electricians in my area

These Voltage Fluctuations in Your Business Could Be Costing You

Any business needs a reliable electricity supply to run smoothly. Modern technology relies on electricity to power various electronic systems, machinery, and essential equipment for everyday tasks. Electricity affects customer satisfaction, staff productivity, and the company’s reputation beyond operations.

Voltage fluctuations can severely impact businesses, which disrupt their smooth operation. Do your research on reliable “electricians in my area” to handle such issues if they arise at your place of business.

Voltage Fluctuations: Understanding The Issue

Voltage fluctuations are electrical system voltage changes. A constant voltage provides stable and reliable power in an ideal electrical supply. Voltage fluctuations can be short-term spikes or long-term drops and damage electrical equipment. Power distribution network issues can cause long-term fluctuations, while short-term fluctuations can be caused by sudden load changes like turning on a large appliance.

Voltage stabilizers and surge protectors are essential to reduce voltage fluctuations and prolong electrical equipment life. Power utilities and industries use voltage regulation systems to stabilize supplies and prevent voltage fluctuations from disrupting operations or damaging sensitive equipment.

Usual Causes of Voltage Fluctuations

  • Load Variations: Voltage fluctuations can occur when there are quick shifts in the demand for electrical power, such as when power consumption goes up or down suddenly.
  • Network Disturbances: Can be caused by faults, failures in transformers, or problems with transmission lines within the power grid.
  • Natural Causes: Environmental factors cause unpredictable and damaging voltage fluctuations, causing sudden and excessive voltage surges. Such events usually result from direct and induced lightning strikes, fallen trees from storms, and heavy rainfall damaging transmission power lines.
  • Equipment Operations: Switching heavy electrical equipment and starting large electric motors on-site by other users on the same local supply network. 
  • Interference: High-frequency electrical noise produced by other electrical systems or devices.

Types Of Voltage Fluctuations

The following are the primary types of voltage fluctuations:

TypeDescriptionPossible Cause
SagsTemporary voltage drops. Lasts a few cycles (milliseconds to seconds).They can be caused by sudden load increases, short circuits, or large motor 
SurgesSurges, or voltage swells, are brief voltage increases.These can result from capacitor switching, load shedding, or power distribution system faults.
SwellsOvervoltage is a swell that lasts more than a minute Can occur when a high load is shut off and the power line voltage rises briefly. 
InterruptionsShort-term voltage drops cause voltage interruptions. These can result from power distribution system failures, equipment failures, or intentional disconnections.
FlickerOcurs rapidly and repeatedly. In commercial settings, it can trouble and damage sensitive equipment.Due to electrical network load fluctuations.
Over-voltageBrief spikes above 110% of the mains supply’s rated voltage, usually for 1 or more cycles. Equipment can fail prematurely during surges. High voltage degrades components and wears. Turning off heavy equipment or high-producing voltage. 
NoiseNoise can harm equipment, causing processing errors, computer lock-ups, burned circuit boards, and insulation degradation.Caused by RF broadcasts, microwaves, motors, relays, motor control devices, inverters, and switched-mode power supplies. 

Effects of Voltage Fluctuations On Your Business

Some possible outcomes are the following:

Equipment DamageVoltage fluctuations can damage or prematurely age computers, servers, and other sensitive electronics. This may increase maintenance costs and equipment replacement.
Problems with Data LossElectronic storage devices can lose data due to sudden voltage changes. Digital data-intensive businesses may find this to be stressful.
DowntimeCan cause unplanned downtime in machinery and equipment. Downtime can reduce productivity, deadlines, and revenue.
Maintenance Costs RiseMay require businesses to spend more on equipment maintenance and repairs. Operating budgets can be stretched by voltage fluctuation maintenance.
Problems with Product QualityAffect product quality in precision-oriented industries like manufacturing, and research and development. Rejected or substandard products can damage a company’s reputation and bottom line.
Use of energyElectronic equipment energy efficiency can be affected by voltage fluctuations. Variations may cause equipment to draw more power than needed, increasing energy use and utility costs.

Protect Your Properties From Voltage Fluctuation

Several precautions can be taken to lessen the impact of power and voltage fluctuations: 

Voltage Stabilizers

Voltage stabilizers should be installed at proper locations to maintain a constant output voltage and control the incoming voltage. In regions prone to frequent voltage fluctuations, this becomes even more crucial.

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Use an uninterruptible power supply system to offer a backup power source in the event of voltage fluctuations or power outages. Protect equipment from unexpected power outages using a UPS to stabilize the voltage.

Surge Protectors

Protect delicate electrical equipment with surge protectors. Surge protectors can redirect excess voltage to protect connected devices from power spikes.

Power Conditioners

These devices regulate the incoming power supply to guarantee a steady and clean output. They can isolate electronic devices from interference and supply a constant voltage.

Maintenance Schedule

Inspect all electrical systems and equipment regularly for signs of wear and tear that might cause voltage fluctuations.

Tracking and Documenting Voltage Fluctuations

The benefits of precise monitoring and measurement of voltage fluctuations include the following:

  1. Businesses and consumers alike can learn a lot about the state of their power systems by keeping an eye on voltage fluctuations. They can pinpoint problems and implement electrical project solutions due to their awareness.
  2. Effective monitoring can detect voltage spikes and dips, which are abrupt changes in voltage. Time and money can be saved by finding and fixing these problems quickly.
  3. Businesses can proactively approach equipment maintenance by continuously monitoring voltage fluctuations. Maintenance staff can address problems before they escalate by detecting irregular power supply.
  4. Utilize tools for analyzing power-related issues is detailed monitoring data. It makes finding patterns, solving problems, and implementing effective solutions easier with its help.

Voltage Fluctuation Monitoring Tools You Can Use

Several devices can measure and monitor voltage fluctuations. These tools accurately measure and monitor voltage variations in real-time. Some common tools are:

Power Quality AnalyzersAdvanced power quality analyzers can measure voltage fluctuations and other power supply factors. These analyzers measure voltage, frequency, harmonics, and transients. Recording and analyzing data over time helps identify voltage irregularities and power quality issues.
Voltage RecordersPortable voltage recorders track voltage fluctuations over time. These electrically connected recorders continuously measure and store voltage data. Analyzing the data can reveal voltage variation severity and frequency.
Clamp MetersElectrical engineers use clamp meters to measure current. Their features also measure voltage fluctuations. These handheld devices clamp around wires or conductors to measure voltage accurately. Clamp meters are helpful for quick measurements and voltage stability checks during troubleshooting.
Digital MultimetersDigital multimeters (DMMs) are popular electronic testing tools that measure voltage and other electrical parameters. While not designed to monitor voltage fluctuations over time, they can measure voltage in real time. DMMs are portable, easy to use, and affordable for basic voltage measurements.

Tips To Protect Your Business From Voltage Fluctuations

Conduct Energy Evaluations

It is recommended to conduct energy audits to minimize the possibility of voltage fluctuations and find ways to optimize energy consumption. An energy audit is all about evaluating and assessing a building, facility, or system’s energy consumption and efficiency. Hire an electrical contractor to do this. 

Start Training Staff

Instruct workers and customers to use electrical devices correctly and to follow all applicable voltage and power specifications. Train employees regularly on using electrical equipment safely and correctly, and stress the importance of following all safety procedures. Make sure everyone is aware of what to do in the event of an electrical emergency.

Be Ready for an Emergency

Be ready for power fluctuations and outages with a backup plan. Data backup systems, emergency shutdown protocols, and backup power sources are all examples of what may fall into this category. If you own computers, routers, or any other sensitive electronic equipment, you should get an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Having a backup generator is a good idea for more extended power outages. In doing so, you can keep your office running smoothly and power essential appliances.

Purchasing power adapters that are universal in voltage rating is a wise investment. It is common for these adapters to either automatically adjust to the input voltage or to have voltage settings that can be switched. 

Call a professional electrician or the device manufacturer if you have any questions regarding the voltage requirements of your devices or need help choosing the correct electrical equipment.

electricians in my area

Shield Your Business From Dangers Of Voltage Fluctuations

Due to operational issues and higher maintenance expenses, voltage variations can hurt business users financially. Commercial businesses need reliable power to run equipment, machinery, and electronics. 

The financial cost of voltage variations on business customers emphasizes the need for solid electrical infrastructure and proactive measures to provide stable and dependable electrical work. 

Mountain Point Electrical offers expert commercial electrical services and residential electrical work. Our certified electricians in Vancouver will make sure that we will safeguard your business from the dangers of voltage fluctuation through necessary electrical repairs and upgrades. We provide reliable electrical services, personalized to the needs of your property.

Frequently Asked Qstions

How frequently is it necessary to replace a whole-house surge protector?

In most cases, you can expect your whole-house surge protector to last five to ten years. On the other hand, you might want to upgrade your gadget every two years if you reside in a region prone to power surge problems. If there is a surge or low voltage, this will help protect you to some extent. 

Are voltage fluctuations more common in particular regions?

Voltage fluctuations may be more frequent in regions prone to severe weather, with unreliable power supplies, or with outdated electrical infrastructure and industrial electrical services.

Could lights that flicker start a fire?

Even if they flicker, lights almost never cause fires. But if your lights are flickering, it could be a sign of poor electrical wiring, damaged electrical appliances, or another problem with your home’s electrical panel that could cause a fire. Contact electrical contractors immediately if you see any flickering lights.