While surge protectors are mostly reliable and necessary, people should not forget that they are also machines and may stop working at any time. Every time a surge occurs, and it protects people’s devices, it also loses some of its ability.
Most surge protectors come with a rating that is given in joules to show the extent of protection that a particular device is designed to provide. Similarly, a constant surge in power also slowly damages the device and makes it dysfunctional with time.
While it is possible to squeeze all the liquid out of the sponge, you cannot remove the effects of high voltage from a surge protector. So far, we have explained why it is almost impossible to have an accurate idea when a surge protector stops working.
For instance, people who live in an area with constant fluctuation in voltages might face serious wear and tear that affects the life of their surge protector. With proper care and maintenance, they can survive longer and perform better, keeping all the appliances safe.
The best way to increase the life of a surge protector is called layering up in technical terms. People should install a whole home surge protector at the main electric supply.
These surge protectors further protect against smaller voltage surges that usually occur when people turn on or off a heavy electronic device such as an air conditioner. The purpose of explaining these issues is to remind people to keep a check on their surge protectors and not trust them blindly to save their expensive devices.
The bottom-line is that people should always go for the surge protectors with maximum capacity and avoid connecting too many devices to one surge protector. But, if you’re still using an old surge protector you purchased ten years ago, it’s probably long pastime to replace it.
These devices sit between the electrical socket and your gadgets, protecting them from any power surges and ensuring they receive a consistent voltage of electricity. It’s possible for a voltage spike caused by an issue in the power grid to damage your expensive electrical equipment, and that’s what surge protectors are designed to stop.
When they receive a power surge from the electrical outlet they’re plugged into, they have to do something with that extra voltage to get rid of it and shield the connected devices from it. A typical surge protector uses a component called a metal oxide variety (MOVE).
It’s practically impossible to tell exactly when a surge protector stops functioning as intended. Some surge protectors have built-in lights that are designed to alert you to this problem and inform you when the protector needs to be replaced.
But don’t assume your decade-old surge protector is still working properly because the warning light hasn’t come on yet. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a World columnist for two years.
Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Any device that challenges electricity for a living is going to lose a battle sooner or later. One possibility is to visually indicate the failure, either by turning a light on or off or by changing the color from green to red.
The problem with this is that the light may not be visible because the surge protector is buried in a corner. The most important issue after a failure, however, is whether the surge protector should continue to power the devices plugged into it.
In a recent blog here I described the somewhat pricey Trip Lite ISOBAR4ULTRA whose documentation says that it provides unprotected power after a failure, and, the relatively cheap APC NET8 that promises not to provide power that it can 't protect. In a comment on that blog, someone claiming to work for Trip Lite disputed their own documentation and basically said that APC was lying in theirs.
In the event a MOVE between Line and Neutral were to fail, a thermal fuse would open up, preventing any power from being passed to the load. Ultimately, the NET8 also has a $100,000 Equipment Protection Policy, which is in essence our guarantee that it will work as advertised.
This story, “After a Surge Protector Fails” was originally published by Computer world. Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission.
You've lost the discussion since you had other electrical paths for damage to occur. It was a fancy one that allowed for the high speed internet cable to go through, so all wires leading into the computer (and power for all its peripherals) went through the surge protector.
So I repeat my question: how do I prove the mob failure was caused by the surge protector's failure to protect it and not just the mob dying a natural death? (FYI, currently the internet cable does not work if it goes through the surge protector in-outs.
I take it you have some warranty or recourse in recouping the PC because the surge protector did its job. The best surge protector no matter what brand can only “reduce/limit” the damage to a system.
If you're lucky, it stops damage other than itself, otherwise it migrates down the path taking the weakest components out. A simple electrical surge is reduced or stopped but an “electrical/lighting” hit is another matter, you're dealing with the big stuff well into millions of volts or its range of joules potential.
Sorry to hear about your loss, but seeing PC failures daily for a multitude of reasons I can only write that it's doubtful since the power supply is next in line for the line voltage to cause an issue and fail. Here's a question, I have a very fancy surge protector here.
Ps just an aside, now I can 't connect to my cable modem through the surge protector, I have to go direct to the computer. A surge protector is both an insurance policy and an investment in protecting your electronic devices against damaging power events.
Don’t use the surge protector for devices such as space heaters and microwave ovens. Our surge protectors feature built-in automatic shutdown, lifetime warranties, and connected equipment guarantees.
Choose the series that best fits your needs: Advanced, Premium, Premier, Home Theater, Professional, Essential, and Rack bar™. With an incredible range of prices and features, not to mention a barrage of questionable marketing promises, it's hard to figure out what's worth the money, and what's nonsense.
Typically, power strips are cheap, multi-outlet products that are merely an expansion of a wall outlet. These usually have a circuit breaker (on/off switch) of some sort, but most don't offer any real “protection” from electrical issues.
Over time, the parts inside the protector wear down, reducing its effectiveness. To get some answers, the Wire cutter did a massive test on surge protectors, essentially blowing them up to see how well they worked.
There are a number of products on the market that claim to “condition” the power from the wall, promising improved performance in your gear. All electronics have a power supply that takes the incoming wall current (120v in the US), filters it for noise, and converts it into whatever the device needs.
If you want total protection, consider that phone and cable lines can carry power spikes too. Many surge protectors come with USB connections, so you can charge your mobile devices without having to use a wall warts.
Eve Systems While not offering much protection, a portable power strip might prevent marital friction, and/or invoke bliss from travel companions. Most portable power strips add two to three additional outlets, plus offer direct USB charging (see number 8).
Some will give you a warning or shut off when their protection drops below a safe level. If you know you've had a serious electrical event (like lighting blew out a transformer down the street), it's probably worth replacing your surge protector just in case.
If you live in an area with lots of thunderstorms, your gear is probably more likely to experience power surges. Even if you live in the desert, your A/C or refrigerator could kick power spikes back down the lines to your A/V gear.
We don't currently have recommendations for specific surge protectors, but you can find plenty of options for as little as $20 or less at Amazon.