What are the Risks of Power Surges?

Power surges are common in our homes and can occur several times per day. Power surges come with damage risks to which all electronic devices are prone whether they are high voltage powered or not

This article will give you an outline of risks, causes, and how to prevent power surges.

What is a Power Surge?

A power surge is a sharp increase in current that occurs when an appliance pumps back electricity rather than drawing it. The increase may vary from a few volts to thousands.

Risks of Power Surges

Damage to electronic devices. The current rises above average voltage capacity causing an arc of electric current that burns components of electronic devices. The devices are partially or entirely damaged.

Most home appliances can handle up to 160 volts, but surges surpass this threshold, putting the devices at risk.

Fire. Severe surges come with an extreme voltage that overheats your appliances. An electrical fire may begin, burning your property or even your home.

Causes of Power Surges

About 80% of power surges arise from causes within your home. Such surges are frequent and less intense. Their damage is rarely visible. Your devices will develop electrical rust and may stop mysteriously after some duration.

Surges due to causes outside your home can be very intense and result in instant damage.

Here are the most prevalent causes

  • Connecting multiple devices on one circuit
  • Distorted wiring
  • Broken down transformers
  • Interrupted transformers and power lines
  • Reinstatement of power after a blackout
  • Lightning strikes
  • Tripped circuit breakers

Signs of Power Surges

  • Non-functioning devices
  • Burnt-like sockets and plugs
  • Burning odours
  • Buzzing, flickering, and dimming of lights
  • Flashing of indicator lights on appliances
  • Warm or vibrating outlets

Protection and Prevention

When the causes of power surges are external, you have no control, but when internal, you can prevent them. Protecting your devices should be your priority since it’s the only way to keep them safe from surges.

Prevention of Power Surges

  • Unplug all appliances that are not in use
  • Contact a professional electrician to assess, repair, and update your wiring as needed
  • Ensure that large appliances use different circuits and avoid cramming devices on a single circuit

Protection Against Power Surges

  • When prevention is not possible, protection will take charge and secure your devices.
  • Instal a lightning rod if lightning occurs regularly in your area
  • Invest in power surge protection for your valuable appliances. Surge protection works by redirecting excess voltage to the ground, thus keeping your devices safe.


Power surges are risky to your electronic equipment; consider the untold cost of replacing all appliances simultaneously. They can also destroy your home or cause injury to a non-suspecting insider. When such emergencies occur, you must call the relevant authorities and a professional electrician to handle the situation.

Preventing power surges is essential, but prevention isn’t possible in all situations. You can use surge protection to keep your devices safe all the time. You can also invest in whole-home surge protection.