Getting A Safe Electricity Supply And Keeping It Safe!

By: Rick Skuw

Let's imagine for a moment, driving rain and then a crack of thunder which jolts you out of your slumber. You see the lights flicker, but they come back on so you're thinking to yourself, "no problem" and you go back to your slumber. But the next morning you have overslept and the alarm clock is flashing "12:00." Unfortunately, you have become the victim of what is known as a voltage surge. Voltage surges are a nasty and costly example of the power interference which happens in homes every day. Fortunately, there is actions you could take towards achieving surge protection for your property and electrical appliances. To start things off, let me briefly talk about the two commonest forms of power interference that could have an impact on you as a homeowner.

Voltage Dips:
A voltage dip occurs when motors in heavy-elctricity-usage aplliances and elctrical devices including dishwashers, refrigerators and dryers are turned on, This significantly reduces the energy available for additional devices. Flickering lights are a common symptom of a voltage dip. While a voltage dip isn't a huge problem, it could be a big nuisance, particularly if it is harsh enough to cut power to the home which may possibly trigger alarms, turn off computers, not to mention your alarm clocks.

Voltage Surge:
Probably the most serious form of power interference is the voltage surge. This quick rise in voltage could potentially start inside or outside a home, and could damage sensitive electronic equipment such as pcs, home entertainment centers and other expensive electronic items.

Surge Protection is the Solution:
You can use two forms of surge protection that are available to home owners these days. The most common form of surge protection is the surge suppressor, generally seen in the form of a power strip, which can cope with surges to as much as 6,000 volts. The surge arrestor, on the other hand, is fitted in or near the master service panel of your house and provides surge protection against voltage surges up to 20,000 volts (lightning strikes for instance).

Surge Suppressors:
Surge suppressors are designed to handle the lesser surges which can occur hundreds of times a day in a typical home's wiring, when appliances with motors, such as hair dryers, refrigerators turn themselves off. This will suddenly cause the energy these devices had been consuming is diverted somewhere else in the form of excess voltage. Surges also occur when the electricity company switches power from one geographic area of the grid to a different area when supply and demand in the region changes.

Although they might never be powerful enough to damage electronic components, these everyday small surges can gradually break down wiring insulation, causing electronic devices to operate improperly and wear out prematurely. Plugging your sensitive and expensive electronic devices into surge suppressors is an easy, cost effective way to help your equipment last longer and working better.

Hire a Professional:
Whole house surge arrestors should only be installed at the home's electrical service panel by a professional, licensed electrical contractor. There are dozens of different makes, models, and styles of arrestors on the market to offer you surge protection, all of which differ greatly in price and quality. The sort and size of the service panel, how full the panel is, as well as the number of appliances and electronic devices that will require to be protected, all play a role in determining which surge arrestor must be installed. Talk to a specialist about getting the right model for you

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I have been involved with the Do-It-Youself industry for over 20 years. So I think now is the time to spread the word a bit about Electrician companies operating in the UK.

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