Should Your Healthcare Facility Install a Voltage Regulator?

Updated on November 26, 2023

All health and medical facilities rely on electric power to keep their equipment running smoothly, and it’s each organization’s responsibility to protect that equipment since some people’s lives depend on it. One of the ways to accomplish this goal is by installing a whole-building voltage regulator for your facility.

What is a voltage regulator?

A voltage regulator is a circuit that maintains a specific, fixed voltage output regardless of load conditions or voltage input. Its primary function is to maintain the voltage within a range compatible with other electrical components on the same system.

Most voltage converters are used for DC power conversion, but they can be used for AC or AC/DC power conversion.

Why a transformer isn’t enough sometimes

Hospitals and medical facilities routinely use privately owned transformers. These are essential to any building because they convert high voltages from the source into lower voltages that are usable.

Since transformers already convert voltage, you might be wondering why you might also need a voltage regulator for your facility. In general, a transformer uses electromagnetic induction to change AC voltage that comes from the power plant. A voltage regulator stabilizes voltage at the power supply by reducing or eliminating the potential for eddy currents to weaken or strengthen the voltage in a manner that can damage the circuit. A voltage regulator gets multiple, varied circuits to work normally under their specified rated working voltage. They are two different pieces of equipment.

Why does my healthcare facility need a voltage regulator?

Some hospitals and other healthcare facilities don’t need a voltage regulator, but in a low resource setting, the power can be erratic. Without a way to regulate the voltage as it changes unpredictably, it can cause serious problems, like damaged equipment, and it can put your patients’ lives and health at risk.

Also, when you have electrical equipment with different voltage requirements, it usually comes with the necessary components to regulate that voltage at the source of power. However, if you get a surge of higher voltage through your electrical lines, it can still fry your equipment. The only way to prevent high voltage surges through your equipment is to have a whole-building voltage regulator that regulates the voltages at the main source.

If your facility is located in an area that experiences any of the following, a voltage regulator is necessary:

·  Blackouts, scheduled or unplanned

·  Brownouts

·  Random power surges

Even if you don’t experience any of the above, if your facility uses a variety of electrical appliances and equipment with different rated working voltages, a voltage regulator can be extremely useful.

You probably don’t need one if you never experience erratic voltage. However, you might have issues with erratic power without realizing that’s what’s happening. The best solution to know for sure is to get a licensed electrician to inspect your building and test the voltage to make sure it’s not fluctuating chaotically.

What are the benefits of a voltage regulator?

The main benefit of having a voltage regulator connected to your entire facility is protection for your equipment. Whether you need to protect desktop computers, servers, medical equipment that stays plugged in even when not in use, or medical equipment used daily with patients, a voltage regulator can help. When your facility has a reputation for being reliable, you’ll have happy patients and investors.

The cost of replacing just one piece of equipment can run in the thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. If the voltage in your building is erratic, you can’t predict how many pieces of equipment might fail during a given surge. It could be one, ten, or everything that happens to be plugged in at that time. Installing a whole-building voltage regulator is the only way to ensure you have the proper protection in any case.

Aren’t voltage regulators expensive?

That depends. If you factor in the value of peace of mind, security, your patients’ lives, and the time it might take to recover after an incident, you can’t really put a price tag on all of that. A voltage regulator will be a financial investment, but it’s just as necessary as any other piece of essential equipment you use to run your facility. Consider it the equivalent to another form of insurance.

Do your research before purchasing

Although you can get a voltage regulator just about anywhere online, it’s crucial to do your research first and connect with a licensed electrician to help you make your choice. No matter where you buy it, make sure you have a licensed electrician install your voltage regulator to ensure it’s safe and done right.

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