surge damage? A question that leaves homeowners frustrated most of the time because power surges, when they occur can sometimes be so damaging that they can even fry any electronic device that was connected to a power source. So it always comes down to the homeowner to foot the repair bill or even pay for a new device or appliance altogether.
But what are power surges? Those unexpected, sudden spikes in the electrical voltage, which usually last about a few seconds are what are known as power surges. They are also sometimes referred to as electrical surges, and often times go unnoticed. So if they last for a just a few seconds, they shouldn’t be problematic right? Except that they are and if not immediately then in the short run.
What Are the Causes of Power Surges?
To understand what are the things that can trigger a power surge, you must first keep in mind that power surges are like a bi-product of electricity. There is no permanent solution to ending these or even stopping them from occurring. But there are ways in which they can be managed, in a sense that you can protect your devices from damage even if temporarily, but that is for later.
But first, here are some of the factors that can trigger a surge.
- Faulty Wiring
Overtime the wiring within the structure of our homes can wear out, or even due to humidity or other factors can get damaged. When wiring gets damaged in any way, it has a lesser resistance to electricity – so coming into contact with any conductor can trigger a surge.
But how do you know when the wiring that is within the walls is damaged? There are some signs that indicate towards that. First one being a burning odor; an unusual smell when an appliance or device is switched on could mean that there is something wrong with the wiring so you should immediately switch it off and unplug. Burn marks around an outlet are also an indication of the wiring behind the power outlet being faulty. And lastly an audible buzzing sound that you can hear from an outlet. It is always recommended that homeowners call in a professional for inspection if they notice any of these signs.
Lightning is of course one of the most obvious triggers of surges. Areas prone to thunderstorms and similar weather conditions are likely to face power surges and problems with their electrical systems as well as their electronic devices and appliances. A single lightning bolt carries millions of electrical volts within it, whereas a home merely requires a few hundred. Even if the spike is spread out into the grid after a lightning strike, it is still a lot for a home and the electronics within it to endure. So you would find that many times certain appliances would have stopped working and would be in need of repairments. This is also one reason why parents tend to unplug certain things around the house when there’s a storm forecasted.
- Overloaded Power Outlets
Having multiple outlets in one unit, or using extension cords and multi-plugs is one of the tiny joys of life because we can plug our phone charger and the laptop charger at the same time from one place, and then can scroll through Instagram while watching Netflix.
But here’s the thing about plugging multiple devices into one outlet – they must be of within the same range of voltage that each connected device requires. For instance if you were to plug in your hairdryer and the phone charger from one outlet, it is likely to trigger a power surge. That is why you would find that most hotels have pre-installed hairdryers in the bathrooms, and even labelled power outlets for customers to be vary of.
So Who Bears The Cost?
When it comes down to the payment of the repairs needed because of the damage incurred by a power surge, or even if a new replacement is needed, the homeowner is the one to take out his wallet. Though there is no permanent solution to solving the problem of power surges, there are temporary ways homeowners can unburden themselves of the hefty bills that they would otherwise have to endure.
Homeowners can invest in a couple of surge protectors for their homes because these could protect their home electronics from power surges, even if only for a short time. A surge protector is much like a multi-plug or an extension cord except that it comes with a built in circuit breaker that is meant to ground any excess voltage instead of letting it pass through onto the connected devices. But surge protectors aren’t long lasting and would require replacements every so often. That is because the lifespan of a surge protector depends on the number of power surges and the intensity of each that it endures overtime. Some can last 3 to 5 years while some are only good for a couple of months. Nonetheless, it is a sure way to save yourselves from those repairment bills!
Other than that there is also surge coverage plans that some local electrical companies offer to their local customers. These plans serve as an insurance for certain electronic devices and appliances – it really depends on the contract offered by the company. But this plan also means that for very low monthly costs, you can get up to thousands of dollars in coverage should anything need repairing or even if a replacement is necessary.
We hope this article gave you a thorough insight into all things power surges and ways to curb the issue in order to protect your homes as well as your wallets. Remember, power surges are like the bi-product of having electricity so there really is no way to end the problem altogether. Only that there are certain ways to provide protection that’s needed.