Everyone has hundreds if not thousands of dollars of electronics in their homes today and this is why it’s so important to understand the risks when it comes to power surges here in Florida or anywhere for that matter.
We recall last year in November one of our own clients ended up losing well over $20,000 worth of electronics. This is what our client told us about what happened:
“I truly believed that I had all my electronics protected from any kind of damage,” he told us on the phone with one of our experts at our call center. When he called us, he was calling to have us fit his home with a main switchboard type of surge protector. He went onto to tell us “I really thought my breaker was fine and would do the trick to protect all of my valuable electronics,” needless to say, he was quite upset and went on to say, “I also thought that if that didn’t work at least my homeowners insurance would at least cover the cost of the damage.” Sadly however, he discovered that this was not the case and he ended up losing well over $20,000 in valuable electronics.
Our client went on explaining what happened: “It happened so quick, it seemed a bolt of lightning hit a phone pole just a few miles away from my home. The power company told me the surge actually traveled down the telephone power lines and right into my home’s own switchboard. After that it blew out every single electronic item I had in my home, my LCD TV, fridge, stove, computer, washing machine, and microwave. All of it was gone in the blink of an eye!”
After reading this story, you no doubt might see yourself a lot like our client, thinking you have all your stuff protected when it comes to power surges. However, you could also be looking at the same kind of tragedy that our client faced. Even though it’s not your fault, you could be setting yourself and your family up for some very unnecessary expenses and you risk it by not making sure that your house has the proper surge protector fitted to the needs of your home.
Living in an area that’s subject to an awful lot of storms, you are always at risk of being subjected to power surges or even power spikes each year, but especially during the middle of the storm season in Florida. Official reports say that over 6,000 homes in Florida are hit by power surges and the frequency of electrical storms seem to be increasing every year and this means more and more people like yourself could be hit by such disasters. This is why it’s very important that you really need to protect all of your electronics like your computers, TVs, air conditioners, fridges, etc.
What Are Power Surges?
A power surge is when there is a sudden and unexpected increase in the voltage of electricity in your electrical line. This surge then will push far too much power into any and all electronic devices like computers, fridges, TVs and so on. This then causes overloads on your devices and simply burns their components out, which most often totally destroys them. Electrical surges are quite common, especially during the peak of the stormy season here in Florida, and the damage these surges cause can be extremely costly.
What Causes Power Surges?
Surges in power can happen because of two reasons, either something happened inside the home or the surge was caused by events happening externally.
There are times when electronics in your home switch off and on and they can then cause an electrical surge. This doesn’t always destroy the electronics at the time, however, over time if this continues, the equipment will be damaged. Also, your electrical panel in your home could have an unbalanced electrical load and it can make an over current like an electrical strike that doesn’t stop and this can also damage your equipment.
The other type of power surge can be caused by external events like lightning strikes, animals chewing on electrical lines, cars hitting power poles, trees falling on power lines, or bad power equipment, all of which can cause these damaging power surges. Remember, your home doesn’t have to be hit directly by lightning for you to have a power surge.
Electricity travels extremely fast down power lines and this means that a surge that might happen miles away can still damage your equipment in just a blink of an eye.
What Kind of Electronics are at Risk?
A lot of people think that all they need to help protect their valuable electronic items like computers and TVs from these power surges is to use surge protectors connected to their items, but this can be a big mistake. Any electronic item in your home that plugs into any power outlet can be vulnerable to massive power surges even with a small protector unit. This means that every single item such as your fridge, microwave, dryer, washing machine, stereo, TV, computer, air conditioner, etc. could all be at risk if not protected properly.
Isn’t Having a Safety Switch Going to Protect My Electronics?
A common mistake a lot of people make is believing that just because they have a safety switch on their main switchboard their items will be safe. They believe this because the safety switch will turn the mains off in just seconds and that should work, right? You would think that would be true, however, you would be wrong. The safety switches are only installed to protect people from getting electrocuted, however, they do not protect your expensive electronics from being severely overloaded by a power surge and then destroying them. These switches are not designed to protect items against power surges. This is why it’s very important that you have real surge protectors.
What Can You Do About It?
There are three different options you can choose from when it comes to surges:
- First, you can go around and unplug all of your electronics when there is a storm coming. This can be time-consuming and it also means that you can’t use any of your electronics if they’re unplugged.
- Second, you can buy those individual surge protector units for all your electronic items in your home. The cheaper ones will cost you about $40.00 each, however the high-quality protectors with very sensitive detection equipment, can cost you up to $200 for each one. So, if you get one for your TV, fridge, computer, stereo, washing machine, air conditioner, dryer, etc., you could be paying way over a $1,000 to protect everything.
- Third, and your best option is known as a household surge protector. This third and best option is a single item that can be installed into your main switchboard by an electrician. This type of protector has advanced technology that allows it to monitor as well as respond quite effectively to possible destructive surges. Because this item is installed into the switchboard, your entire home is protected, this means every single piece of electronic equipment in your home is totally protected.
We here at Alpha Dog Air believe that having your home not protected in this manner is almost like driving a car without car insurance.
Can you imagine something like a huge power surge happening around you and you end up losing every single thing you own and then knowing that you actually could have stopped it from happening for just a few pennies on the dollar instead of ending up losing everything and having to replace it all. We here at Alpha Dog Air highly recommend that you look around for a fairly priced home surge protector for your valuables. We offer some great deals for this type of protection in our own Electrical Department you might want to check out. You can also feel free to give us a call and one of our experts will be happy to talk to you about how we can help you protect all of your valuable electronics.
Finally, depending on how old your home is, might we also suggest that you get a professional electrical inspection done on your home to see if there might be something in your electric system that might cause future damage to any of your devices, your home, or even you and your family. You can talk to one of our specialists about this issue as well.