In the US we are in thunderstorm season. Summertime brings storms with lots of rain, thunder and lightening. Those storms can also cause power outages. It is important to protect precious electrical equipment (like our longarm machines) from power surges. It would also be helpful to be able to finish quilting  a block design, or finish out a row of an edge-to-edge design when using Pro-Stitcher. Then properly shut down the Pro-Stitcher to wait out the storm. So a surge protector and/or an  uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a desired accessory for your machine. The question is: how do you find the right surge protector?  What specifications should you look for in a UPS?

Thankfully the engineers at Handi Quilter have written a great article explaining it all and posted it on our web site. To make it easier for you, I am posting it here on the blog.

Here are all the details you need and a chart where you can find your machine and know exactly what to purchase.

Surge Protector vs Power Strip vs UPS

Most quilters will want to protect their investment from unforeseen electrical surges that could cause damage to their machine, such as lightning strikes. A good quality surge protector (or surge suppressor) can accomplish this for you.

The first thing to understand is that a power strip is not the same thing as a surge protector. A basic power strip does not have any surge protection unless it is advertised as a surge protector. It is just an extension cord with multiple outlets. If it does not have a JOULE rating, it is probably not a surge protector. The higher the Joule rating, the greater surge protection you get for your quilting machine. We recommend a minimum 2000 Joules to protect your quilting machine.

An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is a battery backup device that is intended to provide power for your device during a power outage. Most UPS systems also include surge suppression as well as multiple outlets. Check the Joule rating to determine the quality of surge suppression. While a UPS is not necessary to protect your quilting machine, some quilters find it convenient to have one when using the Pro-Stitcher to allow the computerized system to finish quilting the current section while the main power is out. It also allows you enough power to shut down your Pro-Stitcher and machine properly.

How to Select the Proper Surge Protector or UPS

Most surge protectors will give you the Joules rating, but may not tell you a maximum Watt, Amp or VA value. This is because they are typically designed to be used on a standard household outlet and should be sufficient to handle the load of your quilting machine. Remember, the Joule rating will tell you the amount of protection you will get.

For a UPS, you will have to determine the proper Watts or VA (depending on how the manufacturer advertises their product). The table below should be helpful in determining how many Watts or VA you should look for. The higher the value, the more devices you can plug into your UPS and the longer it will power your system when there is a power failure. The table below is intended for selecting the proper equipment and does not necessarily indicate how much power your quilting machine is using at any given time. That will vary depending upon usage.



Handi Quilter machines use Brushless DC motors that are powered by a switching DC power supply*. Because of this, UPS devices generally perform very well with these quilting machines as compared to machines that use AC motors. Generally UPS manufacturers will not guarantee their products to work on motorized equipment. You might be concerned about whether your UPS manufacturer will honor any claims due to product failure. Please contact the UPS manufacturer before making a purchase.

*The HQ Sixteen and the original HQ Simply Sixteen machines have DC brushless motors. But use a linear power supply rather than a switching power supply.


I hope this helps you find the right surge protector and UPS for your beloved machine. Please remember, it is always recommended to unplug your machine when not in use.

Quilt every day!