If you want to use a portable generator as a backup power supply for your home, there is something you need to be aware of. Not all electronics cooperate well with conventional open frame portable generators. The so-called sensitive electronics such as LCD TVs, computers or audio equipment need electrical power with less than 5% of Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) to run smoothly. Otherwise, they can get damaged quickly. Unless your portable generator is an inverter type, connecting it to your sensitive equipment can wear it out sooner or even cause permanent damage.
There’s a solution though – the power line conditioner for generator.
What is a power line conditioner?
A power line conditioner is a special device made to provide an additional layer of protection for your sensitive equipment. Their main task is to keep your electronics safe during the sudden spikes and surges in wattage. Since quite a lot of older “contractor” portable generators suffer from this problem frequently, using a power line conditioner in between can really save your electronics.
A line conditioner ensures that any power fluctuations or line noises are not going to have any negative impact on the functioning of your appliances.
The present-day power conditioners come up with automatic voltage regulation keeping the voltage fed to your electronics at the steady level regardless of any spikes caused by the generator.
Are line conditioners better than surge protectors?
In fact, line conditioners already have the surge suppression mechanisms incorporated in their design. This makes them a much more robust and comprehensive solution, designed specifically to handle the massive spikes in voltage. Surge protectors normally won’t deal with huge surges very well, especially if you want to use them with multiple appliances.
How much does a line conditioner cost?
When shopping for such crucial electrical item as line conditioner you certainly don’t wanna skimp on quality. All in all, this is a device which can save the life of your expensive electronics. When comparing two line conditioners, you definitely don’t want to make the price your primary criteria. You’d better spend $50 or even $100 more on a trusted power line conditioner from a reliable manufacturer rather than get a cheaper model just to realize that it fails when you need it most.
Having said that, there is also no need to buy very expensive power conditioners.
My personal recommendation is to look for the ones priced in the $100 – $250 range. Always check out the customer reviews to see what are the actual users’ experiences. Check out the conditions of the warranty too. Most of the quality power line conditioners come up with a 2-year warranty which should cover any potential damage caused in the event of the failure. However, that’s something you should clarify anyway before your purchase.
Which power line conditioner should I buy?
There are dozens of good quality line conditioners on the market and as long as you stick with the ones which get mainly positive reviews, you should be totally fine.
One model I recommend is Tripp Lite LC1800. It is a very solid, well-designed line conditioner suitable for common portable generators operating within 2000-4000 wattage range. It is also relatively inexpensive given its high quality. It was made specifically with sensitive electronics in mind and is a good choice if you’re looking for a reliable power line conditioner for a generator to protect your computers etc.
It has a built-in automatic voltage regulation providing steady protection from under and overvoltages as high as 140V. It can handle serious brownouts too.
This power line conditioner features 6 outlets making it possible to connect to several appliances at once.