April Showers Bring May Flowers…Along with Damaging Power Surges

Power Surge Stats

Along with spring, comes storm season in Central Indiana…and along with storms come the potential for power surges. In the United States, power surges are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage every year.

How Does a Power Surge Cause Damage?

Power surges can cause damage to your home’s electronics and appliances in two different ways, instantly or over time by slowly eroding them. In the U.S. our homes use electrical power in the form of 120-volt, 60 Hz, single phase, alternating current. During a power surge this voltage will exceed the peak voltage of 169 volts, instantly overloading and short-circuiting your home electronics and appliances.

During normal operating of an appliance or electronic device, even a spike in voltage can be harmful. A spike in voltage can cause an arc of electrical current. The resulting heat generated from this arc can cause damage to both electrical components and electronic circuit boards.

Over time, surges can also cause cumulative damage. Small surges can occur over time, damaging the integrity of electronic components until they mysteriously stop working. Repeated, small power surges shorten the life of appliances and electronics.


  • Make sure any surge protectors you purchase are listed as UL Standard 1449. This is a national benchmark and means the product has been thoroughly tested.
  • Select a point-of-use surge protector that has an indicating light and/or audible alarm to show when it needs a replacement.
  • Look for SPDs that come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Some warranties cover only the device; others also cover any damaged equipment connected to the device.
  • Direct lightning strikes are powerful enough to overwhelm even the best surge protection; that said, the ultimate surge protection is to unplug equipment from the wall if you suspect a surge might be coming.

1 (List from State Farm)

Call Mister Quik for all your electrical problems!

1 http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/residence/safety-1/protect-your-property-from-power-surges/