Loadshedding has become a normal part of the lives of South Africans. There is not much that can be done about it except prepare and plan in advance.
Most importantly, you need to protect your electrical equipment during loadshedding. This is particularly imperative for desktop PCs and other important devices. So how can you protect your equipment and devices?
Know your schedule
Keep a link handy for the load shedding schedule for your area. Knowing when you’re due to go off will help you plan to backup and prepare in advance before getting hit with the surprise of, “Oh no, the power just went off!” therefore damaging your electronics with electrical surges. Loadshed.org is a very simple and easy to use website to find your area schedule.
Charge in advance
Charge all phones, flashlights, battery lights and any other important devices beforehand. We recommend using a power bank as well for USB devices. You can continue working from your mobile device for many hours if you have a charged power bank ready to use when your battery runs low. Although it’s good to let a phone battery completely drain every once in a while, it can be quite damaging if it happens too often.
Turn off and unplug before the outage
The likeliest electronics to get damaged and affected by power cuts are desktop computers. When your computer shuts off unexpectedly, it can cause serious damage to the motherboard and components.
While working on your laptop or PC, save all documents and finish off your work at least 5 minutes before the power goes off. Doing so gives it enough time to shut down properly. You can take precautions a step further and unplug your PC from the wall socket after it’s been turned off.
Invest in a UPS
A UPS, which means uninterrupted power supply, provides backup power when your main power source is down. Many people have started to invest in one of these since the regular loadshedding began again. A UPS makes it possible to have extra time to save files on your computer and shut down safely while avoiding electrical surges.
These backup batteries are perfect for preventing data loss and protecting your electronics, especially your computer, from damage caused by sudden power outages.
Backup Data and important files
If a UPS is not within your budget at the moment, which is understandable considering these uncertain times, get into the habit of frequently saving files and documents you are working on and backup backup backup! Worst case scenario, if your computer has been damaged by power cuts and you are unable to access it, at least you’ll have your important files backed up.
Backing up files can be done by uploading and saving to cloud storage which means it’s accessible anywhere, at any time. Or you can get an external hard drive which is suitable for backing up all files on your main hard drive. Just make sure the storage capacity is equal to or bigger than your main one.
There are several ways to protect your electrical equipment during loadshedding. It doesn’t just have to apply to your devices and electronics – make a habit of saving documents regularly and backup files to protect you, and your files, from data loss.
If you’re working from home and your main source of production is on a desktop computer, we highly recommend taking the precautions mentioned above to protect your pc from damage caused by power surges.
Consider getting a UPS to have that extra time to save files and shut down safely. Another highly recommended tip for remote workers is to save all work documents and files to cloud storage which can be shared and accessible to coworkers. That way, when your power is out, at least someone else on your team can take over immediately if they still have power!