Over the last three weeks I have had my PS3, wireless router (WRT54G), Denon AVR-790, and Ooma VOIP box fail. The Denon just flashes the red ring around the on button even when there isn't anything plugged into it and after multiple microprocessor resets. The Ooma box simply won't turn on. The PS3 hard drive failed with only about 50 hours of run time on it, and the router became completely unreliable but still turns on (I've reflashed the firmware several times). All of them were plugged into surge protectors. It seems really coincidental that all of these failed within a few weeks.
What is the best way to test my power to see how much it fluctuates?
Would a voltage regulator potentially protect against this happening in the future?
Do you ever notice the lights in your home getting brighter .. or dimmer .. ?
Is your equipment on a circuit shared with high wattage appliances? (e.g. toasters, vacuum, etc.)
You can use any basic multimeter to test the voltage. Record the voltage and pay attention to fluctuations - what was the highest and lowest voltage seen?
I would look into a voltage regulating + surge device, such as the APC H10 or H15. Along with surge suppression, these devices will automatically boost voltage when low and cut power if too high / spikes to prevent damage to your equipment.
You might want to call an electrician, or at least a techie friend, and check the voltage at your home. Actually, I think our electric coop will do that for free, at least at the meter, so you might call your electric company. If you have not noticed power fluctuations as mentioned above (dimming or brightening lights, brief outages and clocks reset, etc.) you do not know if the power is good or bad.
An electrician or the power company may install a monitor that tracks the voltage (and current, depending on the monitor) for a few days to see if anything strange is happening.
If the problem is inside the house you may again need the services of an electrician to troubleshoot and fix. A UPS-type unit might help, but if there are really power issues you should find out what and why before other things start breaking down. I mistrust the idea of randomly adding surge protectors or anything else to see if that helps, especially given the troubles you've had.
Of course, it could all just be coincidence...
HTH - Don
actually do both. also they have whole house surge protectors as well. if you live somewhere with lots of storms. but i agree with having the power company check things out. also have your neighbors had any issues? are they on the same transformer?