Lightning strike in purple sky over marina

Surges & spikes

Electricity surges and spikes can damage or destroy your electrical appliances. Fortunately, there are some simple precautions you can follow to keep appliances safe.

What are surges & spikes?

Electricity surges and spikes are caused by sudden increases in voltage in the electricity network. They might be triggered by storms, lightning strikes, accidents, or simply switching an appliance on or off.

Power surges can damage any appliance connected to electrical or telecommunication wires. The most commonly affected appliances are:

  • computers
  • printers
  • fax machines
  • microwaves
  • stereos
  • televisions
  • DVD players
  • medical and communication equipment.

How to protect your appliances

Replacing damaged appliances and wiring can be expensive and inconvenient. You can save yourself the trouble by protecting your appliances from surges in two easy steps.

1. Use surge protectors

Installing surge protectors will prevent surges and spikes from damaging your appliances and wiring from surges and spikes.

There are three types:

  1. Portable
    • Powerboards with surge protection
    • Plug into a regular powerpoint to protect connected appliances
    • Can include telephone protection
    • May need to be replaced after a surge.
  2. Powerpoint
    • Replace regular powerpoints and protect connected appliances
    • Must have them installed by a licensed electrician.
  3. Main switchboard
    • Protect appliances and wiring
    • Must be installed by a licensed electrician
    • Modules must be replaced after an overload or protection is lost.

2. Unplug sensitive appliances during storms

Lightning is the most common cause of power surges and spikes. You can protect your appliances by turning them off and unplugging them during storms. You can also disconnect the TV aerial.