Having a backup power supply for your home comes in handy when you need an alternative power source. A portable generator is an excellent source of backup power, but not all equipment operates with open frame portable generators.
Some devices are sensitive and need power with less than 5% THD to operate smoothly and prevent any damage. That’s the reason you should consider getting a power line conditioner for your generator if you’re not using the inverter type of portable generator.
Read on to learn more about generator power line conditioners and what to look for when shopping for one.
What is a Power Line Conditioner?
A power line conditioner is a tool meant to provide an extra protection layer for sensitive devices. The conditioner keeps your equipment safe during over voltages and brownouts. Modern conditioners have automatic voltage regulations to keep a steady voltage for all your electronics.
You can be sure that your appliances will function despite any line noises or voltage fluctuations when you get a generator power line conditioner. Worth noting is that line conditioners don’t clean the sine wave made by open frame portable generators. You’ll need an inverter generator to protect your sensitive equipment.
Should You Get a Surge Protector Instead of a Line Conditioner?
While surge protectors protect your electronics from power surges, they don’t deal with massive surges like line conditioners. Moreover, they are not as effective if you plan on using them with several appliances.
However, line conditioners come with surge protection mechanisms in their design, which means they are designed to handle any spikes in voltage. They provide a more comprehensive solution against huge surges, something surge protectors fail to do.
Most power conditioners come with a function of improving power quality like noise suppression, transient impulse protection, and power factor correction.
Benefits of a Power Line Conditioner
Using a power line conditioner has advantages like:
Prevent Damage From Power Fluctuation
A power line conditioner’s main purpose is to protect your equipment from power surges and fluctuations. Getting the right power conditioner will keep your electronics functioning as required.
Offering Device Protection
Most surges occur in the phone and electrical lines, something that can affect the sound and video quality. Installing a generator power line conditioner can help protect these devices.
Power lines do not only provide protection against power surges and fluctuations, but they also help to eliminate the noise in electrical lines. You no longer have to worry about any noises from TVs, radios, or mobile devices.
Eliminate Extra Heat
In some cases, you may encounter extra voltage from the current, something that can result in overheating. A power line conditioner eliminates part of the voltage to ensure that your devices operate in the required heat and voltage range.
What Should You Look For in a Power Line Conditioner?
It’s essential to consider certain features when shopping for a power line conditioner. These include:
Understand Common Power Quality Problems
Problems like high voltage, low voltage, frequency fluctuations, voltage dropouts, voltage fluctuations, and high voltage transients can occur. You can also get radio frequency interference, common-mode noise, and localized power pollution. It’s essential to understand the types of power quality problems you’re likely to encounter because not all power conditioners are designed the same.
You need to understand the operating capacity when looking for a generator power line conditioner. For example, if you plug in a 1500W device into a power conditioner that can hale 1000W, that won’t function as expected. Check what equipment you’re going to plug in before making a purchase to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Number of Outlets
You should consider the number of outlets you plan to plug in the power conditioner. Knowing this number will let you get a device that matches your demand. Power line conditioners provide at least ten outlets.
Check the cord length of your power conditioner if you need the freedom to move around. A shorter cord length limits your freedom of movement. Moreover, it could expose you and your equipment to unforeseen hazards.
You need to consider the durability of your device if you plan to take it with you. The right power conditioner should have a metal casing, as this ensures that it can withstand knocks and lumps through general use. Read the manufacturer’s description to ensure it matches your needs.
You’re likely to come across different brands and models of power line conditioners. Get a conditioner that comes with a protection indicator to let you know if your electronics are being protected.
Mountable Rack Design
Most power conditioners have a mountable rack design, which means you can connect it up and install the device into your audio rig rack for quick access. Furthermore, it ensures everything is connected and organized. Nevertheless, check the measurement to ensure that the device fits into your existing rack.
Modern power line conditioners have EMI and RFI protection. Certain connections have electrical interference, which could be harmful to your equipment. Check to ensure that you’re buying a conditioner that offers this form of protection.
Have a Budget in Mind
While considering the above factors is critical, you shouldn’t forget to have a budget in mind. You can find some cheap conditioners that range from as low as $50 to others that cost more than $250. The price difference depends on the features. Choose a line conditioner based on your budget and the features you need.
Purchasing a generator power line conditioner is essential as it can help protect against surges, eliminate extra heat, and remove any unnecessary noises. Ensure that you review your plug types and count your plugs before making a decision.
Remember that modern power conditioners also correct the voltage and remove noise. They also have LED status indicators, USB inserts for charging devices, amperage load protection, LED lights for illuminations, and voltage regulators. Find a power line conditioner that fits your budget and needs.