Fred Martin Computers, Inc.

1070 Westport Drive

Boardman, OH 44511



Understanding Power Problems

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Why should you worry about power problems?
Even the smallest disruption in electrical power can cause damage to a computer, a network, or other sensitive electronic equipment such as cash registers and process control equipment. At the very least, power problems can cause unexpected shutdowns and damage equipment. At the worst, "bad power" can cause data loss or destroy equipment.


Transients (Spikes)
Result from lightning strikes or when electrical loads are switched on or off. Can destroy electronic circuitry and corrupt stored data. Solution: A UPS, surge suppressor, or isolation transformer.

Surges and Overvoltages

Commonly caused by large electrical load changes and from utility power line switching. Can seriously damage electrical equipment. Solution: Ferroresonant-based power line conditioner or UPS with an overvoltage compensation feature.

Sags and Brownouts

Commonly occur when motors are started up or by faults on the utility power system. Can cause malfunctions or sudden shutdowns in computer or process control equipment. Solution: Power line conditioner or a UPS with an under voltage compensation feature.

Usually caused by faults on the utility power system. Can cause unexpected and potentially damaging shutdown of all electrical equipment. Solution: A no-break UPS for critical computers or networked systems that allows orderly equipment shutdown or continuous operation as needed.

How prevalent are power problems?
The best, Power National Power Laboratory's unprecedented five-year Power Quality Study (1990-1995) estimated that the average computer is subjected to 289 potentially damaging power disturbances per year. That's more than one in every business day.

What are the consequences of
Power Problems?

Even minor power problems can cost you money. Any time a power interruption delays work in progress, valuable time is lost and lost time means lost money. More serious- and expensive- is the fact that power problems can not only corrupt critical data files, but can permanently damage computers, networks and precision electronics.

How can power problems
be avoided?

Always connect your sensitive electronic equipment to power conditioners, surge protectors, or, for the best protection a UPS. Problems such as blackouts cannot be eliminated, but the damage they cause can be prevented with a UPS, which maintains a steady flow of power until the system can be safely, automatically shut down.


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