Since India is a developing country, the quality of utilities like electricity supply is not the best.
There are frequent fluctuations in the voltage supply to homes.
These fluctuations can be minor, interrupting the functioning of our appliances. But they can also be large enough to damage both devices and circuits.
A stabilizer is an instrument that keeps these fluctuations in control to avoid such damage.
What is a Stabilizer and How Does it Work?
A voltage stabilizer is a device that keeps the level of voltage supplied to an appliance stable.
A fluctuating voltage can cause a sudden increase or decrease in the amount of current flowing into the device.
The voltage stabilizer ensures that despite fluctuations, there is always a steady voltage range supplied to the appliance circuit.
It does this using a transformer to change the voltage level according to the power supply or appliance load.
Usually, this transformer has various taps on its winding so that different corrections are possible.
Sometimes the voltage is far below the required level (lower cut off voltage) or too high (higher cut off voltage).
If this happens, the stabilizer disconnects the load from the supply. Other times, the fluctuation stays within the functional range.
Then it is corrected by boost (increasing) or buck (reducing) functions of the stabilizer. This is done using appropriate relay coils within its unit.
Is a stabilizer required for a washing machine?
Voltage instability can damage the motor on a washing machine. This motor draws specific current from the power supply based on the number of clothes inside, also called the load.
Under normal operating conditions, with the rated voltage and nominal load, the current drawn will be rated.
If the voltage is less than ideal, it will cause a surge in the current flowing to the washing machine.
Since the load remains the same, this sudden increase in current can overheat the motor and burn it. That’s why it is advisable to purchase a stabilizer for your washing machine.
Some machines allow a specific wide range variation of voltage. There are also a few models that market themselves as stabilizer-free machines.
For both these options, one must compare the required input voltage to the voltage regularly available at home.
Will a stabilizer increase or reduce the electricity bill?
As a voltage stabilizer keeps the potential difference in check, it does reduce the amount of electricity consumed. However, it should be noted that this is only so in theory.
In reality, since the stabilizer itself is an electrical device, it consumes power as well. The power consumption of a stabilizer depends on its efficiency.
Most of these devices have very high efficiency, ranging somewhere between 95% to 98%. As a result, the power consumption is negligible and so it neither increases nor reduces the electricity bill.
But this is only the case if you keep the stabilizer switched off when its appliance isn’t in use. Stabilizers meant for the entire house need to run 24 hours and cause a significant increase in utility bills.
As for washing machine stabilizers, only switch them on when doing the laundry to save power and money.
Voltage fluctuations are a common problem in India. They can cause our electrical appliances to become dysfunctional or to stop working entirely.
A voltage stabilizer does the job of curbing the damage from these fluctuations.
It uses a transformer and relay coils to increases or decreases the voltage according to the appliance need.
Using a stabilizer with a washing machine can prevent the motor from overheating. It prevents the decline in the longevity of the machine and does so without affecting the electricity bills.