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The Bizgrok Library features news about and articles by Bizgrok and Bizgrok's customers that we believe offer helpful information or advice. the information, opinions or advice is strictly the not the responsibility of Bizgrok - meaning Bizgrok isn't responsible for the accuracy of the informaiton or advice or suggestions contained within any article published here, nor for anything you do with such information, advice or suggestions. If you have an article you'd like Bizgrok to feature, email our editor with your topic and short description of your article's contect.

Power Conditioning

By Frank P. Szarka, Szarka & Son, Inc, Electrical Contractor
Editor's Note: Frank, now deceased, was a licensed electrical contractor and president of Szarka & Son, Inc. when this article was written.

Surge Protection

A single surge suppression device will suppress line disturbances, but will not totally eliminate them. Did you know that the standard surge suppression outlet device is designed to only limit the voltage to a high of 300 volts A.C. in a time period of NANO seconds? That is, if it doesn't self-destruct first.

Can your 120 V.A.C equipment operate at 300 volts without damage or data loss for that period of time?

A surge suppression outlet is an inexpensive form of limited protection that is used by most people as their first and only defense against lighting, surge spikes, and other line noise events - while in reality it should be used as the last line of defense.

Have you read the information label on the back of your devise, but still don't understand what it means? Is the device in compliance? Does it work?

Surge suppression works best when designed as a network system. Szarka & Son, Inc can help you design and/or install a system that meets this goal and that is right for your budget.

U.P.S. Devices

Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) not only provides battery back-up for your equipment during a power failure but also protects your equipment against brown-outs (low voltage) and spikes (high voltage). Some UPS units are designed to convert AC to DC and then, electronically convert it back to AC. During this process the UPS also filters and clamps the voltage to a safe and reasonable level much better than a surge suppressor.

System Grounding

The National Electrical Code (NEC) states, " ... the grounding electrode needs a resistance to ground of not less than 25 OHMS". Is your system in compliance?

Ground fault currents take the path of least resistance. All currents take multiple paths to ground in proportion to their resistance. So where does the current go that doesn't go to ground (Remember that 25-OHM resistance mentioned above?) Right! That current travels to the computer or device that is being used at that time. In fact, even if the power on switch is in the OFF position, high voltage spikes or lighting can arc across the air gap and cause damage to your expensive equipment!

Is your grounding system working? Testing of this ground resistance is very expensive and most likely can't be achieved using only one ground rod or electrode. So, the NEC now requires new installations to have a supplemental grounding electrode. If your protection plan was put in place before this requirement began, you may want to upgrade your grounding plan.

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