Surge Protection

Understand power surges, and how you can prevent equipment damage

Understanding electrical problems

Eighty percent of electrical problems in your home or office result from wiring or grounding issues. The rest typically occur because of an event in the power distribution system.

Though PGE works to reduce the impact of power surges and spikes on the grid, we cannot eliminate them.

You’re also trying to isolate sensitive electronic equipment from power-hungry appliances, such as:

  • Laser printers & copiers
  • Washers and dryers
  • Electric furnaces and air conditioning
  • Electric and microwave ovens
  • Electric tools
  • Hair dryers and electric shavers

4 steps to protect your home or business

A few preventative steps can go a long way toward protecting your home or business.

  1. Check your wiring and grounding.
    • Are your lights dimming or getting brighter? Is your electronic equipment acting unreliably? You may have problems with your wiring. Make sure the equipment is plugged into a grounded outlet, and have an electrician check your wiring.
    • Living in an older home (built before 1960)? See if your wiring meets current standards.
    • Check appliances for loose or damaged plugs or poor connections, and repair or replace them as needed.
  2. Use outlet surge protectors.

    You install these devices between the appliance and the electrical outlet to prevent surges from reaching your sensitive equipment.

  3. Protect your home or business at the panel with a panel-mounted surge protector.

    By installing a surge protector at your main circuit panel, you safeguard your home’s entire electrical system. This includes wiring and appliances.

  4. For office equipment and computer networks that must remain available, consider an uninterruptible power supply.

    An uninterruptible power supply device — or UPS — protects computers, modems and other equipment by “cleaning up” and regulating voltage, guarding against surges, spikes, voltage sags and outages that can cause your equipment to fail. It provides temporary emergency backup power from a battery.