Skip to Content

Can a Power Surge Damage a TV? How to Protect & Fix Your TV

Whether it’s your dryer tripping a breaker or lighting strikes near your home, power surges are far too common. Keeping things safe and operating smoothly is the utmost priority, but how much damage can be caused by a power surge? Should they be on your list of worries if keeping your TV safe is a priority?

A power surge can damage a TV. The damage can be minimal, such as a single HDMI port no longer working, or it’s possible that it could be completely fried and no longer able to operate. A surge protector is a simple device that will add a layer of protection to any devices connected to it.

The last thing you want is to be in a situation where a little preparation could have saved the day. While protectors are of course important, what causes a power surge anyway? How can you know that a surge is the source of your problems? To find out more about power surges and TVs, read on!

What is a Power Surge? 

Also known as transient voltage, power surges are simply an increase in voltage. Sometimes this increase is strong enough to damage and destroy the items you have attached to the circuit; which, sadly, includes your TV (just like soundbars).

If you’re looking for an exact source, most power surges as caused by items inside the home. Here are some heavy-duty appliances you can usually point your finger at when power surges are a threat:

  • AC
  • Furnace
  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Heavy power tools

However, you may also experience an outside power surge. Things like random lighting strikes are usually the cause of power surges that come from outside. But what happens when you experience a power surge?

When an electrical current passes through a device and it happens to exceed the recommended operating range, electrical arcs can destroy the wiring component. Even smaller surges can slowly cause damage.

How To Tell if a Power Surge Has Damaged Your TV

While you may not get full device failure, there are some other consequences of power surges that do damage over time rather than all at once. So how can you tell if your TV has experienced a power surge?

Generally, if a device that was working properly doesn’t anymore, a power surge could be the culprit. If this happens, following a circuit breaker tripping or another electrical event, you can further reduce the possibilities of this happening.

Other than device failure, what else should you look out for? Here are some other signs that you may have experienced a power surge problem in your home:

  • Device components not working — Check the device’s lights, the clock, or any other aspect of the TV to see if you can find any abnormalities. This could be a sign of a power surge.
  • Burning smell — When an electrical arc hits your device, it burns the casing of the wires first. This will most certainly produce a smell. Keep your nose tuned in for acrid or burning smells coming from the device.
  • No surge protector — If you don’t protect yourself, you’re alone when things go south.

Those are just a quick few things to keep in mind when trying to diagnose aelectrical surge issue yourself. If you are worried or need a second opinion, contact your local electrician. They’ve got the experience you need not only to identify the issue but also to fix it if need be.

How To Protect Your TV From Power Surges

Some things are just out of our hands; power surges are one of them. While you can try your best to avoid the damages and control the risks from inside your home, like heavy appliances, you can’t control Mother Nature. So what should you do to protect your TV from sudden jumps in voltage?

Put quite simply, to protect against power surges, it’s a good idea to get a surge protector. It’s the only way you can prevent damage from all kinds of power surges, both inside and outside. And note that, if you already have a power strip, you may not necessarily have a surge protector. There’s more on that in our related post on how to tell these two very different types of power management devices apart.

A surge protector is a simple device. They help divert voltage spikes safely through the ground, meaning they don’t reach your device but rather go straight toward the earth. The best part? You can get a decent surge protector for very cheap, like this model from Belkin (on Amazon). We also have an article on the best surge protectors.

However, a cheaper surge protector is not always the best option. Sometimes if your equipment is more expensive or sensitive, then it makes sense to purchase a higher-quality surge protector like the Panamax M8-EX (on Amazon), especially since surge protectors go bad over time.

Do TVs Have Built-in Surge Protectors?

Most TVs have some level of surge protection built into their design to guard against voltage spikes. However, for more comprehensive protection, it’s recommended to use an external surge protector or UPS with your TV to prevent damage from larger surges or power fluctuations.

Should The TV Be Unplugged During a Power Surge?

During a power surge, it’s generally advisable to unplug sensitive electrical devices like TVs to minimize the risk of damage. Unplugging the TV removes it from the electrical circuit, protecting it from the surge.

Can You Fix a TV After a Power Surge?

In a perfect world, you’d have surge protectors on every appliance. But that’s just not the case for most people. So what should you do if your TV isn’t working and a power surge seems to be the likely culprit?

The first thing you’ll wantis try to perform a power drain. This will make sure that no more residual power is left in your TV and can solve many problems.

How to Perform a Power Drain on a TV:

  1. Unplug the TV.
  2. Hold down the power button for around 10 to 30 seconds. This will drain the residual power.
  3. Reconnect the TV and turn the power on.
  4. Repeat if you’re still experiencing issues.

This is a great first move and can often be a remedy for even the most troublesome of TV issues. If it still doesn’t work, or your TV is on but acting weird, a factory reset might be the next best option.

How to Perform a Factory Reset on a TV:

  1. Disconnect all components (DVD Players, Cable Boxes, etc.)
  2. Turn the TV on.
  3. Find the menu for the TV and open it.
  4. You should see an option for Setting or System Settings; names may vary.
  5. Once you are in the System Settings, find Options or Advanced Settings.
  6. Here is where you should find the Factory Reset option.
  7. Follow the on-screen instructions to confirm the reset.

Keep in mind that not all TVs will have the same reset process. If you can, use your owner’s manual. You’ll find more specific steps there on how to perform a full factory reset. If neither of these steps fixes your problem, it could be an issue with the power manager for the device. If this is the case, you may need to get external help from a TV repair expert.

Does Insurance Cover a Power Surge?

When things go south, the first thing you might think of is your insurance. Does homeowner’s insurance typically cover power surges? Since they are so common, many people are asking this question.

In some cases, power surges are protected under homeowner’s insurance if you have protection for personal items. Not all policies will offer this coverage. Get in contact with your local agent for more information on your situation.

Personal Property Coverage is what helps you replace your belongings when they get destroyed by a covered peril. In most cases, a power surge is considered a covered peril. But, there are limits you’ll need to be aware of before calling in a claim.