Can Surge Protectors Save Energy

Paul Gonzalez
• Saturday, 23 January, 2021
• 8 min read

Think of electric outlets as food sources and your gadgets and appliances as hungry creatures. The problem is that some of these “creatures,” like that ravenous plasma TV or volt-starved cell-phone charger, have no idea when to stop eating.

surge energy protector saving advanced outlet
(Source: www.homedepot.com)


Either poor design makes them draw power all the time or standby functions, such as clocks or sensors, require constant electrical energy. If you don't feel like unplugging six different electronic items every time you're not using your home theater equipment, simply plug them all into a single surge protector and turn the device off.

Some models of surge protector offer additional features that better enable users to cut down on the amount of power their hungry gadgets gobble up. One way to take advantage of this feature would be to designate your TV as the master and make your video game systems, DVD player and speakers secondary.

Whether they're caused by lightning strikes, appliances shutting off or some other reason, these spikes can harm your device's power supplies and internal circuitry. Turning them, and the devices plugged into them off, can save significant money.

A surge lasting just a second or two, which is less than 1/1000th of an hour, is unlikely to make much of a difference in your electric bill. Plugging them into a surge suppressor and turning it off eliminates the phantom loads.

Given that all the small phantom loads typically add up to about 6 percent of your home's energy usage, flipping the switch can save you a meaningful amount of money. The circuitry is designed to stop surges of a certain size, but a large one could go through the suppressor and into the connected equipment.

surge suppression southwest energy
(Source: linkdistribution.ca)

However, extremely heavy lightning strikes have been known to register as high as a whopping 200,000 amps, so, you can do the math here. The reason they may be able to handle this is because by the time that lightning strike gets to your home, a lot of the amperage has already dissipated, but even then, an average surge protector may still not do the trick.

These can help add a bit more protection, but then again, a lightning bolt that traveled several miles probably won’t be deterred by a couple inches of space which that disconnect provides. Therefore, simply put, no, a surge protector won’t do a single thing to stop that lightning strike from deep-frying your television and anything else you have plugged in.

Although your basic surge protector won’t do anything to stop the tremendous amperage which a lightning bolt produces, there are some steps you can take to help prevent your electronics from winding up in the trash can after a lightning storm. These kinds of surgeprotectorscan handle many more amps than an in-home or power strip-type surge protector, potentially up to hundreds or even thousands of amps depending on the specific unit in question.

These can divert virtually all the amps which would otherwise hit your home head on. Now, the best lightning protection systems can divert nearly 100% of the amps from your home, which should be enough to save your valuable electronics.

Quite honestly, the best way to stop a lightning strike from frying your television is simply by unplugging it. Whatever it may be, in the vast majority of direct lighting strikes, there is nothing that can fully protect your home and its electronics 100%.

surge protectors right
(Source: makeitright.ca)

Mother nature can be cruel, so while you can be prepared, being 100% protected in this sense is virtually impossible. Rebates & Tax Credits for U.S. consumers Incentives for installing insulation and for buying energy -efficient appliances like refrigerators, washing machines, and air conditioners are often available from local and state governments and utilities.

, Marketplace Radio (NPR), July 20, 2012 8 Simple Ways to Reduce Household Waste, Living Green Magazine, June 29, 2012, Why is my electric bill so high? 27, 2012 Fight the Power, CTV (Canada's largest private broadcaster), Mar.

We cover rechargeable and alkaline batteries to show you what's hot, what's not, and the best way to charge them. The rise and breakup of the world's greatest piano pop band.

Note that the link goes to an affiliate site; there are lots of different websites littering the net marketing the same exact Revolt product. You can protect your equipment by plugging it into a surge protector, which diverts the excess electricity to the ground.

This kind of device is called a TOSS, or Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor. The company selling the sham TOSS system installs it at the electrical panel, so it keeps you from getting charged from surges that come from the power plant but not inside your own building.

surge protectors lowes protector gogreen power
(Source: www.lowes.com)

Let's assume you had a 100% spike every three hours and that it lasts a millisecond, which is pretty long for a surge. The table would need to be over 8000 miles wide in order for the surge to be represented by a one-pixel line.

I made the chart smaller because I figured your monitor is not that large. Remember the motto of our website: Volts x Amps = Watts.

Underwriters Laboratories figures that a typical damaging surge from lightning is 6000 Volts at 200 Amps and lasts ten microseconds (ten millionths of a second). It would take thirty million of these surges to eat up a kilowatt-hour, at which point you'd pay about eight cents for it.

And remember, this is for a lightning strike ; most surges are only a few hundred volts. Some boring tech background: Most surge protectors clamp down on excess voltage above 330 or 400 volts.

But some surge suppressors come with a warranty that covers lightning damage, even though they can 't protect against it, because the manufacturers are trying to get you to buy their product. They know the chances of lightning getting into your electrical lines is rare so their risk in offering that kind of guarantee to you is small.

surge whole protector addicted
(Source: mrelectric.com)

Me, I usually leave everything plugged in and just make sure my computer data is backed up. One of the companies pushing Revolt illegally copied some of my energy saving tips and put them on their own website, and then ignored my requests that they remove my content from their site (2002-03).

I provided my address to serve their lawsuit in case they were actually stupid enough to file one. By the way, Caltech's site says that a fast food restaurant or car wash experiences over 400,000 surges a day.

Caltech's site is littered with ridiculous Java links and ugly bitmap graphics. I can understand your frustration companies that exploit the unknowing public with smoke and mirrors and delusions of power savings with the use of a TOSS unit.

I spent 25 years in the US Navy and started their TOSS program to save ONLY on maintenance costs and to decrease equipment downtimes, not to save energy. 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.

surge protectors benefits
(Source: www.authorstream.com)

These usually have a circuit breaker (on/off switch) of some sort, but most don't offer any real “protection” from electrical issues. 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 hotels and hostels have few accessible outlets, yet everyone has multiple devices that need recharging.

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.

appliances electrical energy earth save pag tips turn carnival nang surge wall ko sinasabi naman lang
(Source: earthdiaryns.blogspot.com)

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.

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