The surge protector takes a hit instead of your hardware or A/V system, and it could potentially save you hundreds to many thousands of dollars, depending on what you have connected. You want to make the modest investment in a surge protector for the same reason you want to have a backup of your data: because there’s no going back after an adverse event.
Welkin 12-outlet Pivotal (model BP112230-08) Pivoting outlets, a low clamping threshold, high durability, and a cable organizer combine to make this a great surge protector at a reasonable price. Welkin’s 12-Outlet Pivotal SurgeProtector (BP112230-08) won’t cut off power when it can no longer protect your devices, but it does offer low clamping voltage (330V on all legs).
APC’s Surgeries Performance P12U2 is our new favorite surge protector that automatically cuts power when protection ends. If you don’t need those two extra outlets and the USB charging ports, the Trip Lite TLP1008TEL remains a good pick for about $14 less.
APC Surgeries (model P11VNT3) A solid entry that falls short in a couple of choices about continuous power and clamping voltage. APC’s Surgeries is only slightly less flexible than Welkin’s offering, and it won’t cut off power to your devices unless its main line-neutral protection fails.
If you place tremendous value in design, the Austere VII Series surge protector is the most attractive device in this category. With a brushed-aluminum enclosure, polished beveled edges, and braided-fabric power cord, we haven’t seen anything else that comes close in terms of its industrial design.
Advanced features, such as USB charging For travel models, how many outlets does it have while remaining compact and versatile, in addition to everything above? Features you typically won’t find in surge suppressors such as these are alarms or networked intelligence to alert a computer (and manage a controlled shutdown), or act as an Internet of Things device, to warn about electrical anomalies or provide a status report.
That’s changed dramatically over several decades, as utilities have cleaned up what’s delivered to homes and buildings. Depending on the age of a utility’s systems and how frequently lightning strikes occur, however, surges and huge spikes might be regular occurrences.
Electronics and all other electrically powered anything for a home or office can accept brief amounts of much higher maximum voltages, which you can logically determine must be true as modest surges are routine and electronic equipment in homes isn’t constantly failing without a surge protector ; it’s the big surges that need to be blocked. Surge protectors of the category we tested use metal oxide various (Move), a kind of circuitry that absorbs voltages above the clamping level and effectively burn away over time.
In an area with erratic voltage, your surge protector might wear out in months or a few years; on other electrical systems, it might last indefinitely. You can compare surge protectors’ durability, or the period over which the Move will remain effective, by looking at the number of joules advertised for the product.
Joules provide a rough basis of comparison that’s nearly impossible to test in lab conditions, as you’d have to simulate a variety of surges over long periods of time with multiple identical units of each model. Certification from Underwriters Laboratories (UL) provides assurance that the product has been independently tested.
We’ll use joules as a rough rule of thumb, as it tends to parallel differences in price and other features, too. If you have a surge protector already in place somewhere in your house or office, go take a quick glance at it and come back.
ThinkstockThe class of surge protectors reviewed here rely on Move (metal oxide various) to absorb excess voltage. Older surge protectors were typically designed around the concern that computers had spinning hard disk drives (HDDs) inside, and that it was better to lose surge protection and keep providing power than to drop AC power when protection had failed.
I confess that I only learned this in 2016; I checked mine, and had to replace one a few months later when that light suddenly disappeared. That’s the biggest choice you’ll face, and we considered it in the six surge protectors we brought in for testing.
We’ve provided a sentence about warranties in each review, just so you’re informed, but don’t count on collecting unless you’re a good record keeper. Because you can plug so much power into a multi-outlet device, it’s very easy to overload the thing into which you’re “daisy-chaining” the surge protector, which can cause product failure or even an electrical fire.
You can use one of those clever 3-to-2 adapters that I know too well as the owner of an old house, in which only about half the outlets were ever upgraded to modern standards. Some surge protectors have an LED that lights up if it’s not, or you can purchase a cheap plug-in detector from a hardware store.
If you don’t follow the guidelines spelled out for plugging your surge protector into the wall, you can damage it void the product warranty and any damaged-items protection that comes with it. The first mistake that people make is going to the office supply or big store and picking up a basic surge strip which may only be rated at 250 joules, thinking they are protecting their equipment.
According to one of our trusted vendors, Trip Lite: “A unit with up to 1000 joules of surge protection is adequate for these small electronics. A surge protector with 1000 to 2000 joules will provide sufficient protection for power tools and office equipment such as printers, copiers, and routers.
$$29.9929.99We aim to show you accurate product information. Charge two USB devices, including cell phones, tablets, and more without using outlets.
The six-foot power cord has an angled low-profile plug to allow furniture to sit close to the wall. Safety:WARNING: This product can expose you to Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEEP), which is known to the State of California to cause Cancer and Birth Defect/Reproductive Harm.
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\$\begin group\you should not daisy-chain protective devices (fuses, Move, breakers, etc.) Without first doing the appropriate research because generally speaking, they are rated to interrupt in x seconds given a particular fault current.
e.g. A fuse chosen more or less at random will clear in 1s with a ~20A fault current. If you have a second fuse with similar ratings in series, they will actually start limiting the fault current as they open up, and the fault current is no longer 20A, it may be 15A, or 10A, or ... you get the idea.
That same fuse will clear a 10A fault in ~10s, which could be enough time to heat up wire or traces or cause a semiconductor to fail because it wasn't designed to handle that kind of current for that kind of time. e.g. A MOVE series chosen more or less at random will clamp a surge at 130V.
Two in parallel will have (slightly or significantly) different clamping voltages, usually with the lower one “winning”. In the industrial power world this kind of interaction is actually a significant part of the overall electrical design, since you have substation transformers protected with fuses, and the downstream equipment protected with their own fuses or breakers, and then the load controllers protecting their semiconductors or motors again with their own protective devices, usually a combination of Move or fused Move and either breakers or fusing.
There's a lot to look at, including the I2T ratings of the protective devices, interrupting capabilities, pulse withstand capabilities, temperature debating, clearing times, current limiting effects as the devices become active, Joule ratings and so on. ... and I bet you thought fuses, breakers and TVS type devices were pretty simple, didn't you.
Daisy-chaining surge suppressors (running them in series) would not increase or decrease their current interrupting capability. The current is the same everywhere in a series circuit, so the first fuse or breaker would be exposed to the total demand of chained surge protectors, and it should interrupt at its rated capacity.
Now if you place multiple protectors in parallel into the same outlet, the housebreaker would be exposed to the total demand. I believe the liability factor has a lot to do with posting the “Do not daisy-chain” warnings.
Even tho, the ratings of the MOVE devices are the same, they all do not react at the same time, the first to fire, takes the biggest energy burst and would be the first to fail, and the next to activate would get the 2nd highest burst, and so on. However, this is what is needed to build up large, electrical shock absorbers.
Because Move are not made in large capacity, they must be bundled in parallel to get high ratings. Also, important to realize, is that the joule ratings on the box or device are the total capacity between all three leg-pairs.
One way to check them, tho it's a bit tricky, is to unplug the arrestor from the mains first. You should see OF (over-load) readings, which means the resistance is too high to register on this range.
As the ability of surge suppressors increased, We always recommended a minimum of 2,000 joules. Now days, I would recommend at least 3 thousand joules and a clipping voltage of no more than 330 volts, preferably lower.
This includes dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, etc. The power grid in the U.S. has consistently become more and more dirty. \$\begin group\I believe daisy-chaining is discouraged to prevent overloading of the circuit(s) and the warnings are more for minimizing insurance liability.
Another reason people will daisy chain is to extend the reach of the electricity. Instead of daisy-chaining for length, buy a thicker gauge extension cord to fit a power strip to.
However, the reason you don't daisy-chain surge protectors is what Chris K said when he wrote: “I believe daisy-chaining is discouraged to prevent overloading of the circuit(s) and the warnings are more for minimizing insurance liability.” Some people will daisy chain them to either gain more outlets to plug stuff into which will overload the circuit and could cause a fire, or to act like an extension cord, but surge protectors do take some electricity voltage and drops it down which is why Xbox says not to plug any surge protector into it's Xbox stuff because they put a built-in surge protector into the box, and plugging the box into another surge protection may not allow the Xbox to even turn on due to the drop in current.