What homeowners should know about power surges at home

by Pierre C. Rumpf 02/20/2023

Every homeowner should be aware of when and how a power surge in house electrical systems can occur. 

While some causes are beyond our control, the more prepared you are for the possibility of the occasional power surge, the better you can mitigate any possible damage or hazards.

Here is some of the most important info to know about power surges to make sure you're prepared to handle them:

What causes power surges?

Power surges happen whenever there is an interruption or sudden increase in the flow of electricity. The main causes of a power surge include:

  • Electrical overload caused by drawing too much power from one circuit.
  • Faulty wiring.
  • Lightning strikes.
  • Power outages or blackouts.

How do power surges cause damage?

While many modern electronic devices and appliances have built-in surge protection, a power surge can still damage them or your home's systems. 

A sudden increase in voltage can overheat and damage the circuits inside electrical components, rendering them unusable. Sometimes, these circuits can be fixed or replaced, but other times the damage is irreparable.

Power surges can also have more serious effects, like causing fire or deadly electric shock. They can cause damage to your HVAC system and electrical outlets, which should be addressed by a licensed professional.

Does insurance cover power surge damage?

Homeowners insurance policies with personal property coverage will typically cover the costs of damages from power surges, but only if the cause is a lightning strike or excessive voltage from an external source. 

Damage resulting from faulty wiring or unsafe outlet use may not be covered.

How can I prevent power surges at home?

Some of the best ways to prevent power surges at home are:

  • Unplugging electric devices when not in use.
  • Avoid overusing extension cords or plugging too many devices into a single outlet.
  • Always use surge protectors, especially for vulnerable devices like computers.
  • Upgrade your home's outlets to newer models with built-in surge protectors.
  • Have your home's electrical system checked by a licensed electrician to identify any faulty wiring.

Unfortunately, sudden voltage spikes from an electrical provider or a nearby lightning strike cannot always be predicted or prevented. However, with the right knowledge and preparation, you can significantly reduce your chance of power surge-related damage at home. 

About the Author

Pierre C. Rumpf

Broker Profile: Pierre comes from a diverse background. His adolescent and early adult years found him working for his father, a renowned structural engineer, and his brother, an architectural designer and general contractor. His knowledge of construction design (architectural & structural) and practices is significant. He coupled his construction background with his considerable sales experience, by becoming licensed to sell real estate in Massachusetts in 1986.

Pierre is also a licensed Attorney in the Commonwealth, who formerly worked for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office as a litigator in the Victim & Witness Assistance Division of the Family & Community Crimes Bureau, litigating cases involving victims of violent crime, and since then has had his own legal practice.

For decades, Pierre has excelled in helping buyers of real estate find that condo, single-family, multi-family, lot of lands, or commercial property they desire to buy, or by effectively marketing his clients’ properties to sell their property for the most amount of money possible. His professional background embodies the ideal combination of construction, sales, negotiating, and contract drafting, which is essential to actualizing his clients’ goals and/or dreams. He does all of this with attention to detail, integrity, and success.

Since 1995, PCR Realty has helped buyers and sellers make their transactions as successful as possible. Using a consultative approach, PCR Realty approaches each experience as a unique opportunity for its clients. As a full-service real estate brokerage firm, PCR Realty provides leading-edge services for buyers & sellers.

When it comes to successfully navigating today’s complex real estate market, you need to work with someone who has the experience and commitment to see it done right. PCR Realty excels at matching buyers to sellers. From state-of-the-art marketing to an experienced broker, PCR Realty works diligently to far exceed your expectations. PCR Realty invites you to learn more.