April showers bring... STORMS

Storms are a fact of life.  Stormy weather commonly bring power interruptions, which bring irregular power to your computers.  Most people don't know that when the power goes out / comes back on, there is minor power spike usually associated with it.  That's where power protection devices come in.

Power protection devices for the home commonly fall under 2 categories - Surge Protectors and UPS.  These devices are designed to take that excess voltage and redirect it to ground instead of it going into your computer and possibly damaging it.

 

Surge Protectors - More than just a power strip

Surge Protectors are the most common form of power protection.  They differ from a power strip in the extra circuitry inside that is designed to detect and redirect excessive voltage (power strips don't do this).  They have protection ratings in JOULES, which is the amount of excessive power they can absorb and redirect before failure.  But this is a TOTAL amount of power they can take.  This means if it has a 1000 Joule rating, it can take 1 or more power spikes that total UP TO 1000 Joules before it no longer protects.  So if it took 10 hits at 100 Joules each, that equals 1000 Joules total.

CLICK HERE to see what surge protectors Milwaukee PC has to offer

UPS - Uninterruptible Power Supply (a.k.a Battery Backup)

UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply - a.k.a. battery backup) is the next level of power protection.  This differs from a Surge Protector in that not only does it have protection against power spikes, it has a battery that will keep your computer running when the power goes out so you can save your documents and not lose what you were working on.

Some UPS even have more advanced circuitry that will deliver "clean" power to your computer.  If you have ever noticed that your lights might get dim / bright from time to time, this is a symptom of power fluctuations.  Some UPS are designed to stabilize the power output to your devices so they don't get those ups/downs.  This is commonly called AVR - Automatic Voltage Regulation.

CLICK HERE to see what UPS units Milwaukee PC has to offer

When should you replace your Surge Protector / UPS?

Surge Protectors and UPS are not designed to work forever.  Generally, it is recommended to replace your power protection device about every 3 years, or more frequently if you have had above average power outages/spikes.  Of course, if you received an excessivly large spike, or if your device indicates it is no longer protecting you, it should be replaced immediately.

What do I do with my old Surge Protector / UPS?

You can't just throw away your old surge protector / UPS.  Under Wisconsin Law, electronic devices such as computers and their accessories need to be recycled. 

GOOD NEWS!  All Milwaukee PC stores are e-waste recycling locations!  That means that you can bring in your computers and their accessories (such as surge protectors and UPS) for us to recycle for you.

For more information on our e-waste recycling program, please visit this page.