How Much Power Can You Handle?

Too Much Power

Recently a severe thunderstorm struck Sydney Australia. The resulting headlines in the media the following day read 1000 lightning strikes hit Sydney. I was reminded of a friend during a previous severe storm in Melbourne that had many of his electrical appliances and gadgets ‘slagged’ (his words) courtesy of a lightning strike near his home. He was out at the time and returned to find that appliances that were plugged in to a wall socket had suffered as a result of the lightning strike’s power surge whether they were turned on or not.  Australian telecommunications provider Telstra has been warning customers not to use telephones during lightning storms for years. If my memory serves, back to the days when every household had physical yellow and white pages, storm warnings were printed in the first few pages. Nonetheless, my friend’s experience reminded me to unplug all electrical appliances that are not essential during severe thunderstorms and save myself the heartache if I am unlucky enough to have a strike in close proximity to my house.


I have recently purchased a Belkin travel surge protector that provides surge protection from not just the electricity grid, but between your phone line outlet and your modem as well. Winner of a range of industry awards it has been a best seller with most electrical and computer retailers.

Too Little Power

When my friend rang me to tell me of his experience regarding power surges, our discussions also ranged to the complete reverse and I was reminded of the effects of ‘brown-outs’ on more sensitive electrical equipment; most specifically, your home computer. Brown outs may deliver sufficient power for your computer for it to continue to function but reduced power runs the very real risk of your hard drive being damaged because it is not functioning at full speed. I’ll put my hand up and confess to not being a techno geek but in layman’s terms the reader head that sucks information off your hard drive moves across your hard drive much the same as an old needle used to read a record or a laser head reads a CD ROM. Reduced power increases the likelihood of that reader head physically crashing into the hard drive disk surface and that causes corruption or loss of data.

Perhaps, if your computer is your livelihood, considering whether an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) might be worth investing in? Especially if you are relying on said computer for business.