Picture this. It’s a dark and stormy night. Luckily, you’re huddled safely and securely inside your cozy home. And that’s when it happens—you suddenly lose power! Does this sound familiar to you?
Sadly, almost everyone has had something like this happen before during a severe weather event. However, power outages aren’t the only electrical issues caused by storms. In this day and age, the unfortunate reality is that climate change has made hurricane season more severe than ever, and more Americans in more parts of the country are being affected by it. Fortunately, at Mel Carr Electric, our expert electricians are here to make sure your home is as prepared as possible. Keep reading to learn more about the top electrical problems caused by storms—and what you can do about them.
The Top 3 Electrical Problems Caused by Storms (What Causes Them & What You Can Do)
- Power Outages: Power outages and storms go hand in hand. Outages can be caused by a number of things when the weather is raging, though one of the main things to watch out for is downed power lines. This often occurs when a combination of high winds and wet ground cause trees to fall, taking power lines along with them. Fortunately, you can usually receive some protection from power outages by installing a backup generator. This type of equipment is extremely powerful, and usually turns on automatically, so you don’t even have to do anything if you do experience a sudden outage during a storm.
- Power Surges: A power surge is any kind of sudden increase in voltage in your electrical system. Power surges can be extremely dangerous, as they may cause your equipment to suddenly malfunction and even destroy electronic equipment and wiring. While a power surge can occur for various external reasons, the main outside forces that cause power surges are unexpected changes to the grid and lightning strikes during a storm. The best thing to do to prevent power surges is to install a whole-home surge protector. This will add an extra level of protection for your family, equipment, and your data that you will not get from individual surge protectors or even GFCI outlets. For even more protection, you may also want to install a lightning arrestor, which is designed specifically to ground lightning away from your house.
- Electrical Shorts: When the winds are blowing hard and rain is coming down even harder, it is highly likely that some water is going to leak into your home during the course of a storm. This can be a major problem for your electrical system, especially when that water hits your wiring and causes your equipment to short circuit. In some cases, a short circuit may simply cause your power to turn off, or for you to just lose power to certain appliances. However, short circuits can also cause damage and sparking in your equipment, which is why it is an extremely good idea to make sure you have a functional, modern electrical panel in place. If your home is older and/or you have an outdated electrical panel, call an electrician ASAP for an upgrade. At Mel Carr Electric, we can perform a fuse to circuit breaker changeover, which will not only make your system more reliable in the event of a storm, but also make your panel more convenient year-round. You can also call us to inspect your wiring, as your electrical panel is only as good as the wires it is attached to. Our goal is simply to make your system safer and more convenient, and we can tell you firsthand that outdated fuses and faulty wiring can put your home in jeopardy during a storm and in a myriad of other situations.