What causes an electrical surge?

Electrical surges can be a real headache and there are lots of different causes. They can zap your electronics and leave you with a hefty repair bill. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your precious gadgets.

February 19, 2024

Old appliances

Dodgy appliances are a common culprit – such as those old toasters, kettles, TVs and sound systems that have seen better days. If they're not working properly, they can send a surge of electricity through your home's wiring, wreaking havoc on your electronics.


Then there's the issue of outdated or poorly installed wiring. Over time, wiring can wear down or become damaged, increasing the risk of electrical surges. If your home's wiring needs a refresh, it's worth having some upgrades to keep you and your electronics safe.

Mother Nature

Lightning strikes can send a massive surge of electricity through your home's wiring, frying anything that's plugged in. While we can't control the weather, we can take steps to protect our electronics from lightning strikes.

What can you do?

If you're experiencing frequent surges, it's crucial to address the underlying issue to prevent further damage. One step you can take is to have an electrician inspect your switchboard and rectify any issues. The switchboard is like the control centre for your home's electrical system, and problems there can contribute to surges.

Another option is to have a surge protector installed. These devices act as a barrier between your electronics and the electrical grid, absorbing any excess electricity and preventing it from reaching your gadgets. They're like a safety net for your electronics, offering an extra layer of protection against surges.

It's important to note that surge protectors and RCDs serve different purposes and complement each other in safeguarding your home and electronics. While RCDs primarily protect against electrical shocks, surge protectors focus on preventing damage caused by voltage fluctuations. Having both installed can significantly reduce the risk of electrical accidents and equipment damage.

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