Thankfully, the electrical grid in Atlanta is stable. Barring a major storm, it is rare for the electricity to go out. However, during occasional power outages, what steps can you take to ensure that your electronics are safe?
Power Outages and Electronic Devices
Blackouts or power outages can cause serious issues at your home or business. If your electronic devices are not protected, an outage could lead to a security risk, reduced productivity, data loss, and reduced revenue.
In addition to the frustration caused by power interruptions, they can also damage sensitive electrical equipment. Modern electronics have built-in safeguards protecting them from power outage or blackout damages. These include brownouts, electrical surges, spikes, and electrical interference. Still, your equipment can be at risk. There are certain precautions you can take if your home or business relies on the continued operation of electronic devices.
Protect Your Electronics from Power Outages
Power outages happen when the power supply infrastructure is damaged. With modern computers, the primary risk from power loss is data loss. Older computers are not as stable. During a blackout, they may experience data corruption and other performance issues. With older computers, you had to follow a specific power-down procedure. Power outages do not typically affect hardware unless there is also a power surge.
Protecting Electronics from Power Surges
A power surge happens when there is an unexpected increase in voltage. Power surges are typically seen after a power interruption or a change in an electrical draw. For example, you may have a motor using the same power circuit as your electronic device. When you turn on the motor, the motor is pulling excessive amounts of electricity. Once you turn it off, a short surge in power is delivered to other equipment connected to the same circuit. The severity and timing of power surges can impact your electronic equipment.
The Danger of Voltage Spikes
A voltage spike and a power surge are similar. The difference is that a voltage spike is more severe. Voltage spikes are typically caused by major electronic events, like a lightning strike, short-circuit, EMP, power supply failure, or static discharge. Voltage spikes damage your equipment because they produce a current flow over your equipment’s breakdown voltage. The result is damage to sensitive circuitry and electrical insulators.
A voltage slump, or brownout, is the opposite of a power surge. A voltage surge can be regulated or monitored if you have the proper equipment, like a surge protector. In modern homes that have been designed to help meet power demands, voltage slumps are not common. However, if you have faulty wiring or a problem with the local power grid, they can occur.
Inadequate voltage can cause your electronics to freeze or crash. The best solution for dealing with a voltage slump is to unplug sensitive equipment. Arc Angel Electric is available to assist you in diagnosing and repairing issues with your home’s electrical network caused by voltage slumps.
Protecting Your Unit Against Power Outages
A power outage will not cause the same damage to your electronics as a power surge, but they are still damaging. Therefore, if you want to protect your electronics and stored data, you should invest in and take power outage precautions.
For example, an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) can prevent power outage damage. The UPS is an apparatus with a backup battery that will continue to power your computer or electronic device even when the power in your home goes out. Many are equipped with surge protectors. So, they kill two birds with one stone.
An uninterrupted power supply can represent a significant financial investment. But it’s worth it if you live in a location that has frequent power surges, power outages, or voltage fluctuations. It will protect your electronics and keep them powered for a few minutes. However, it is not a long-term solution. It gives you enough time to shut down your electronics and prevent damage safely. Most will sound an alarm if the power goes out. This way, you will know to save whatever data you have on your computer or electronic device and then shut it down immediately.
Invest in a Good Surge Protector
A surge protector does not protect your hardware from a blackout. But it does protect your hardware post-blackout power surges that typically happen. Finding a suitable surge protector can seem confusing as they have different specifications that tell you how well they do their job.
Remember, a surge protector and power strip are not the same. A power strip gives you more outlets to plug your devices into. A surge protector’s only job is to detect excess voltage and then divert electricity to the grounding wire. Surge protectors must be plugged into a grounded outlet to work as they should.
How Power Quality Affects Your Electronics
When a power plant produces commercial electrical power, voltage is created as a 60-hertz alternating current. Sensitive electronic equipment, like your computers, laptops, and cellular phones, requires a constant 60-hertz supply to charge or operate properly.
Once electricity is delivered to your home at the correct voltage, the system installed in your home to distribute electricity can impact voltage reliability. The power you receive from venture outlets in your home or business is called power quality. It is a combination of the quality of electricity produced by the generating plant and your home’s electrical system’s ability to distribute the electricity.
Your electronic devices have been manufactured to function with a uniform, clean sinewave. If the 60-hertz alternating current sinewave becomes distorted or disturbed, your electronics may send false signals. This can cause false signals, disruptions, or damage to your devices.
Electrical disturbances happen more often because of an issue with your home or commercial facility’s power distribution system, even though you are getting a steady voltage supply from the power plant.
These disturbances can happen frequently and create severe issues, especially if you have sensitive equipment close to the disturbance source. Achieving and maintaining quality power is a dual effort between your utility company and you.
Power outages can wreak havoc on your electronic devices. It is essential to take necessary steps before an outage to be prepared for when the power goes out. If your electronic devices get damaged, the professionals at Arc Angel Electric will upgrade your electrical system to prevent future damage.
Comprehensive Electrical Services in Cumming and the Surrounding Area
At Arc Angel Electric, we are proud to offer comprehensive wiring for commercial and residential construction. Our skilled technicians can help you with electrical repairs, services, remodeling, troubleshooting, home enhancements, and more.
Our services promote an environmentally friendly, sustainable way of installing electrical networks. This includes installing renewable energy systems, electric car charging stations, and more. As the standards for electrical installation change, so do our techniques and services. Contact us if you need an electrical upgrade, indoor or outdoor lighting, kitchen remodels, surge protection, panel inspections, and more.
If you need a whole home rewiring or simply need to replace an outlet, you can count on us at Arc Angel Electric to provide reliable support for your home or office. Contact us today to learn more.