This week: Power Supplies and Power Strips
An unusual a number of PC’s with power issues hit my workbench last week. Power supplies in PC’s are inexpensive for a reason; they sacrifice themselves in the event of power spikes, surges or brown outs, to avoid taking out the main board, aka motherboard, of the PC.
We have had several power outages in the valley this year, and with every incident, there is the possibility of a power spike/surge that could damage the power supply. The best way to protect your devices is to unplug your electronics from the wall before the power is restored.
Not many of us do that, so we buy surge-protecting power strips. However, the inexpensive ones are good for only one or a few power spikes before they are no longer are effective. It is unfortunate that once the power spike protection is gone, the rest of the power strip continues functioning, so we don’t really know if our power strip is protecting our equipment or not. The more expensive surge strips offer different protection than the inexpensive ones and should last longer and may have lights to indicate if they are working.
The better option is an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS); these cost from $50 to $150 and have much better power spike suppression. I have one on my router and modem and am able to use my laptop for more than an hour before the UPS battery runs out. There are tradeoffs, as the UPS battery or the unit has to be replaced every few years, but a UPS also protects the rest of the PC better than relying on a mere power strip alone.
In summary, to protect not only your PC’s/Laptop’s power supply, if you can afford only an inexpensive power strip with surge protection, replace it at least yearly, or get a more expensive strip that has better protection. Or, for the best protection and battery backup, buy an uninterruptable power supply.
‘til next week
Robert - 360-497-3130 Cell
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Randle, WA 98377
Index to Past ComputerFAQ Columns:
October 30, 2013 Power Supplies and Power Strips
October 23, 2013 Hacked! My E-mail was HACKED!
October 16, 2013 View Home Page As You Like It Part 2
October 9, 2013 View Home Page As You Like It
October 2, 2013 PUPs Cause Slow Browsing
September 25, 2013 Smart Phones
September 18, 2013 Bits, Bytes, Kilo, Mega and Giga
September 11, 2013 ScamAGAIN - RansomWare and Remote Control
September 4, 2013 ScamAGAIN - Get "Dummy" Credit Card
August 28, 2013 Backing Up Your PC-Part 2
August 21, 2013 Backing Up Your PC-Part 1
August 14, 2013 Troubleshooting Internet Connections
August 7, 2013 Cooling Fans and Temperature
July 31, 2013 Windows 8.1 Part 2
July 24, 2013 Windows 8.1 Part 1
July 17, 2013 Windows XP Expires April, 2014
July 10, 2013 PC Won't Boot AND Toolbars
July 3, 2013 Helpful Hints - 2nd Users on Your PC
June 26, 2013 PC SCAM - Part 2
June 19, 2013 PC Money SCAM-READ THIS
June 12, 2013 CAUTION New Viruses AND Trojans
June 5, 2013 WIFI vs Cable
May 29, 2013 On-Line Help-BEWARE
May 22, 2013 Faxing With Multi-Function Printers
May 15, 2013 Scanners and Software
May 8, 2013 Battery Replacement May Be Necessary
May 1, 2013 Zombies Search Your Personal Info
April 24, 2013 Java and Adobe Updates NOT to be Ignored
April 17, 2013 Passwords And Email
April 10, 2013 Spring Cleaning-The Inside
April 3, 2013 Spring Cleaning for Your PC
March 27, 2013 Microsoft WORKS Great Substitute for Office
March 20, 2013 Windows 8 UPDATE
March 13, 2013 Helpful Equipment
March 6, 2013 Build Your Own PC
February 27, 2013 Build Your Own PC
February 20, 2013 More Help with Viruses
February 13, 2013 VIRUSes How Did I Get It?????
February 6, 2013 VIRUSes EXPECT A BAD YEAR!
January 23, 2013 Protect Your Computer from JAVA Vulnerability
January 16, 2013 Driver Update Managers
January 9, 2013 Unwanted Programs & Tools Bars
January 2, 2013 Randome Loss Of Interne
December 19, 2012 Recovery Disks
December 12, 2012 Warranty Service Part 2