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I think there is something wrong at my apartment. Two weeks ago my girlfriend's AC adapter died and yesterday mine.

Can I buy something to protect the AC adapters from whatever bad is coming from the electrical system?

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4 Answers 4

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If you're getting power surges, and its not due to known environmental factors, you may want to get an electrician to check things out - you don't want to risk electrical fires.

If its a power surge, and its due to unclean power being supplied bu the power company, look into getting a surge protector

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You need a power conditioner:

An AC power conditioner is the typical power conditioner that provides "clean" AC power to sensitive electrical equipment. Usually this is used for home or office applications and has up to 10 or more receptacles or outlets and commonly provides surge protection as well as noise filtering.

They are not particularly expensive either averaging around $50.

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yes, you can buy something like this (it is a surge protector which Journeyman Geek suggested),

enter image description here

to protect your equipment. I have something similar at home and I feel a little bit safer. Of course, this cannot protect your equipment when a lightning hits directly your building. :-)

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If you're going to invest money in a power conditioner/good surge protector, spend the extra $40 or so and buy a UPS. All the benefits of a power conditioner (for a real UPS) plus you have the battery backup.

(A "real" UPS takes house current only to charge the battery. Another circuit then taps the DC source for your computer. This totally isolates you from any variation in the house current.)

I also agree with the suggestion that you get an electrician to check your house wiring, or at least buy a cheap AC voltage tester. If there are real problems they're real dangerous.

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Unless the laptop battery isn't working, a UPS will give no benefit over a good surge suppressor/protector while costing much more. –  music2myear Jun 28 '11 at 14:26
    
I can't recommend this for a laptop as it's unnecessary. Like music2myear says, the laptop already has built-in battery backup... Also, you're now spending more money on the upfront purchase, as well as higher maintenance costs to periodically replace the battery. –  Brian Knoblauch Jun 28 '11 at 14:29
    
Both the above comments are correct, unless you have other computers or appliances. I didn't see the word "laptop" in Juhele's original, though "AC adapter" might imply it. –  CarlF Jun 28 '11 at 14:46
    
Depends on the UPS, some higher quality units do power conditioning and will protect the AC adapter from damage, and this has nothing to do with surge. Brownouts (voltage sag) are the most common cause of electrical damage, surge protection will do nothing to prevent this, a good UPS will. You will never detect a voltage sag most of the time, most lights and appliances appear to work normally during a sag, the damage becomes evident later. –  Moab Jun 28 '11 at 15:04

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