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What Are Power Surges & How To Deal With Them?

Power surges can become serious electrical emergencies as there is a disruption to the electrical flow of appliances and circuits. Electrical systems that have experienced this electrical problem can damage the device. There are many ways to prevent homes and businesses from experiencing electrical issues from electrical surges. Here at The Local Electrician, our Emergency Electrician team can install surge protection devices and perform repairs when power surges occur and damage devices.

Power surges happen when the electrical flow is disrupted through the grid or an electrical device pushes it back to the system. A power surge lasts less than a thousandth of a second and the voltage can rise to the thousands. They mostly occur from tripped circuit breakers, lightning strikes, power line issues, and power tools and electrical devices causing power spikes.

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What Are Power Surges?

Power surges are a type of electrical problem that occurs when the flow of electricity is interrupted by external issues. The surge often occurs through the grid or by an electrical device or equipment and its electrical flow. Within Australia, the main voltage is 240 volts and 50 Hz but when appliances from other countries are plugged into a power outlet then this can cause a power surge. There are also other ways a surge can occur and without a surge protection device, equipment can become damaged.

How Long do Power Surges Last?

The electrical surge will occur for less than a thousandth of a second and the voltage can vary, ranging from in the hundreds to thousands. The voltage does not run on a fixed current but changes directions and positions. When three phase power or devices from other countries are within the problem then the issue can be more complicated.

What Causes Power Surges to Occur?

There are many different reasons why a surge may occur within the electrical system:

  • Electrical appliances – devices and equipment can draw out too much power, such as when the system starts, which can cause the surge to occur. This is common for larger appliances, such as air conditioners, heaters and fridges, that use a large amount of power. If they experience a spike then the surge can occur and can also affect other systems around the home.
  • Tripped circuit breakers – a circuit breaker is designed to protect circuits and wires from being damaged from a rise in electrical current. If these are damaged then they can also cause a power surge to occur with electrical systems.
  • Faulty wiring – wiring that is old, damaged or faulty can easily cause a surge to happen. If the electrical device has poor wiring then it will need to be replaced to ensure it does not cause the surge.
  • Power lines – power lines from power poles may be hit, damaged or sag which can cause a surge to occur in the home.
  • Animals – the chance of animals chewing or interfering with the electrical equipment can occur, causing the surge to happen. 
  • Blackout – after a blackout has occurred a surge may occur as the electricity flows back into the appliances. During a blackout, it is important to turn off appliances at the power outlet and unplug the device to prevent this issue. 
  • Lightning strikes – a lightning strike can cause many issues with the electrical systems of a building, including a power surge.

What are the Dangers of Power Surges?

The main damages that occur by a power surge are to electrical equipment, devices and appliances. The electrical appliance may not work entirely after the surge has occurred or no damage may happen. Constant or repeated surges can also lead to the quality of the device decreasing over time. In rare instances, the power surge can lead to an electrical fire.

How Can I Know if a Power Surge Has Occurred?

There are many signs and symptoms that indicate that a power surge has happened:

  • The circuit breaker or safety switch has tripped which may be due to a surge
  • There is an unexpected reset or power loss that has occurred in a device
  • An electrical device has completely failed or the wires have broken

How Do I Protect Devices from Power Surges?

There are many different methods and procedures that can be used to protect electrical appliances from electrical surges:

  • Surge protectors – these are designed to protect appliances against surges and are recommended for all appliances, specifically larger more expensive appliances
  • Phone lie protection – these can be installed over phone line connections to protect the system
  • Safety switches – where surge protectors will protect appliances a safety switch will ensure people are protected from receiving an electrical shock during a surge
  • Unplug appliances – when electrical devices are not in use unplugging them from the power outlet removes the chance of them experience a surge

Reliable 24 Hour Emergency Electricians

The Local Electrician is here with our emergency electrician team to repair damages that happened due to a power surge. Our fully qualified electricians will perform any electrical work regarding electrical surges. From installing surge protectors to protect your home to carrying out our emergency service repairs, we are here at all times.

We offer our power surge and emergency electrical services to all of Sydney, including Greater Western Sydney and Hills District. Our Level 2 Electrician team is here to perform advanced level 2 asp work across all areas and suburbs.


For professional services with power surges – rely on The Local Electrician!

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Our skilled electricians are qualified to carry out any electrical repair or installation within Sydney. We strive to deliver absolute customer satisfaction by offering electrical services that are affordable, safe and long lasting.

Hamish Baker