Any major storm has the potential to cause damage to buildings, electrical relays, and cable lines. Pole-based lines are the most susceptible to damages caused by major weather, like the 2020 hurricanes. When the electrical wires are damaged, a buildup of power, or a surge, is created and released into the neighboring connected homes and businesses. This can damage any appliances or electronics that remain connected to the energy grid.
Houston experienced a large energy surge with the landfall of Hurricane Laura in August 2020. More than 113 thousand homes and businesses in Southeast Texas were without power. In the days that followed, energy began being restored. This created a new danger for those electronics and equipment still connected to the grid: the surge back to power. As lines were repaired and re-energized, it created an inward surge that continued to have the potential to damage electronics that had not been disconnected.
All this being said, it’s important to note that most surges actually come from within our own homes, not from storms. You can read a detailed explanation about this from our owner here.
Everything from alarm clocks to high-tech computers that are connected to a wall socket has a form of a power converter in it. With the influx of too much power, the tiny transistors and capacitors are unable to handle the load. In essence, it floods the system and burns out the device's ability to transfer power from the electrical grid into the device itself. Devices that are charging when a power surge occurs have a greater risk of exploding the battery, as they can not hold enough power.
Major storms caused most of the damage that created the energy surges in August 2020. However, all storms have the potential to damage systems. It is not only the storm creating electrical surges that can damage equipment either, but water damage can also occur from flooding and downed trees on homes. How do you protect your important electronics from storms?
To prevent damage from surges, you may read the well-intentioned advice to unplug your devices. However, Echo Workshop does not recommend this to our customers. There are a lot of interconnected systems in what we do and unplugging something can cause a failure in other items. It is safer, and much more effective, to be proactive and include proper surge suppression and surge elimination solutions within your system. This way, you are not running around trying to unplug everything as a storm approaches, and you can ensure that your systems remain properly installed.
For minor surges, point-of-use surge protectors are available in stores to help reduce the effect of surges on equipment plugged into them. Not all surge protectors are created equal and are easily confused with power strips that only add extra outlets. The packaging on surge protectors shows how many joules the strip will be able to handle on an incoming surge. If it goes higher than the max, the protector will no longer be of use. Check the lights and replace surge protectors regularly to get maximum protection from the devices.
No matter the reason for the power surge, there are ways to prevent damage to your devices. For proper surge suppression, the cost of protecting your equipment is usually less than the repair or replacement of the devices. Let Echo Workshop work with you to set you up with the best and smartest system to protect your home and business.
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5325 Glenmont Drive, Suite F
Houston, TX 77081
By Appointment Only
Phone: (713) 589-9222
License # B-15339