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Can Surge Protectors Get Wet

author
Maria Johnson
• Thursday, 03 December, 2020
• 8 min read

A surge protector is both an insurance policy and an investment in protecting your electronic devices against damaging power events. Here are the DOs and DON’Ts of choosing the right surge protector and knowing when to replace it.

surge protector strip power vs joules anyone
(Source: makeitworkcomputersolutions.ca)

Contents

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™.

Expensive Welkin, APC, Overpower, etc are electrically similar to a $10 protector in Walmart. Worse, those near zero joule protector scan even compromise what is superior protection already inside every appliance.

Quality means direct lightning strikes without damage even to a protector. Including Informatic, Square D, Died, Siemens, Polyphase (an industry benchmark), Sysco, Levi ton, ABB, Delta, Eric, and Cutler-Hammer (Eaton).

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. Chris Monroe/CNET Power strips and surge protectors, also called surge suppressors, are different.

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.

surge vs protectors protector power protection strips brown
(Source: marcelbrown.com)

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).

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.

protector surge choose
(Source: www.davidgrayelectricalservices.com)

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.

This article will show you the pros and cons of a whole house surge protector. Furthermore, for an average home, a power surge actually happens about 20 times a day.

It’s true that these past few years, it seems that severe weather occurs a bit more frequently than you’d expect. But it’s also true that most households these days have too many electrical items, and many of them are used at the same time.

There are several good reasons why it’s worthwhile to consider installing a whole house surge protection system. These are rather expensive appliances, and replacing them can put a major dent on your budget.

After a series of even low-level power surges, your appliances may just stop working because of the accumulated damage to the circuitry. A single lightning strike can cause havoc with your electrical system and damage many of your appliances.

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(Source: www.campingworld.com)

In the continental US alone, about 20 million lightning strikes occur each year. Bad weather can also lead to downed lines, resulting in these surges.

Severe weather these days occurs more often, but half the time the cause of the power surge is internal. The most common cause of these internal power surges is the use of too many appliances at the same time.

You may also have some issues with your electrical equipment, causing extreme drops and spikes with your power supply. Moreover, you may have faulty wiring without knowing it, since very few households make it a point have their home electrical system inspected regularly for safety.

It’s this cost that sometimes tempt households to go with the wall outlet surge protectors instead. You can ’t really install the whole house surge protector yourself, unless you’re actually an electrical professional.

The surge protector works by redirecting the excess electrical power from your home and to the ground instead. To make sure that you do, you’d need electrical professionals to check your grounding system.

surge protector mov duty heavy radioshack
(Source: www.radioshack.com)

That means you’d have to upgrade it, and again you’ll need to add to your investment expenditures. That means whole house surge protection should be installed between your electric meter and the outside power lines.

You know that your appliances are protected, and that’s the kind of certainty that’s worth the expense. A surge protector was the chief suspect in a February fire that started in the home office of Michelle de Putron.

Her heart had to be restarted by rescue workers, who were unable to resuscitate DE Patron’s dog, Perry Mason. A San Jose fireman was injured when he stepped into a hole the surge protector burned in the into the floor of her office.

“This time of year, with holiday decorating, we put a little more emphasis on overloading circuits,” said Alex Filip, a spokesman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “We realize very few people are able to calculate the number of ohms or watts the unit they are going to plug in is going to take, but they do have limits,” Filip said.

My wife’s synthesizer, amplifier and mixer and another electronic instrument were plugged into an APC Surgeries made in 1996. A second early vintage Surgeries connected a computer and television in another room Last year, Schneider Electric announced a voluntary recall of approximately 15 million APC Surgeries surge protectors made before 2003, following reports of fires caused by the devices.

shower tote mesh bag strongest canvas dorm
(Source: dormco.com)

Schneider will replace them for free (http://recall.apc.com/en), and based on complaints of fires this year, there are plenty of these devices still in use. In a complaint to the CPC last month, a couple reported that they awoke at 2 a.m. on Sept. 6 “smelling wires burning.” They shut off power and searched their house, finally discovering a burned APC surge protector behind their entertainment center.

“It burned our carpet, part of the entertainment center and ruined our DVD and stereo system that were plugged into the unit,” the couple reported. The recalled and improperly used power strips in my home may have left me vulnerable to a fire similar to the one that nearly killed her.

Know which one you’re using: The packaging on a surge protector will give a rating in joules, which tells how much energy the device can absorb before it fails. Utility companies can no longer be counted on for a steady stream of electrical power.

Because of an aging infrastructure, confusion over deregulation and other factors, the suppliers of the nation’s electricity have been struggling to maintain enough service to power homes and businesses. Sags, also known as brownouts, occur when start-up demands of electrical appliances pull more power from the utility company than it can re-supply to the home.

Sags can cause serious damage to appliances like computers, which need very steady sources of electricity to function. Surges occur when high-powered electrical motors, such as air conditioners and household appliances, are switched off, causing extra voltage to dissipate through the power line.

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(Source: thewholeworldornothing.com)

Spikes are instantaneous, sometimes dramatic increases in voltage and can be caused by an event like a lightning strike or a car accident involving a utility pole. During a spike, huge amounts of voltage can instantly spread throughout centrally wired electronic equipment like telephones or televisions.

Generators can run on natural gas or gasoline, and some can re-power most of the home’s critical systems within a short time of a power outage occurrence. Each year, the cost of lightning strikes adds up to millions of dollars of damage to electrical systems in homes throughout the country.

Lightning rods provide a ground path to divert this runaway power from harming your home’s electrical systems. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for and finding out your suppressor didn’t work can be a very expensive lesson to learn.

Also, keep in mind that if in fact you are hit by lightning, this may very well be considered “storm damage” and could be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Probably the single most effective equipment to protect computers from damage from an electrical power outage is a battery backup.

Known as an “uninterruptible power supply” or “UPS”, these small devices will not only protect your sensitive data from surges or spikes, they can also instantly restore power to your computer long enough to allow you to safely save your work and shut down the system.

shower tote mesh bag dorm strongest canvas students extra zonex endcap
(Source: dormco.com)

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Sources
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