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Will Electrical Power Surges Cause Problems In My Home?


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

Possible Causes of Power Surges and Spikes: How to Avoid Damage to Electrical Devices Caused by Voltage Surges or Spikes.


Voltage Surges and Electrical Spikes

Electrical Question: I have a 200 amp service running to my house, but in the box there is a double 30 breaker going to my brothers trailer.

  • The trailer circuit has been causing electric surges in my home and burning a lot of our stuff out.
  • They are running an air conditioner, refrigerator, and television set and all their lights on the double 30.
  • My question is why is it burning my stuff out instead of flipping the breaker that runs theirs?

Additional Comments: I just searched and found this because I was trying to fix my electrical problem once and for all because I’m tired of paying a bill and not being able to use anything for fear of it being fried.

Background: James, a Homeowner from Clay City, Kentucky.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question James.

Possible Causes of Power Surges and Spikes

Application: Evaluating a Home Electric Service Panel for Causes of Power Spikes and Surges.
Skill Level: Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester and amp meter or load recorder.
Estimated Time: Depends on the type and age of the electric service panel and the access to the circuits to be evaluated.
Precaution:  Working in an electric panel is dangerous due to arc flash hazards and the possibility of electric shock.
Notice: Making changes to the Home Electrical Service Panel should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.

How to Avoid Damage to Electrical Devices Caused by Voltage Surges or Spikes

  • Even though there is a 30 amp 240 volt circuit for the trailer power there may be a great deal of the electrical loads at the trailer that are placed on one 120 volt lines that are creating an unbalanced load.
  • This can cause a surge to take place on that side of the circuit. In a case like this, if it is possible, it would be best to have some of the electrical devices in the trailer plugged into a different outlet that would be fed from the 120 volt line that is not loaded as much.
  • This is best revealed when an electrician takes electrical load measurements using a clamp on amperage meter to determine if the load is balanced or not.
  • I do not have a clear understanding of what “burning a lot of our stuff out” is exactly, however I would also have the 30 amp 240 volt circuit that serves the trailer and the home electrical wiring checked to make sure that they are wired correctly and up to code.

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2 Responses to “Will Electrical Power Surges Cause Problems In My Home?”
  1. charles fulks says:

    The power in one part of my house dies down and the other side surges at the same time,is it something in my breaker box or the transformer outside.


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