When I bought my townhome in Ellicott City I was told that the property lies on the edge of the power grid and, consequently, we are prone to brown outs. I've been living here now for 17 years and we've had our share but nothing to too unusual - every hard storm we can expect a flicker or two and one or twice during the heat of summer. I am just now finding out that my wall voltage is quite unsteady. On separate occasions I get anywhere from 120 to 128 (probably higher and lower still!). I've never paid much attention to this until recently as I have been trying to determine the correct no-load plate voltages on a amp build. Sometimes the plates will read 250-255vdc, then later in the day I get 268-270vdc...and I scratch my head. Well, its because the wall voltage has darn near shot up 8 volts! How stable are the wall voltages where you live? I would think a variac would be somewhat useless to stablize the wall as the variac will see these changes, too. Maybe I'm wrong here, but the cheap-ola "red" variac I have will move with the wall. Do any of you try to stabilize your wall voltage? Maybe use a conditioner or something? I'd really like to know. This is going to drive me crazy!