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I recently found myself in the market for a new computer when I was in the process of getting what I needed the sales associate told me as-well-as the person from the Geek Squad told me that a surge protector can go bad after about 6-8months even if they haven't been used for protection. Am I being hussled?
 

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It is a good idea to get a surge protector with an indicater light, when the light is on you know the protector is working. HMB
 

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Why would it go bad? What makes them think it would.
I've never heard this (work in the electrical field).
The indicatior light suggestion might be a good one but there's nothing in a surge protector that just "goes bad."
The cheaper ones will often not survive the first time they are tested (actually have a surge) but then you just go buy another cheap one.

The comments from the sales people you were talking to make little sense (gee, there's a first):)
 

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An indicator light just tells you the power is on. The majority of surge protectors use sacrificial components, so after you absorb a surge or two, your protection is degraded. take a big hit and your surge protector is reduced to a multiple outlet strip with no protection.

If you are actually worried about surges and want to protect your equipment you have only two options. Go to SurgeX and buy a suitable unit, or go to JuiceGoose or similar shops and buy a UPS where the unit ALWAYS runs off the battery. SurgeX demonstrates their products by hitting them with a 6000V jolt every minute or so for days on end. Good stuff. I use it and it has never let me down.
 

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+Who knows- sounds like BS but maybe there is some scientific justification

email a surge protector manufacturer and see what they say

Gene
 

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Several models can be purchased with audible alarms for when protection has been lost. Leviton, Phillips, Hubble, etc. Jimmy Borum
 

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I would suggest a POWER SUPPLY BOX. If the power goes out it will give you time to close things down and it is a surge protector to. In other words you can plug everything into it and pull the plug from the wall and it will not affect the item it is suppling power to. I was told to use USP power boxes. They are not cheap but what is your computer and info worth? when they go bad in the years to come all you have to do is put a new battery in them. That is what I did with the one I have.
 

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Are you talking line surge or lightening strike - two very different creatures.

For line surge any of the ones sold for computers should work - some come with 'insurance' against damage from power spikes.

Uninterrupted power units (UPS) are a good idea - give time to shut things down and save data in a power outage, also give surge protection. Most have ports for phone and internet cables as well.

For lightening you need to take a layered approach.

Start with a whole panel lightening protector (wires into the main panel of the house - about $40 at Lowes or Home Depot). A UPS adds another layer. To go really crazy add a wall outlet surge protector that the UPS plugs into, and then a protected power strip to plug the computer into after the UPS.
 

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Part of their recommendation might be due to the $0.20 part that actually does the protection.... repeated overvoltage conditions can damage it, and you will never see any indication of it failing. I'd personnaly look into a whole house protector... If i'm not mistaken, repeated ESD hits (20kV - 20,000V or more) can take it out - and that's the voltage present when you rub your feet on the carpet and touch the metal doorknob.... you don't feel the hit until it reached 15kV, if i remember correctly.....
 

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For those of you who actually care, most of the UPS units you buy run on AC and only switch to battery when the power goes out. Some switch quickly, some don't. You won't really know until you test them on your equipment. You would be surprised how many pieces of equipment crash when the switch is made. BTW, the cheapo surge protection in most UPS units is the MOV sacrificial type.

For stuff that just has to work, use one of the SurgeX units (or the bigger ones) found at the link below. Then put your inexpensive UPS in line with that. By inexpensive I mean $200-$400.

If you want the best, buy a UPS that always supplies power from the battery and uses the AC to keep the battery topped off. See the Extreme Power Conversion link. They are expensive, but since there is no switch over during an outage, even the most sensitive equipment remains stable. A 20 Amp SurgeX unit with an EPC UPS capable of running a small network with router, WAPs, Fiber modem, a workstation or two with LCDs, etc. will easily run $1200. That's what it costs for a mission critical system. Most of you will do just fine with a SurgeX and an ordinary UPS.

BTW, I don't sell the stuff or own stock in the companies. I design systems that include lots of electronics that need protection.

SurgeX http://www.surgex.com/prod_stn_alone.html

Extreme Power Conversion http://xpcc.com/xprt_1000_description.htm
 

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if there is power going through the surge protector then there is wear. we replace our clients surge protectors once a year to be safe why take the chance of it failing when you realy need it.
 

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I forgot to add if you buy a UPS unit buy the item or part number 700 and up. You do not want any units that are below that.
 
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