We have frequent power outage in our area, and the power often glitches on (flashes on) during the black out. This causes problems with our home electronics: TV, router etc.. as some devices, when power is restored, automatically power on in an undefined mode (e.g. standby but unable to come on).

It would be useful to have them on an outlet or power bar that requires a manual reset.

Is there such a thing as a power-fail cutout power bar or outlet with a manual reset?

I don't know if this is an issue for the HVAC or water heater, since they have a start-up process that takes longer than most glitches and they might be designed to handle these glitch-on situations. Needless to say, they'd require plug-through or hardwired in-between-device.

I can make such a device easily with a relay and a power bar or outlet, but I am looking for UL listed devices that accomplish this.

From the offerings on-line it's not clear to me whether the "reset" function -where available- applies only to a surge event or also to power outages. I can imagine most power bars are designed to stay on after an outage, and accomplish the exact opposite of what I am looking for.

  • @Ecnerwal Sounds like a pretty good answer to me.
    – JACK
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 18:18

3 Answers 3


You might consider a GFCI cord with a manual reset. Run a google search for "gfci cord manual reset". For example, see https://towermfg.com/gfci-in-line/ (not a recommendation). Per the description "Tower offers models in both Automatic and Manual Reset. An automatic reset turns on upon being plugged in or after a power interruption. A manual reset requires the user to press the reset button after initial plug-in or after a power failure. Both automatic and manual reset GFCI types must be manually reset after a ground fault occurrence."

  • winner winner chicken dinner. Some GFCIs auto-trip on power loss/restoration. Does everything you want and gives GFCI protection too. Commented May 5, 2021 at 23:30
  • good suggestion, in fact, I had one of these for an outdoor pump and it always irritated me that it needed a manual reset after power outages... and now that same side-feature appears to be just what I need. I'm still looking for a more straight forward solution, maybe a surge protector
    – P2000
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 4:20

Replace "power bar" with UPS and you get this.

In fact, replace "power bar" with "UPS that has killed its battery, as they always do" and you get exactly this functionality, with no backup power, and you can usually get them for free if you know who to ask (someone that needs UPSes that actually work during an outage. Many times replacing the UPS batteries costs as much or more as replacing the UPS for reasons of arcane economic stupidity.)

Or you can buy a UPS when you find one on sale, get some backup for a while, and then attain the "no backup, needs a reset after an outage" function in a year or two, 3 at most.

  • Yeah, OK, I stole your comment as my answer. You copy/pasted faster than I typed from scratch... I do, however, recommend replacing batteries instead of just using them with dead ones.
    – FreeMan
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 18:32
  • Good idea, expired UPS could do the trick and is cost effective. Still looking for a less bulky alternative.
    – P2000
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 4:23

What you need, especially for expensive electronics is an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). This will power your devices off of its internal batteries during the power outages, and will use whatever brief moments of mains power to recharge the batteries, until the power comes back on.

Many UPSs come with a USB cable and software that you can run on your computer so that the UPS itself can shut down the computer when its battery is running low. Of course, this won't work for your TV, Bluray player, etc. but it's nice for the desktop/laptop machines. The UPS will also serve as a surge supresser to ensure your electronics get a nice quality of power.

Once the batteries in the UPS run flat, the devices will shut down then. However, if the power flickers on & off frequently, there won't be enough life in the batteries for the UPS to deliver for items to power themselves back up until the batteries have fully recharged when the power is back on to stay.

I have a UPS on all my electronics in the house (computers, home entertainment, etc.) but not on the appliances. Heck, even my old LaserJet4 drew too much power for the UPS.

You may be able to pick up a UPS with dead batteries then purchase replacements reasonably inexpensively. My preference is a major name brand, but I rarely buy the official OEM batteries and buy off-brand replacements. I've not noticed any significant difference in life span of the off-brand replacements.

  • "there won't be enough life in the batteries for the UPS to deliver for items to power themselves back up until the batteries have fully recharged" Does not match my experience at all. As soon as power comes back, it will power up when asked, even with utterly dead batteries - all units in my experience. Even using off-brand batteries (but of course) the costs are often more than buying a complete unit on a traditional sale date (black friday, pre-superbowl, etc.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented May 5, 2021 at 19:12
  • You said it. In fact it was the Bluray player where I first discovered the problem: after some flickering outages it wouldn't correctly come on from standby. Not sure if I want the bulk of a UPS but this is a viable suggestion
    – P2000
    Commented May 6, 2021 at 4:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.