Power Surges

Electrical power surges happen. Sudden voltage and current fluctuations travel through electrical lines every day. Surges have the ability to destroy and fry all appliances connected to the electricity grid.

A windstorm, a lighting storm, or even a cable digger can cause fluctuation in electrical lines. The best way to protect yourself and your equipment is with surge suppression devices.

In the dentist office, digital radiographs, computer charting, CT devices, and other high performance equipment are subject to power surges. While some of these products come with their own built-in power surge protector, many do not. Whether it’s the computer at the front desk or the dental chair, it is always better to have a surge suppression device.

Surge strips and power blocks can greatly reduce a dentist’s risk of damage to personal and office equipment. When purchasing surge strips, always double check that it is a surge strip, and not just an ordinary power strip.

A power strip has additional slots to plug in appliances, but a surge strip also protects against electrical surges. Surge strips are usually larger, and blockier, and offer protection while power strips do not.

Power surges and spikes are not only limited to electrical lines. They may also travel through network boxes and telephone lines. To protect against these surges, there are two things you can do:

First, you can buy a surge suppression device that includes protection against network cable and telephone lines, as well as electrical lines.

Second, you can make use of a battery back-up unit. Battery back-up units (UPS) are extremely important in the dentist office, and should be maintained. With these backup units, it is possible to finish an important operation, or close out open files on the computer even during a power outage. In the event of a strong electrical power surge, a UPS unit will keep your equipment running smoothly. A typical UPS unit purchased at a local hardware store will cost around $70.

Knowing the potential risks and the options available to protect high cost equipment can help reduce your risk and make you feel at ease. It takes less than 30 minutes to complete a quick check of your equipment. A small amount of hassle could save you thousands of dollars in dental equipment repair.

Tip archive