Jan 14 2008

Jan - 14 2008 | By

Lots of talk about the recent power outages, some of which lasted up to a week in our area, and what to do to help protect your appliances and electronic equipment.

During a brown out ( something less than 110v ac is coming into your house from the power company) TURN OFF or unplug anything that has a motor like refridgerators and freezers (and do not open them!). It's called a brown out as the lights may dim to the oint of having a lighting effect like a dim saloon! : ). Filament light bulbs do not mind working this way. Naturally, you are using those nice Compact Flourescen Tubes (CFTs) which can also malfuntoin and overheat in these conditions.

During a full power outage:

Unplug electronic equipmennt from the wall. If you have a UPS (Uninteruptable Power Suppy) immediately shut down whatever equipment it is running. A UPS can be used to power a cordless phone and radio for a few hours but do not attempt to run your computer with it.

When using a generator BE SURE TO TURN OFF THE MAIN POWER coming in from your utility provider (so that you are not feeding power into the system which could potentially electrocute a worker).

Generator power should be used for essential things in your house and not for computers and such or electric heaters. Using generator power to run the fan  on your gas heater is okay.

APC & Belkin UPS units, the more expensive units will provide smoother sine waves and don't mind charging from a generator. A Belkin unit that we use here at KVMR is model # FF6C1000-TW-RK . – About $150.00 from their site as of press day.

Also related to prolonged power outages is that the CMOS/BIOS battery (a small quarter sized unit in all desktop computers) may go flat. Replace with battery # 2032 (I think)