Tag Archives: electrical surges

family timeIt’s a stormy evening, and you’re hiding out from the elements with your air conditioner. Then the lights flicker for just a second, and bzaat! In a shower of sparks, your air conditioner is dead.

That is how quickly an electrical surge can strike.

Electrical surges happen when voltage spikes up to 110% or more than normal. This is normally caused by nearby lightning strikes, but can also be the result of large appliances being turned off and on. Our electric company also becomes a culprit when sudden adjustments to power levels in the area are made. The excess electrical energy resulting from a surge, whether large or small, impacts the delicate electronic components of appliances, computers, and other electronic gadgets. Depending on the greatness of the voltage peak, electrical surges can either shorten the life of your equipment, or kill it completely since the components affected by surges are irreparable.

Losing a major appliance this way can be extremely painful.

Thankfully, there are ways in which we can prepare ourselves against this:

1. Install a good surge protector.

Also called as surge suppressor, a good surge protector can effectively divert the excess electrical energy elsewhere, and provides protection for your electric devices and phone lines. Point of use surge protectors are made especially for sensitive equipment, like computers and televisions. They intercept electricity from when it enters the outlet in which the surge protectors is plugged, and protect all wires connected to a particular appliance. A voltage regulator (AVR) works in the same way as a surge protector, but also ensures that the voltage level coming from the outlets is at the correct level.

2. A UPS

An uninterruptible power supply device is another good way to protect against surges. We often find these connected to our computers at work. The UPS device works like a generator, providing a continuous supply of electricity for an additional period of time in the event of a power outage. This gives us enough time to properly shut down appliances if the power outage is expected to last long.

There’s more to protecting your appliances than just surge protection devices, however. The easiest methods require discipline and responsibility.

check wirings3.Avoid Overloaded Outlets.

This can promote the chance of a destructive electrical surge occurring.  Our advice is that appliances and gadgets that are not being used should be unplugged.

4. Check wirings.

Make sure that your home has an updated wiring system that can handle the power of your appliances, especially if you live in an older house.

Especially in today’s erratic weather conditions, you don’t want to be stuck in afrustrated woman hot room because an electrical surge destroyed your air conditioner, or screech in frustration because the surge wiped out your computer’s hard drive. The steps to protecting your home are simple—with a few investments and a little bit of perseverance, your home can continue to be a safe, comfortable haven from the elements.

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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:

  1. Your lights flickered
  2. You heard your AVR made a noise
  3. 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.

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The Voltage ProtectorTravel. The movement of people/objects between relatively distant geographical locations through land, air and sea transports. More often than not, we bring bags or suitcases to carry our belongings like clothes, toiletries and electronic gadgets to name a few out of necessity. These electronic gadgets may come in the form of laptops, mobile phones or cameras for adults and ipods, playstation or tablets for kids which come with their corresponding bags, batteries and chargers. Yet there’s one thing that we often neglect to bring: voltage protectors.

What are Voltage Protectors?

Voltage protectors, as the name implies, are devices designed to protect our electronic gadgets from sudden surges or fluctuations in voltage by limiting if not shorting to ground any unwanted voltage to the recommended safe threshold level. A voltage protector is mostly compared to an Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR ) because of their similar features: protecting the appliance plugged in from faults and fluctuations, built-in delay. Please note however their differences: Voltage Protectors merely cut power supply from the outlet to an appliance while an AVR regulates and continues to provide stable power to your appliance.

When traveling, Meiji voltage protectors could pretty much stand as the invisible line between saving our equipment and having it broken or destroyed. We all know of the hassle of having something repaired to a shop, of continually making follow-up, not to mention the time as well as the resources expended which could ring up to tens and thousands of pesos just to have a device fixed. And what about the data loss on our laptop computers, it might take forever to reconstruct those data once more. You wouldn’t want that to happen again, would you?

Meiji Voltage Protectors don’t cost much and is very much portable compared to your AVR. And the benefits it gives us especially on our travel trips make it handy.

So what else are you waiting for, before you get on that next plane or ship, make sure that voltage protector is one of the things in your checklist! Have a happy travel especially this holiday season!  🙂

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