A typical Australian home has dozens of individual appliances and electrical gadgets these days, all designed to make life much easier for the family and while each one of these devices is quite complicated in its own right, it relies on the steady delivery of power in order for it to function. Yet, this is not always guaranteed and sometimes issues with the delivery of energy to the home can cause some strange failures. If you've noticed that some of your devices have simply stopped working for no real reason recently, could you be suffering from a surge problem and what should you do?
What Can Go Wrong
A power surge is an inconsistency in the energy supply system that causes a great deal of property damage across the country during each year. It's becoming even more prevalent as home electronics become more sophisticated and rely on complex internal circuitry in order to function. While many of these devices are designed to cope with small surges (which happen quite often) they will start to malfunction when the surges become more frequent and build up. Eventually, the device will fail without warning and leave you scratching your head.
This situation is to a certain extent exacerbated by the power delivery system itself. Electricity is supplied using an alternating current, where the voltage is allowed to rise and fall as time goes by and can oscillate over the space of several hundred volts in some scenarios. However, while your gadgets and devices are designed to cope with this to a certain extent, they cannot deal with extreme spikes that fall well outside this range. When this happens, excess heat is generated and failure ensues.
When Does This Happen?
It can be difficult to determine when a spike or surge will happen, although the main cause is usually a lightning storm. Sometimes, a surge can happen when the local utility company switches over between power grid suppliers, but at other times something internal such as a cooling compressor can generate a quick surge when it switches on.
Bringing in Protection
The only way to really protect your property is to fit professional surge protectors, which are wired into the grounded system. Certainly, some power strips that you can buy locally may provide a degree of protection, but not always.
Ask your electrician to fit an independent device on the periphery of your home supply, near to the electricity meter. This will help to avoid the worst of any surge damage that may arrive at your doorstep unexpectedly.