Like me, you might have had a time when the lights in your house were all dim, the fridge guard could not go past the yellow spotlight and the TV kept going on and off.
Such is just one of the many frustrating moments with electricity and it comes with not only the frustration but a lot more;- As the power keeps fluctuating, the chances of electric appliances in the house weakening, burning or breaking down are very high, and the bad news is that such faults are not covered under warranty.
In a recent case, a customer complained that her new small refrigerator was making too much noise and suggested it might have had a factory defect. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the fridge had been connected to a power source with an output of 150 volts, way below the recommended 220-240 volts.
Enter, Voltage Regulators/Stabilizers
Voltage regulators ensure a constant output voltage irrespective of the changes in the input voltage.
In Uganda and East Africa at large, the normal voltage supply is 240V and your single voltage rated appliance would need to receive and operate at the same voltage. However, due to various reasons, the power supply to your house may at times reduce below 240V or increase above 240V. In many cases, this is visible as the lights in your house may become dim or too bright, some appliances may keep going on and off, refuse to work or break down.
The voltage regulator is meant to prevent those power fluctuations from affecting your appliances and electronics.
What if you already have a surge protector (Fridge Guard, TV Guard, etc.)
If you already have a surge protector, the chances of your appliances remaining safe when the power supply drops or exceeds the acceptable amount is good enough.
However, the working of surge protectors is that when the supply is less (e.g. 170V) or high (e.g 260V) the surge protector would cut supply to the appliances so you would not be able to use the appliance until the right amount of power is available.
On the other hand, a voltage regulator ensures your appliances continue working without interruption save for about an initial 180 seconds.