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Protect Against Power Surges in Blackouts

It's usually a relief when power returns after a blackout, but for some people, the moment the power comes back on can also a moment they'll never forget. When current is restored, it can surge through the line and short out appliances and equipment that are still plugged in. You can protect your electrical devices with a surge protector in these situations. In addition, you can reduce the chances of power outages and damage to electrical lines from meddling rodents to prevent outages initially.

surge protector on table with 5 devices plugged into sockets

Power Surges and Outages

Your appliances and devices are, for the most part, able to use alternating current. In this setup, the current that comes into your home has a fluctuating, but regular, voltage within a given range. When a surge happens, the voltage coming through the line suddenly spikes and rises well beyond the regular voltage maximum threshold. The mass of electrical power that enters the device is too much for it to handle, and the appliance can spark and fry itself. The outlet can burn out and become useless too.

After a power outage when the electric company restores power to the line, that power races back across to all the outlets connected to it. The wave of current can be very powerful and jolt your home's wiring. The risk is compounded if your home's wiring is already damaged, say from wildlife chewing on the insulation due to unprotected cables.

Stop the Electricity Influx

Preventing damage to your appliances and equipment is totally doable:

  • If you're home, unplug as many items as you can if the power goes out. Turning them off isn't enough protection if it's still plugged in, as it'll still be connected to the power supply when a surge happens.
  • Keep all appliances and devices plugged into surge suppressors. These are not the same as extension power strips. Unplug the surge suppressor during blackouts to be extra careful.
  • Add a whole-house surge suppressor, also called a service-entrance surge protector, beforehand for added protection.

Not a Power Strip

Surge suppressors and power strips often look alike: a plastic housing with a row of extra outlets and a switch to turn it on. Surge suppressors, though, will clearly call themselves something like surge protector, surge suppressor, or surge protection device.

There will be a set of lights for surge protection and the ground wire. Surge protectors protect against extra voltage flowing through in electricity spikes, better keeping appliances safe.

Keep your home's wiring and your appliances and devices safe with a combination of protective and preventative measures. By adding surge suppressors and ensuring power lines and utility poles have Line Guards and Pole Guards installed to prevent small animals from damaging the connections, you'll be able to better protect you and your electronics from blackouts and damage. Critter Guard products are a defensive system that eventually also reduces the risk of a voltage surge damaging expensive equipment. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with protecting wiring insulation from critter damage and to avoid blackouts in the first place!

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