South Africans have been facing an unfortunate surge in household appliance break-downs over the past few months, thanks to load shedding.
When power comes back on after load shedding, it causes a sudden electricity surge that goes beyond regular voltage. This excess voltage damages electrical equipment and appliances connected to the mains power. This is why many people find their appliances malfunctioning or even going up in smoke once load shedding ends.
A Troubling Correlation: Power Outages & Electrical Repairs
A study conducted by Procompare, an online platform connecting clients with local professionals, has discovered a direct correlation between the frequency of power outages and the number of requests for electrical repairs made by consumers.
In fact, electricians have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of call-outs for repairs caused by load shedding. The study examined data from Procompare, focusing on the frequency and severity of load shedding and the types of electrical repairs requested over the past six months.
- Key findings included:
- A wide range of appliances were affected, including air conditioners, refrigerators, geysers, gate motors, and more
- Load shedding is indeed causing electrical systems to malfunction and break down
The study also revealed a double-edged sword for electricians. While they’re experiencing increased workloads, they have less time to complete the required repairs. Load shedding affects their business both positively and negatively.
Soaring Demand for Electrical Repairs
The study uncovered some alarming trends in the demand for electrical repairs:
- Steady year-over-year increase, with a significant spike in October (139% compared to the same month in the previous year)
- Staggering growth in December 2022 and January 2023 (218% and 371% compared to the previous years)
- High demand continued in February (113%), along with unrelenting power outages
Why Your Appliances Break & How to Prevent It
Procompare explains that load shedding can result in electrical appliances breaking down due to a sudden increase in voltage when power is restored.
To protect your appliances from this surge:
- Unplug: Disconnect your appliances from the mains power during load shedding
- Invest: Consider buying surge protectors to safeguard your appliances
- Be prepared: Monitor load shedding schedules and plan accordingly
By following these steps, you can help prevent your appliances from falling victim to the damaging effects of load shedding.