Do you use voltage regulator and if so, what brand?

With all these expensive equipment in your study, do you use a voltage regulator so that any spike in electricity current does not spoil your equipment? What brand do you use? Do these wear out over time and should be replaced? I forget the brand I am using the one I have also acts as an extension so I could connect 4 devices into it. One of the extensions seemed to ‘restart’ (I don’t know what is the word. It seems to skip and the the device connected to it, which is a monitor, will lose power, go blank and then receive power. It will then go about its business of display for a day or two before this skip happens again). I am not sure if it’s about time to replace mine. Fortunately, the other 3 extensions seem to be working fine. But it is a good reminder for me to shop for a replacement. These thousand dollars equipment need to be protected.

We have several UPS systems that also act as surge protectors. All critical systems are plugged in to them. We’ve always used the same brand, APC. The batteries wear out as do the devices themselves. They get replaced on some schedule not of my knowing. That’s hardware :wink: and Not My Job.

Less critical systems use any standard surge protector plug in extension. So all devices are at least semi protected.


All our home computers and work computers (before I retired) were on UPSes. Most of these (and all the ones intended for home use) do not regulate voltage. There are several situations to be covered:

  1. Voltage spikes (surges), those short in nature just need surge protectors. These are handled by the UPS, but also many outlet strips do this and you can get full house protection as well. This function wears out over time (every spike kills it a little) so surge protectors do need to be replaced every few years.

  2. Dropouts. The power goes away for a fraction of a second to minutes. A UPS handles this. The power has to go out for a few milliseconds before they switch to battery, and this can be upsetting to some equipment, but most computers will handle it.

  3. Fluctuations. Low voltage, too low or too high for proper operation, for some period of time. Inexpensive (home) UPSes will handle this like in case 2, going to battery power. But length of time is limited.

The best commercial UPSes basically always supply power from batteries and then have a charger to keep the battery full. This is called “double conversion”. They deliver a steady voltage output regardless of what is happening. I’ve used these in some factory floor computers. But they are big, heavy, and expensive.

Regarding brand, APC has always been considered the best, however I’ve had a number of them fail (and not just batteries). At my last job we were a sister company of APC and basically had to buy APC. However at home I switched to Cyberpower over the years as my APC units bit the dust. Other than replacing a battery, I haven’t had any of the Cyberpower units fail. One important feature is they aproximate a sine wave output while the low end APC units have a square wave output that doesn’t work well with modern high efficiency power supplies in Apple computers.

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I’m a bit wary of UPS because the battery may be a potential hazard. This is the reason I’m looking for a automated voltage regulator instead.

I have no idea that a surge protector wears out over time and I’m glad you told me. It’s also about time I should replace my surge protector power strip.

Thanks for the APC brand recommendation! I’ll do some shopping.