How to Protect Home Appliances from Voltage Fluctuation or Surge?

By Consumer Advise Team
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Every household depends on different types of home appliances. Whether it is the food processor in your kitchen or the geyser of your bathroom, your life seems incomplete without these. So, it is your responsibility to maintain those appliances.

Voltage fluctuation is a huge problem in many households, especially for home appliances like air conditioners and washing machines that operate on electricity. And this fluctuation causes severe damage to the electrical devices.

When there is a power surge, if your device is on, there is a huge chance of it getting damaged. This is why home and kitchen appliances need protection from abrupt electricity fluctuation.

There are different types of power surges that can affect homeowners, like brownouts, blackouts, power sags, etc. Voltage fluctuation can happen due to various reasons, like weather conditions, area-wide electrical power problems, and so on. Today, we will talk about protecting your home appliances from this power surge.

What Exactly Is a Voltage Surge?

Voltage surge means the sudden rise of an excessive voltage of the power that can damage any electrical appliance if used at that time. If there is over-voltage, the high voltage current can pass quickly between two phases and destroy any sensitive electrical device. There are two types of voltage surges:

  1. Internal Voltage Surge: When the voltage in the system gets higher automatically than the usual voltage, it is called an internal voltage surge. Internal voltage can be dynamic and transient.
  2. External Voltage Surge: When a voltage surge happens due to any tough weather condition like a lightning strike, hurricane, or typhoon, it is known as an external voltage surge. The insulation can be stressed during external overvoltage.
voltage surge fluctuation

What are the Reasons for Voltage Fluctuation?

The appliances that you use in your day-to-day life need a steady and smooth flow of electric supply. But, voltage fluctuation can damage the electrical supply as well as the appliances. Once you know the reasons for voltage fluctuations, you can keep your expensive electrical appliances safe and protected.

Here are some of the root causes of voltage fluctuation that happens in your household or office-

Poor Electric Supply

If your area or household gets a poor electric supply, that can cause voltage fluctuations. Any loose connection in your building or power supply lines can cause this damage. Besides, if there is any low-capacity transmitter, it can cause a poor supply of electricity. 

Wiring Issues

This is another reason for voltage fluctuations. If the building’s wiring is not fabricated well, the wires may not hold the sufficient amount of power required in the building. Besides, pest infestation can also damage the wires, which causes voltage fluctuations.

Natural Causes

If there is any kind of obstructions in the transmission lines, that can cause voltage fluctuations. Obstruction can happen due to natural reasons like a lightning, thunder strikes, heavy rains, fallen branches on the wires, etc.

These are some of the reasons that cause voltage fluctuations, and those directly impact electrical appliances.

Can High or Low Voltage Damage Home Appliances?

The electrical appliances you use at home run at a certain voltage. For example, a steam iron runs at 1400 to 3000 Watts, while a food processor requires 500 to 1000 Watts. If the appliances don’t get enough power, they will get damaged. 

If there is a high voltage, any electrical home appliance can be damaged. So, it would help if you made sure that the power supply of your house is smooth and steady.

The low voltage doesn’t cause that much serious damage. If you are using the latest models of different applications, those come with electric motors. Such motors come with certain circuits that can measure the motor’s temperature and switch off the appliance during voltage surges. 

If you have any old model appliances that come with a less powerful motor may get overheated during voltage surges and get damaged. So, to take care of your appliances, it is important to buy the latest models of the appliances for proper protection.

measuring voltage

How to Know Your House Has High Voltage or Low Voltage?

Do you suffer from too much voltage fluctuation in your house?

Then, it is important to know the present voltage status. The electric supply providers provide 240 Volts of power to your house, but that is not always constant. It may vary from 210 to 250 Volts. To check the current-voltage status of your house, you can follow the following steps:

  • Check the main breaker at the top of the breaker panel. You will find the number of amperage on the switch. The common amperages of the main breaker are 100, 125, 150, and 200.
  • Switch the main breaker and open the cover of the panel with a screwdriver. You will find all the wiring inside the panel.
  • While checking the main breaker panel, you should take all the safety measures. Wear rubber gloves, safety glasses, and a rubber slipper.
  • Set the dial on the multimeter electrical tester at 250 AC to check the present current supply to your house.
  • Put one tester probe on the silver lugs above the main breaker and the other probe on the remaining silver lug. You can now see whether the voltage is within the range of 210 to 250 Volts. If it is higher or lower than that, you need to connect the electric supply board.
  • You can also use a digital multimeter to measure voltage fluctuations and calculate power consumption.

Here is an informative video about using a multimeter to measure voltage and calculate wattage-

7 Ways to Protect Appliances from Voltage Fluctuation

Install a Voltage Stabilizer

Stabilizers are quite common in many households today, and this is a great method to keep your appliances in a safe condition during voltage fluctuation.

During the voltage surge, the stabilizer gets the power pressure and delivers only the amount of current required to run the appliance. So, have a stabilizer in your home and keep your appliances safe.

The best stabilizer for ac in India can work like a charm to protect your precious air conditioner from getting damaged.

Install a Whole-house Surge Protector

Installing such a device can keep your house protected from any unwanted electrical damage. A surge protector can divert the unusually high surge and energy and prevents electrical fire. Thus, you can protect your appliances and save money.

Protect home appliances by fixing the Wiring

This is another important tip you need to follow. Wires often get damaged if they are old or there is pest infestation. So, if you notice a burning smell from the outlets or any kind of buzzing sound over there, you can call an electrician for checking.

Unplug Appliances during Lighting and Storm

This is the basic rule to keep your appliances safe from voltage surges. Never use any of your appliances during thunderstorms and lightning, and also keep those unplugged.

You Can Use Additional Power Protection

There are certain types of home appliances that are quite sensitive. Refrigerators, television, computer, etc., are such types of devices. So, to protect those from voltage surges, you can have an additional power protection system in your house.

For cable lines and phone connections, you can use surge stations. Power strips are very much useful for running different appliances. For a computer, you can use the UPS system to protect the device.

Buy Appliances That Can Take Voltage Surge

If you live in certain areas where voltage fluctuation is a regular incident, you must carefully buy electrical appliances. Make sure those are effective in taking voltage surges. Certain appliances come with an in-built stabilizer. You can go for those.

Get the Indoor Installation Inspected Regularly

Finally, this is one of the most important things you need to remember. You should call expert electricians to inspect the wiring system, power switches, the main switch, power lines from the meter, etc., regularly to keep your appliances safe.

So, here you get to know about voltage surges and get tips to protect your home appliances and kitchen appliances from this trouble. To stay safe, you should always maintain these things. Call an expert electrician to check the wiring inside the walls and also the switches.

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