Most people know that a surge of too much electricity running through a home or building is a bad thing (equipment can be damaged, could catch fire or cause shock). However, many of us don’t realize that too little voltage, or not enough electrical power, is also dangerous.
Anemic or low voltage is often caused by an overloaded power grid during high-demand times, such as weekday afternoons or during the heat of summer when air conditioners are running high. Regional energy shortages and other extreme weather events can cause brownouts as well. Besides these seasonal and weather-related low voltage problems, a faulty electrical circuit in a home can also cause low voltage or low current.
What is low current or low voltage?
Low current is defined as 90 percent or less of normal capacity for one minute or more to a device. Evidence of a power supply dip includes poor appliance performance, dim or flickering lights (aka: brownouts) and intermittent outages.
It’s important to know equipment may malfunction or overheat if it’s not getting an adequate supply of the power it needs to operate. This could be due to a limiting source in your home or a low supply from our electric provider.
Protect your equipment and your home. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to protect against the “ebb” in the ebb and flow of power that sometimes happens, but here are a few ways you can protect your home and appliances from the inevitable ebbs that occur:
- Use appliance-specific protective devices like a brownout surge protector for your refrigerator, freezer and other sensitive appliances and technology.
- Consider the bigger and stronger brother of surge-protector strips, known as uninterruptible power supply devices. They plug in to an outlet but also contain battery backup to keep your devices running smoothly during surges, power reductions or brief outages.
- Whenever possible, limit major appliance use (washer and dryer, oven, dishwasher) during peak energy usage times (usually weekday afternoons and on very hot days).
- Turn off any appliances you’re not using.
- If you suspect your home has faulty wiring, consult a qualified electrician.
Source: Safe Electricity