The Barbados Light & Power Company Limited

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Protecting Your Equipment

The Barbados Light & Power Company aims to provide customers with a reliable and efficient electricity service. However, the electricity supply which is available to your home or business outlet is subject to disturbances such spikes and surges otherwise known as transients.

What are transients? 

Transient voltages are brief voltage fluctuations outside of the nominal supply voltage which can last up to a few milliseconds.

How do transients affect my appliances/equipment? 

All modern electrical appliances now carry delicate electronic circuitry, leaving common appliances as vulnerable as computers to the effects of surges. A power surge may last for only a few millionths of a second, but at its worst, it carries tens of thousands of volts, enough to fry circuit boards in the most important appliances. These electrical disturbances could spell disaster for homeowners who may be left with the financial burden of replacing thousands of dollars in expensive equipment.

Why do these occur? 

Most of the fluctuations occur outside of the control of any utility company. Lightning-induced surges are the most powerful and most feared. A lightning strike, up to a mile away from the house can cause harm. However, most surge-related damage is not caused by lightning.  Far more common, are surges caused by downed power lines, sudden changes in electricity use by nearby customers, or even the switching or cycling on and off of equipment in your own home or business.  

How can I protect my appliances/equipment? 

Customers should install suitable devices to protect their equipment from possible malfunction or damage. Surge protectors (officially called Surge Protective Devices) detect and reroute both spikes and surges away from your equipment to ground, providing lightning protection as well as protection from other surge/spike sources.   Click here to read more about different types of surge protection.  

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