According to a Gumtree poll, over 60% of South Africans say loadshedding is destroying their appliances. Gumtree conducted the poll on Twitter and found 61.6% of Twitter respondents have had electric appliances stop working due to power surges caused by loadshedding. The bad news is, experts say South Africans can expect rolling blackouts for months to come. Some are even speculating that loadshedding is expected to move stage four and five in the coming months, with households and business without power for more than seven hours a day.
“Fluctuations in power can wreak havoc on your appliances and cause permanent damage that is often not covered by insurance,” says Gumtree Marketing Manager, Estelle Nagel. While most South Africans have accepted that load shedding is a continuing reality in South Africa, it’s important to put plans in place to protect your devices from power surges when loadshedding strikes.
Many smart devices have micro-processors that require correct shutdown (much like a PC), which means power cuts could result in catastrophic internal hardware failures too. There’s also the risk of a power spike or surge when power is restored that can damage electronics. So, if you own an expensive smart TV or fridge, the R250-R2,000 investment you’ll make protecting that device is well worth it. Investing in surge protectors or even a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for your important electronics will give you enough time to safely shut down your electronics and prevent damage.
Many smart devices have micro-processors that require correct shutdown (much like a PC), which means power cuts could result in catastrophic internal hardware failures too. There’s also the risk of a power spike or surge when power is restored that can damage electronics. “If you own an expensive smart TV or fridge, the R250-R2000 investment you’ll make protecting that device is well worth it,” says Nagel.
While load shedding will continue to impact all our lives for the time being, being prepared is key. There are plenty of cheap and effective measures you can take to minimise or prevent damage to your electronics. Here are a few easy ways to protect your electronic devices and stay energise during loadshedding:
Unplug your devices
This may seem obvious but, it’s worth mentioning. If you are at home, then ensure you keep your computer cables, telephone cables linked to modems and other sensitive equipment unplugged during load shedding. Unplug these items when the light go out and only plug them back in again when power is restored.
Also read: How to Keep Your PC on During Loadshedding
Invest in surge protectors
You can easily find surge protectors online or at any electronics store. These devices monitor the flow of electricity that reach your appliances and can either link to a single appliance or connect to your main electrical panel at home. This acts as a buffer between the socket and the appliance that directs surges in power away from your electronics. The lifespan of a surge protector is measured in joules – the more joules, the better, so a good rule of thumb is to buy the best surge protector you can afford.
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Splurge on an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
If you’re really serious about protecting your devces then investing in a UPS is the way to go. A UPS is a device with a battery back-up system that can supply power to your device for a matter of minutes or hours. Even if your UPS only keeps you running for a few minutes, it will buy you enough time to power down devices safely. It’s a good idea to get a UPS for your router at the office – that way, if nothing else, you will still have internet connectivity.
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Invest in back-up batteries or solar power
It’s also a good idea to have back-up batteries and solar power in place for important electronics that you need to run even when the power is out. Security systems are often compromised during loadshedding. Installing solar security lights or back-up battery systems for electric gates and fencing will help ensure your home stays protected during blackouts.
Something like a solar inverter is a great way to keep the lights on when loadshedding hits. Store solar energy for those times when you need it most and Eskom has left you high and dry.
Find the best price on solar inverters online with PriceCheck now: