Maybe you know this story:
There’s a thunderstorm. Lightning strikes nearby. The power cuts out for a moment, then returns,
but when you try to switch on the TV, it doesn’t seem to work and your refrigerator suddenly stop cooling.
In Jamaica, power surges are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage every year. Surges can instantly overload and short out the circuitry of home electronics. Over time, surges can also cause cumulative damage to your property, incrementally decreasing the lifespan of televisions, computers, stereo equipment, refrigerator and anything else plugged into the wall.
Learning more about surges, what causes them and how to prevent them can help save money and keep your property safe.
How Does A Power Surge Cause Damage?
In Jamaica, most homes use electrical power in the form of 120-volt, 50 Hz, single phase, alternating current.
However, the voltage is not delivered at a constant 120-volts.
During a power surge, the voltage exceeds the peak voltage of 130 volts.
A surge or low voltage can be very harmful to appliances and electrical devices in your home. An increase in voltage above the appliance's normal operating voltage can cause an arc of electrical current within the appliance. The heat generated in the arc causes damage to the electronic circuit boards and other electrical components.
Smaller, repeated power surges may slowly damage your electronic equipment, too. Your computer or stereo may continue to function after small surges occur until the integrity of the electronic components finally erode and your television, refrigerator, cordless phone, or answering machine mysteriously stops working. Repeated, small power surges shorten the life of appliances and electronic equipment.
Where Do Power Surges Come From?
There are several sources of power surges. They can originate from the electric utility company during power grid switching. A common cause of power surges – especially the most powerful surges – is lightning. Power surges can originate inside a home when large appliances like air conditioners and refrigerator motors turn on and off.
Power surges can enter a home through several pathways. In the case of lightning, it can take the path of the cable TV or satellite dish cable, through the incoming telephone lines, or through the incoming electrical service line.
How Can I Protect My Property?
Surge protection devices, combined with a good grounding system, should protect your electronic equipment and electrical appliances from most electrical surges. However, unless it specifically says so, most plug strip do not offers surge protection.To ensure maximum protection for today,s digital appliances you must use a digital surge protector. Digital surge
protectors are programmed to adapt to your appliance and equipment requirement. Equally important is a digital
surge protector that is programmed to operate in Jamaica.
Use a surge protector that has manufacturer warranty and indicating lights or audible alarm to show or tell what fault have occured.