A stormy night in November last year saw one of our clients to
lose over $20,000 worth of electrical equipment…
“I thought that all my stuff was protected from electrical damage,” John said as he phoned in to our call center to come out to fit out his house with a main switchboard surge protector. “I thought that my breaker would do the trick,” he said angrily. “And if that didn’t work, I thought that my insurance company would at least cover the costs of damage.”
Unfortunately, like quite a few others I know, John was wrong on all three counts – and it ended up costing him over $20,000. John explained to me what occurred: “It happened so quickly – a lightning bolt hit a telephone pole a few miles up the road. The electric company said the surge traveled down the power lines and into my home’s switchboard. From there it just blew out every electrical device in the house – LCD TV, computer, fridge, stove, washing machine – even our microwave – all gone in a split second.”
Perhaps you’re a little like John was – thinking that you’ve got all your bases covered when it comes to protecting your expensive electrical goods. But you could be facing the same tragedy that he did. It’s not your fault, but you could be exposing your family to unnecessary cost and risk by not having a house surge protector fitted.
You are at risk of power surges from electrical storm increases ten-fold if you don’t have any surge protection. Did you know that according to official reporting, over 6,000 Florida homes are affected by power surges or spikes every year – most of them during the storm season? And with the frequency of electrical storms increasing each year, more and more people will be affected. You need to protect your electrical equipment such as computers, fridges, TVs, air conditioners, etc. from being overloaded with current and being destroyed.
What is a Power Surge?
A power surge is an unexpected increase in the amount of voltage in an electrical line. This surge pushes too much power into an electrical device, like a computer or TV. This overloads the sensitive electrical components and burns them out, usually destroying your item. Surges are common, especially during storm season, and they cause untold damage to equipment.
What Causes a Power Surge?
Power surges occur either because of something that’s happened in the home, or because of external events. Sometimes when electrical items in the home switch on or off, they can cause a surge of electricity – having this occur regularly can damage your equipment over time. Also, an electrical panel for your home might have an unbalanced load and if so can create over current just like an electrical strike that won’t stop and could damage your electrical equipment.
External events such as lightning strikes, tree limbs falling on power lines, animals attaching themselves to the lines, vehicles hitting power poles, or faulty power equipment can all cause power surges. It’s important to note that your house doesn’t need to be hit directly by lightning to experience a power surge.
Electricity travels quickly down power lines – so a surge occurring miles from your home can permanently damage your electrical equipment in a matter of a split second.
What Equipment is at Risk of a Power Surge?
Many people think that they just need to protect their sensitive electrical items like TVs and computers from power surges – but they’re mistaken. Any item in your home that plugs into a power point is equally vulnerable to a power surge. This means that your fridge, washing machine, microwave, dryer, oven, toaster, stereo, air conditioner, etc. are all at risk. If you have a quick look over your home, you can count up how much equipment you have that’s vulnerable to power surges – and how much it’d cost to replace them all.
I have a Safety Switch – Isn’t My Equipment Safe?
A lot of people think that because they have a safety switch at their main switchboard, their electrical equipment is safe. After all, the safety switch turns the mains off within a split second – shouldn’t that work? You might think so, but you’d be wrong. You see safety switches are only there to prevent people from being electrocuted – they don’t protect your expensive electrical equipment from being overloaded with current and destroyed. They simply aren’t designed to detect power surges. You need a surge protector to do that.
What Can I Do About It?
There are basically three options when it comes to surge protection.
- Firstly, you could unplug all your electrical equipment when you notice that a storm is approaching. This is time consuming and means that you can’t use the appliances at all during that time. It also doesn’t take into account other causes of power surges.
- Secondly, you could buy individual surge protectors for every electrical item in your home. Cheap ones cost about $40.00 each, but good quality ones (with sensitive detection equipment) cost up to $200.00 per unit. If you get one for your computer, another couple for your two TVs, and one each for your stereo, fridge, washing machine, dryer, air conditioner, etc. – you could be up for over $1000.00.
The Best Option – A Household Surge Protector
- The third and best optionis to get a household surge protector. A single item, it is installed in your main electrical switchboard by a licensed electrician. It uses advanced technology, allowing it to monitor and respond effectively to all potentially destructive surges. Because it’s installed in your switchboard, entire home protects every single electrical device in you home. But best of all, it costs a fraction of what it would to put a surge protector on every piece of equipment in your home. In other words – it provides a high quality, comprehensive and cheap solution to your surge protection needs.
In my opinion, having your home and not having a whole house surge protector is like driving your car without insurance. Imagine something happens are you lose everything and knowing you could have prevented it for pennies on the dollar compared to what it would cost to replace everything that is lost. I would suggest you call and look around for a good priced whole house surge protector for home. We offer some great deals on surge protection if you check in with our Electrical Division.
Also, depending on the age of your home it is always a good idea to get an electrical inspection to see if anything in your homes electrical system could potentially cause damage to your electrical equipment, your home or even your family.
I believe we have a top-notch comprehensive Electrical Inspection for Florida homeowners. Please take a moment to view our video. Thank you for taking to the time to read my posting.