In the Philippines, whether you are a coffee shop, boutique, computer shop owner or even just a regular citizen, you will need to deal with the fluctuations in your power provider. It’s a fact of life we all have to accept.
Maybe you may have no idea on what I’m talking about, but I think you may have instances when:
- Your lights flickered
- You heard your AVR made a noise
- A sudden power outage in your home but the neighbors didn’t seem affected
Sounds more familiar? Yes. Now this is what we call electrical fluctuations. There may be a number of reasons as to why these occur. Some of which are loose connections, contacts with your circuit breaker or an open connection.
This article aims to inform you of the reality of electrical fluctuations and gives practical solutions for this problem.
In most cases as mentioned above, in our country, this may be due to the poor power regulation we are getting from our provider. The power plants we have here are mostly outdated and lack proper voltage regulation found in modern power plants as those used in other countries.
Also, if your location is near depressed areas, unauthorized tapping of power lines resulting in overloading of your power source may also result in voltage fluctuations.
For example, at night when everyone uses electricity, your depressed neighbors may use ‘jumpers’ to light up their homes and illegally make use of the provider’s electricity. The capacity given by the utility company cannot sustain the loads being tapped, thus, voltage fluctuations result.
So what do you do?
Tip Number 1: Get a Voltage Regualtor.
This may be one of the best life savers to your appliances. An Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) can help regulate the sudden surges or sags of your voltage especially during in its initial turn-ons.
Please take note also that the commercially available AVRs can only handle voltage fluctuations within a 10% limit that is, when your voltage goes above 10% or below 10%, your AVR can still give you the required voltage.
However, when it exceeds the 10% limit, for example, your voltage fluctuations goes up to 260V or goes down (sags) to 180V, the commercially available AVRs are not equipped to handle the situation anymore. On these instances, you should inform your power utility company and let them check carefully as this will seriously damage your appliances.
Tip Number 2: Examine your Panelboard.
A thorough examination of your load distribution in your penal board by an authorized electrical practitioner is also necessary. There are instances wherein power loads are combined with lighting loads. This will result in flickering of lights when certain power loads are turned on.
Tip Number 3: Consult MERALCO.
When you have completed Steps 1 and 2 but still with no avail? Complain to your power provider ASAP.