Hints and Tips

Sometimes I write up some tips or hints. I've collected some here for your amusement.

Here are some hints

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How about Surge Suppressors?

Our houses are full of electronics. Most all of those are subject to electrical attacks. By that, I mean things like Lightning and power surges. Even on a calm day, you can get a voltage surge in your house. If your house voltage jumps from its normal 110 volts to, say, 150, some sensitive devices can be "Fried". If lightning strikes a substation or a power line even several miles away, that surge can pop your voltage to 1200 volts for a microsecond. That can be very expensive. Very! You think about your computer, your TV. How about your stove or refrigerator? How about your microwave? They all have voltage sensitive components. "Computers" if you will.

Here's how to protect yourself. First, if it's available, get a Whole House Surge Supressor. They can be had for about $50 that wire into your breaker panel. Your electrical provider might provide one for a nominal fee (I use "Zap Cap"). Either one is a necessity. Absolutely a necessity! That protects your microwave, refrigerator, stove and most anything else in your house.

Secondly, you need to make some big time investment in your big time electronics. The whole house guys are great but not as good as individual surge supressors. Individual Surge Supressors are a good choice for your sensitive equipment. Although you can get one at Wal-Mart for $19, it provides a bare minimum of protection. A Surge Supressor that ABSOLUTELY protects your TV/DVR/Cable Box/Internet Router will probably cost $50 to $100. Really. That is, however, a good investment. Think about one lightning strike that takes out your TV/DVR/Cable Box/Internet Router and your computer/printer. What would that do to your daily routine?

Throw a dedicated surge supressor on your computer and printer. Also you need to protect your TV/DVR/Cable etc. That's usually pretty easy. They're all on their own outlet. Find a good supressor and put it in line. Remember that you can get a surge through your cable COAX wire. Your surge suppressor should have a facility for that cable (and a telephone cable if you still use one).

The absolute best protection is an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) on my computer/printer and on my TVs. Basically this plugs into the wall and constantly charges a battery. Then it uses the DC battery power to produce 110 V AC. It's exceptionally good because your TV is isolated from your house current. A bonus is that even a light duty one will supply power from its battery for 15 minutes or so. That helps with the occasional power blips that cause your DVR/Cable box to reboot. With a UPS it just sails on by.

One final thought. If a big storm comes along, it's always best to unplug your cable where it comes out of the wall and unplug your electronics from the wall plugs. A voltage surge will not jump out of the outlets.

The more you're prepared for a voltage problem (and you WILL have a voltage problem) the longer your equipment will last.