If there is a recurring and unforeseen problem that can affect any electrical network, it surges. Even though all the installations have security elements to avoid the appearance of failures and anomalies, it is very difficult to control the unexpected increase in voltage in homes. Today we tell what electrical surges are and how we can avoid them.
Above the established values, this electrical growth can cause serious problems, not only in the installation in general but also in all the electrical equipment connected to it.
Sudden voltage spikes can occur in any community or home. Even though their duration is minimal (just a few microseconds), this electrical growth above the established values can cause serious problems in the installation in general and all electrical equipment connected to it.
Types of Electrical Installation
Within the types of electrical overvoltage, we can distinguish two main ones:
Permanent or Sustained Surges
These occur when the voltage increase lasts for more than a few microseconds and is maintained over time. This type of overvoltage can cause significant damage to the electrical installation and the equipment connected to it.
They are usually common when electrical installation or connection failures in the distribution centers are obsolete.
Transient Over Voltages
As its name indicates, the duration of this voltage growth between ground and conductor is momentary.
This type usually occurs when there are small problems in the general network. In most cases, it occurs due to adverse weather phenomena, such as electrical storms.
How do I protect myself from surges?
If we want to protect our equipment so that it does not suffer any damage, we can install voltage limiters according to our facilities. Their protection will depend on the type of governor installed and the stress load it can withstand.
This device has a tolerance. In this way, it allows a moderate voltage rise, but if it exceeds that margin, it jumps to protect the house’s interior and thus prevent electrical devices connected to the line from being damaged.
The best way to protect your home against surges is to install surge arresters or SPDs, devices placed in electrical panels. It is best to install it in layers, with the electrical service SPDs coordinated with the electronic components.
It is important to note that not all surge arresters are created equal. There are three main types of surge protectors in your home: transient, permanent, and combination.
We can also find single-phase and triphasic protectors. The first is the most suitable for homes with power between 210 and 240 volts and alternating current.
On the other hand, the three-phase ones are usually installed more for buildings for professional use, with more energy consumption, and not so much for private homes. This is because they are usually placed when the installation voltage exceeds 380 volts, having three phases and three alternating currents.
Is it mandatory to install surge protectors?
It is mandatory to have a surge limiter installed in any electrical installation. It is recommended that this protector be the first element to be installed in the electrical panel of a building.
Therefore, we must consider the importance of reviewing and adapting the protection of electrical installations in our communities to avoid this type of incident that can generate a loss of time and money due to the replacement of the affected equipment.