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Better Ask Barry

Better Ask Barry: What should I do before the power comes back on?

After you’ve done all you can to prepare for the power shutoff, you’ll need to be ready when it comes back on.

The problem is a power surge, which is something like a tidal wave of electric current.

The surge follows a lengthy power outage. When the power is out, the current in power lines drops to zero.

When it comes back on, there is a sudden surge of current which can damage appliances and electronic equipment.

Experts recommend you unplug devices like toasters, microwaves, televisions and computers to protect them from the sudden surge.

“It will definitely help appliances. If they’re not connected, there is no way they can be harmed,” said David Martinez, service manager with JM Electric in Salinas.

Surge protectors sold in hardware and office supply stores offer some protection, but there is a more comprehensive approach.

“One thing they can do ahead of time is to install a surge protector that will protect their entire home, their electrical system for their entire home. Those devices cost between 100 and 300 dollars. It takes about an hour-and-a-half to install, so it’s a very affordable method of protection,” said Martinez.

These surge protectors are usually installed on your home’s electrical panel and protect fans, outlets, light switches, and other hard-wired items that don’t plug into an outlet.

You might choose to leave a single lamp plugged in and turned on so you know when power is restored.

When power returns, wait a few minutes and then turn your appliances on, one at a time.

KION 2019

News / Santa Cruz County / Top Stories

KION546 News Team

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