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Electrical Gremlins And Old Homes


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Electrical Gremlins And Old Homes

When I bought an old house because I fell in love with the charm, I was completely unprepared for some of the issues that come along with homes of that age. One of the biggest surprises to me was the electrical issues I experienced. Everything from having to unplug everything in the kitchen to use a compressor in the garage to tripped breakers from a single air conditioner left me frustrated and confused. I called an electrician and learned a lot during his inspection. If you are thinking about buying an old house, this blog is for you. I hope that my knowledge and first-hand experience can help you avoid some of the disasters that I faced.

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What Can Cause Power Surges in Your Home?

Many electricians are now recommending that you install whole home surge protectors to help protect your home in the event there are power surges. Anything plugged into an outlet can be damaged during a power surge, including your pricey electronics. While you can purchase individual outlet surge protectors, they offer less protection than whole-home surge protectors, and with so many electronic items used in homes today, whole-home protectors make more sense. When you hear this, one of the questions you may have is what causes power surges. Here are a few common causes of residential power surges. 

Electrical Wiring Is Old or Going Bad

One of the things that can cause power surges within your home is electrical wiring that is old or going bad. If you have a leak in your roof, the moisture can cause the electrical wiring to have power surges. Or if your wiring is old, it may not be able to transmit and support energy as well as it once did, leading to power surges. If you notice that your lights sometimes flicker or you smell burning coming from behind your walls, you may have an electrical wiring issue that needs to be looked at. 

High-Energy Appliances Cause a Surge

Another reason why you may have power surges in your home is you have high-energy appliances that are causing the surge. For example, when your air conditioner is running, it uses a large amount of energy. When it shuts off, the energy running through the lines may surge and distribute to other places, causing a surge. If you notice your lights or TV slightly flicker when a high-energy appliance kicks on or off, you are likely experiencing power surges. 

Power in Your Home Goes Out and Comes Back On

The final reason, and the most common cause of power surges, is energy that goes out, typically do to a storm, and then suddenly comes back on. That surge of power rips through your home and may not be distributed evenly, leading to power surges. 

A power surge causes a burst of power to trickle through your electrical system suddenly and unexpectedly. This burst of energy can be damaging to items that you have plugged into your electrical outlets, including televisions, computers, or phones that are charging. A whole home surge protector helps to absorb the burst of energy, so it is not distributed through your home. If you want to protect your electronics, contact a residential electrician today to learn more about installing one of these systems.