Many people complain that their television or electronic appliance got “burnt” as the voltage shot up suddenly. By saying “burnt” they obviously don’t mean that it has burnt in flames, but they are referring to a very common phenomenon of an appliance becoming non-functional all of a sudden due to extreme fluctuation within the incoming voltage. When the voltage increases abruptly to a very high value for a very short span of time, it is referred to as voltage surges.
 
A power surge is a momentary boost in voltage ( electrical pressure) above the normal range. An oversupply of voltage from the power facility can last up to 50 microseconds. Normally surges are very short in duration, often reaches 6,000 volts and 3,000 amps once they reach the equipment. Power surges are a common cause of damage to refrigerators, air conditioners, computers, and electronic equipment. It is a very brief spike but it can still cause damage to your home and appliances.

What causes a power surge?

Power surges occur when something boosts the electrical charge at some point within the power lines. This causes a rise in the electrical potential energy, which may increase the current flowing to your wall outlet.
 

How to know if there is a power surge?

1. Smell the area around the power strip. Power surges can cause acrid, burnt odors resulting from the voltage spike shorting out electronics’ inner components
2. Locate the strip’s reset button. Following a surge, the button will switch into the reset position and can’t work until manually reset. If this is this happens the strip may have experienced a power surge.
3. If they are flashing, such as clock radios, there is a chance the power has experienced a surge.
 

What causes a power surge?

1. Switching on/off large home appliances. High-power electrical devices can create a spike in the electrical current when they’re switched on. Refrigerators, air conditioners can cause a power surge strong enough to damage electrical systems.
2. Faulty wiring may affect your home’s ability to withstand spikes.
3. Effects of harsh weather. Lightning strikes can cause power surges.
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How to protect Home from a Power Surge?

There are different surge protectors on the market, and you should choose the one that fits your home’s needs. When you go for buying a surge protector, you will encounter two words, Joule ratings and Clamping Voltage (Let Through voltage)

1. Joule Rating is the capacity of the surge protector to absorb electrical spikes. For best protection, select a surge protector that lists “400 Joules” or higher which can provide surge protection for computers, peripherals, and household electronics. Always try to buy a surge protector with a high joule rating for better protection of appliances.

2. Clamping Voltage is the maximum voltage that the surge protector will allow to flow through it( standard voltage, maybe 240 or 110 depending on the country)before absorbing (or blocking or dissipating) the excess energy. 

3. Response time-The period of time between the instant the power surge starts and the instant the surge protector starts functioning is called the response time. It should be minimum, Best is 1 Nanosecond (one thousand-millionth of a second.).
 
Belkin surge protector

Belkin Essential Series Surge Protector Universal Socket is one of the best surge protectors. It is Universal Socket as it can fit plugs of Asia, US and others. It features a 420-joule surge protection rating and a maximum spike current of 13,000 amperes.

This is a good product for those interested in surge protection. If you are using an inverter you will still require surge protection particularly when there is a change over from mains to inverter power and vice versa.

 

Siemens FS140 Whole House Surge Protection

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