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The Effects of an Electrical Surge on your Home

The Effects of an Electrical Surge on your Home

Dennis McKonkie 2380 20-May-2019

The occurrence of an electrical surge can damage any electronic device plugged into the wall outlets. A power surge can damage any appliances including the refrigerator, electric cooker, laptop, and television. However, a few measures can help reduce the effects of a power surge. Though some safety devices can help control surges at home, a worse power surge can still damage your electronic devices. These are some of the effects of power surges on a home. 

Damage to Refrigerator

Though electronic surges that cause damage to a refrigerator are rare, they can still occur, especially when lightning strikes. It can be catastrophic and can damage any component inside the fridge such as the motor, circuit board, and the fuse. Elements such as fuse are replaceable at a lower cost, but motor and circuit board replacement may be costly. 

Slow Systems

A low voltage electrical surge can make your computer system sluggish. Slow systems may indicate that the power surge hit the hard drive. A problem with a hard drive may result in files opening slowly or not opening at all, slower loading times, and long boot times. However, one can use the command prompt to run a check disk run and identify the component damaged by a power surge.

Batteries and Chargers

Of course, the charger, which is the component that supplies power to your appliances including mobile devices and laptops is the first thing that a power surge hits. Your charger is probably damaged if you notice that your smartphone or laptop isn’t charging or is taking longer than usual to charge. Besides the charger, a power surge can damage a battery as well. Your battery may not hold a charge at all or run down quickly after an electrical wave. 


A weather-related power surge can destroy or damage a modem if it occurs when a modem is connected to a phone line or wired network. A worse electrical surge can damage the internal network card and cable modem connected to a high-speed cable modem. The chances are that the power surge damaged your modem if your device isn’t connecting to the internet after a power voltage surge.

Pool and Irrigation Equipment

Irrigation and pool equipment connected to pipes that are a path for electronic control systems often suffer power surges. These systems contain components that are sensitive to either a low or high power voltage surge. However, homeowners can protect their expensive irrigation and pool equipment from power surges after knowing what is a surge protector and how it works.

Electrical Systems

One of the common points of entry of a surge event or increased lighting voltage is the electrical systems. The lightning travels from the power line to the meter and then the electrical panel of a home when it strikes a nearby power line. However, the surge will stop if homeowners equip their electrical panels with a house surge protection device. The wave can travel over the wiring surface to the home if necessary steps aren’t taken to stop it at the power supply panel. The results are burned and damaged fuses and insulations. Power surges can also travel through the surface of the wiring to the home’s outlets and end up damaging any appliance or device plugged into a surge protector. It may be difficult and costly to determine the extent of the damage for houses where the wiring is within the walls. 

Lighting and electrical surge damages to electronic devices are typical in the summer months. Recent research found that insurance companies in the United States spent close to a thousand million dollars as compensation for over 100,000 power surge-related claims in 2016 alone. Though several factors cause power surges, lightning tops the list. Turning on and off large appliances such as air conditioners can result in a destructive power surge. A power surge can overload and short out the main electrical panel and anything else plugged into the socket.

Updated on 10/3/2020 9:11:24 AM

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