What happens in Spain when you don’t use surge protectors

When we first came to Spain we rented the villa from hell.

One of its attractions was that we could store all our worldly goods in the large garage underneath – and not have to pay storage costs.

So the removers soon turned up with our goodies. One of the first things I did was unpack the computer as I was sick of writing to people by hand. My handwriting is so bad they were probably equally as sick of it as I was.

All went well and I sat happily in front of the computer composing long letters to people I would never see again. Actually I have seen some of them, surprisingly.

One day, I turned on the computer, and got nothing. Like nothing. The screen tried to flicker into action but the box underneath (before towers were invented – or boxes were turned on end depending on your point of view) refused point blank to play.

After a few days of this, I figured it was not a temporary blip. We had met, purely by chance, a Spanish guy with a computer shop so took it to him.

Apparently the processor was stuffed and because the computer was so old (this is my nice IBM PS/1 bought in the early 90s) he couldn’t find anything to fit inside, so the only option was to attach something outside the box.

“Wouldn’t that be dangerous?” says me dubiously.

“No of course not, just try and avoid touching it.”

Which is exactly what I’ve done ever since. And it still works, although it has no internet connection and now lacks a printer that can connect through ports rather than USBs. Nor was it expensive, so I do not feel ripped off.

Why did it stop working? Because we had two weeks of appalling rain, some storms and some power cuts. And we knew stuff all about surge protectors. Helpful (sic) woman acting as rental agent didn’t bother advising us about surge protectors although was fast enough to mention them when we said we had a problem.

So, don’t ignore advice about surge protectors.

We, or rather Helpful Partner, invariably asks people if they have them when the conversation turns to computers. When they say no, he promptly recommends they go and buy one (or more) immediately.

And do they? No.

And do their nice shiny computers go bust? Yes.

Out of three people who have ignored his advice, two have had to go out and buy new computers. In fact, one of those had only just bought a new computer. So for her that was two computers in weeks. For what? The cost of a surge protector at seven euros, or idleness, or it-won’t-happen-to-me? Oh, and the third (lucky?) person had to pay an expensive repair bill.

Do these people all have surge protectors now? I actually don’t know becuse it sounds a bit too much like rubbing their nose in it to ask again.

So, I will say again. If you have a computer and you are reading this in Spain or another country where power cuts are a way of life, buy a surge protector.

Unless you want an excuse to buy a new computer.

3 comments on “What happens in Spain when you don’t use surge protectors

  1. Even with surge protectors we pull the plug on computers el pronto as soon as there is as much as a rumble here. Jo’burg lightening can come out of nowhere and the house has been hit on several occasions.
    Oh, and I can’t find your Clouds blog through RS in the med. Am I missing a link?


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