Don’t Lose Your Hard Work – Protect Yourself from a Power Surge

Power surges occur when the flow of electricity is interrupted then restarted, or when something sends electricity flowing back into the system.

Surge voltages can range from five or ten volts when you turn on a small appliance, to thousands of volts when lightning strikes a transformer.

Internal power surges

More than half of all household power surges occur inside the home. These surges happen dozens of times per day, usually when devices with motors start up or shut off, diverting electricity to and from other appliances. Refrigerators and air conditioners are the biggest culprits, but smaller devices like hair dryers and power tools may also cause problems. The vast majority of these are un-noticed and never cause a problem.

External power surges

An external power surge, stemming from outside your home, is most commonly caused by a tree limb touching a power line, lightning striking utility equipment, or a small animal getting into a transformer.

Surges can also occur when the power comes back on after an outage, and can even come into your home through telephone and cable TV lines. The fact that a surge may come through telephone or cable connections is a reason to purchase a slightly more expensive protection device which incorporates protection for this type of surge.

Point-of-use surge protectors

A “point-of-use” surge protector guards individual devices from lower-level internal fluctuations.

You may have equipment plugged into a multi-socket power strip, but it’s important to realize that many of these devices function simply as extension cords, providing little or no protection against power surges.

The adage “you get what you pay for” very much applies to surge protectors, with prices ranging from $5 to more than $150.

Uninterrupted Power Supplies

While surge protectors provide the most affordable method of protection, you can employ better methods to provide some degree of protection for your PC. One of the best methods to insulate your system from power troubles is a good Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). The name says it all.

In addition to filtering, enhancing or modifying the utility power, special circuitry and batteries are used to prevent the PC from losing power during a disruption (blackout) or voltage sag (brownout). These units are called different names depending on their exact design, but all fit into the general category of backup power. Most models come with a USB connection which connects to your PC and in the event outside power is lost will safely power down your machine automatically. UPS solutions range in size from small 350 Volt-Amps which will provide a few minutes of battery time to large industrial strength sizes on many Volt-Amps. We recommend at least 350VA for a basic home computer, and for most users a 500VA solution should provide sufficient protection.

Once considered an expensive luxury, UPSs are now available quite inexpensively. ComputerGeeks2Go recommends a UPS to all PC owners especially if it used for work purposes. ComputerGeeks2Go has provided a number of options for you from our partners for high quality Surge protectors and UPSs. (Click on the images and follow the links to Amazon.com) If you consider your time valuable, a UPS can pay for itself the first time the power flickers or goes out.

If you have questions about power surges and how to protect your computer from them, call us at 1-888-863-3033 or email us at help@computergeeks2go.com and we’ll be happy to help you.

3 Responses to “Don’t Lose Your Hard Work – Protect Yourself from a Power Surge”

  1. click here for calgary contractors

    Hey! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able
    to correct this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share.
    Many thanks!

    Reply
    • jon

      Thanks for asking about mobile friendly websites on our blog, I am not sure if you want your main website or your WordPress blog to work on your iphone, but the answer is basically the same. You need to utilize what’s called a responsive web template for your design. For your website I recommend using a framework called “Foundation” ( http://foundation.zurb.com/ ), and for your blog using a WordPress theme called Reverie ( http://themefortress.com/reverie/ ). We frequently use both, they are highly customizable and are fully responsive templates.

      If you would like any assistance with getting these set up and running on your websites please feel free to contact us at 1-888-863-3033.

      Reply
    • Sheila

      I have had two whole house surge modules on my meter box.And, my house has been sutrck twice. The first literally was a direct strike. Mother (Nature), ignored the wet 70 foot trees, and ignored my dipoles, went for the vinyl siding, go figure. But since it was a direct hit must have coupled to my ac lines, and phone, totally on the other side of my whole house surge protector. Took out bunch’s of equipment but my house did not burn down. Oh and the second hit, looked to me like it hit the driveway first, cause there was a basketball size hole in the concrete, then it followed under the concrete (re-bar?) blew all the expansion material out of the gap at the garage footer, found a downspout, went up the downspout (it was a DOWNspout for pete’s sake) got onto a light fixture and my breaker panel ditstributed it promptly, once again bypassing the whole house surge unit. Thats why I also have at least one surge strip in every room I buy a new one when I see them on sale, UPS on most of the computers, two surge arrestors on telco line, and one on my cat-5 network. I hate thunderstorms by the way, I wish I could hide under the bed like a new puppy.

      Reply

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