Computers and Power Brownouts

Power to the people! In the days when we made coffee in electric percolator coffee pots, and washers and dryers only had two settings, and refrigerators did not give you ice and cold water in the door, electrical power could vary in strength without causing damage to the things plugged in.

These days the entire workplace and home is riddled with “Smart” devices that if the electrical power fluctuates too much in either direction the smart devices will burn out. Most of us have heard of surge protectors by now and that is an important safety device to have protecting your devices. In most new homes there is even a whole house surge protector placed in the electrical box so all devices are protected from power surges.

The other side of the electrical power problem known by us old folks is a “brownout.” That is when the electrical power is not lost but is coming in too weak to properly power the devices. For a computer a brownout can cause just as much damage as a surge. To protect against brownouts and the damage they can cause computers, you need to have an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that can condition the power to the computer. Not all UPSs will protect you from a brownout, so make sure to ask or call the manufacturer of your UPS.

You may be thinking you are safe because you turn off your computers before leaving work and do not need the protection. Unless you remove the electrical power completely to the computer it is still at risk since electrical power is still getting to the computer.

One of our customers recently lost power and the building generator turned on. The computers that were turned off and not protected by a UPS all got fried. So please make sure you have a UPS that conditions the power for every computer.

You should also back up information on every computer. The 9G Backup system lets you add up to 250 computers to a single account so all your computers can be protected.