Power outages are one of the largest inconveniences that anyone can experience; unfortunately, these are becoming more common as grid disruptions and power surges plague big cities like Toronto.
Conditions such as ageing infrastructure, severe weather, and the growing dependence on technology both in residential and commercial and industrial settings don’t exactly ease the burden on power grids and electrical sources. Altogether, these issues can expensive electronics out of commission, which necessitate safety measures such as a licensed electrician-installed whole-house surge protector.
To the less than electronically savvy, surge protection can sound highly technical and above their reach. But for savvy homeowners, it’s becoming a necessary investment that everyone must familiarize themselves with to protect their property and loved ones, as well as avoid disruptions to your daily routine.
Surge protection limits the consumption of electricity in a given space according to power requirements of appliances and equipment. Whole-house surge protection devices prevent electrical devices in your home from malfunctioning due to sudden surges in electricity. These devices are wired to the electric service box and in effect, protect all appliances and electrical systems in your home.
Whole-house surge protection has become necessary as the abundance of power-dependent technology has accounted for up to 80% of power surges in homes these days — meaning, we actually cause these electrical problems ourselves due to the use of multiple devices plugged in the same time, 24/7.
When it comes to electrical usage at home, a lot of people use surge suppression strips. These strips are built of metal oxide varistors, but in some cases, it can only take one surge to end their usefulness. Unlike strips, however, whole-house surge protectors are designed to shunt large surges, making them a durable investment that lasts years.
A surge protector works to regulate the voltage in your home appliances and ensure safe and efficient electrical consumption for long-lasting function. For all of this to make sense, it also helps to first understand how electricity works.
Electricity follows the path of least resistance to ground. Safety protocols implemented by licensed electricians, such as surge protectors, redirect excess current safely back to the ground and block them before they have the chance to enter the circuitry of your house. According to licensed electricians, this excess current can come from the following:
Major appliances cycle between on and off throughout the day, which can cause 60 to 80% of power surges in the home. This percentage sounds a lot at first, but since these are residential surges, these are low-level. Over time, however, these power surges are very likely to degrade the circuitry of valuable electronics.
Old, faulty wiring is susceptible to power surges, so it’s essential to have a licensed electrician inspect and upgrade your home’s electrical system periodically.
Wind, accidents, falling tree branches, animal activity, and other natural phenomena can cause downed lines, which can then lead to power surges in appliances at home.
Broken-down electrical equipment that has undergone less than optimal repairs can cause extreme spikes and drops in electrical consumption, resulting in power surges.
The ever-growing need to support increased demand for power, there is a propensity for rolling blackouts, especially in extreme weather.
Lightning during storms can cause extreme damage to various appliances in an instant.
These days, licensed electricians are no longer installing whole-house surge protectors as an additional appliance; rather, these have become integral to the homebuilding process. This is because a growing number of homeowners are looking to protect their real estate and electronic investments.
Surge protectors installed by licensed electricians can easily save you thousands of dollars in investment protection, which offsets the initial installation cost. With a whole-house surge protector, you can ensure that you get the best use out of your home entertainment system, kitchen appliances, mobile technology, and home office equipment and avoid untimely and expensive replacement costs upon breakdown.
Homeowners can best benefit from whole-house surge protectors that cover the area spanning outside power lines and your home’s electric meter through the breaker box. Surge protectors should also be installed at wall outlets where appliances themselves are plugged into and receive electric current from.
It’s also important to note that whole-house surge protectors are only as effective as your grounding system. Proper grounding is essential as surge protection is dependent upon the grounding system that it is connected to. Prior to installing a whole-house surge protector, make sure to have a licensed electrician inspect the grounding system of your house.
In the past, a whole-house surge protector may not have been as necessary and only seemed like an additional fixture that you may have been able to do without. But that isn’t the case anymore.
Today, homeowners depend on a growing number of electronics. From LED lighting to washers, dryers, home entertainment systems, kitchen appliances, heating and cooling systems, and mobile technology, the number of circuit boards at use have more than multiplied — and so have the likelihood of power surges occurring.
All the technology we plug into our houses present a real risk, but simply investing in a whole-house surge protector could pay off in the long run as you avoid major damage to appliances you depend on every day and live as safely and comfortably as possible for years to come.
To learn more about how you can protect your home with whole-house surge protectors, call Hi-Lite Electric today at 416-800-5523 or contact us here.