How to Choose a Good Surge Protector

How did you know that there’s a device that will protect your equipment from high surges?

To be honest with you I really didn’t know much about a whole house surge protector until I started researching more about it. Even today I will admit that I still have a lot of things to learn. I also created this website in order to share my findings.

I can remember during my childhood days that all the surge suppression we had in our house was taken care of by a fuse box. It was flush mounted on a wall, had a big on/off lever and was really rusty.

There are different levels of protection when you want to protect your electronics and other appliances from sudden voltage spikes. There are many types of surge protectors that are available right now and just like anything that you buy in real life, there will be some factors involved.

If you buy something really pricey, then expect to have a high quality of protection. If you’re looking for something cheaper then don’t raise your expectations.

Of course there are still surge suppressors that are cheaper than high-end brands that provide better protection like the Square D HEPD80.

Are Surge Protectors and Power Strips the Same?

This is a very common question for a lot of people that are looking for surge protection. I actually have a power strip where my computer is plugged in and also wondered if it provides any protection from voltage spikes.

A surge protector is definitely not a power strip but there are low end brands that will look a lot like your regular power strip. Basically, a power strip is just a power extension cord and it won’t have any type of surge protection.

However, there are power strips that do provide protection and usually you’re going to see them labeled as having surge protection or surge suppression. If you don’t see any of these labels then 100% of the time it’s just going to be a basic power strip.

You can also take a look the price as power strips are cheaper than surge protectors. Additionally, there should be a Joules rating for it to be considered a surge protector.

Qualities of a Good Surge Protector

Let’s discuss the things that can be found in a good surge protector.

Remember my very brief fuse box story? Well, some of the surge protectors actually do work like a fuse. They will absorb those electric spikes and when they had enough, they will eventually die out. This can happen by having a really huge single surge or through a lot of small spikes over a long amount of time.

Surge Protector Health

One of the first things you have to look out for in a surge protector is the Joules rating. Think of a surge protector as a simple battery and its health and longevity is going to be determined by the Joules rating. Basically if the rating is high on a surge protector, then expect a longer lasting protection.

But longevity results can be different depending on how much surge is absorbed.

Let’s say you are choosing between 2 surge protectors. One absorbs a 1,000-volt spike and brings it down to 300 volts. The other absorbs the same amount of spike but only brings it down to 600 volts. If this is the case, assuming all things are equal, the one with the higher voltage absorption will typically be worn out first than the other.

Warranty

When you go out and shop for a surge protector, you’ll typically see the warranties and equipment protection policies that they provide.

What determines the type and how much warranty you get for a surge protector?

Well, it seems that all the talk about the warranties is mainly for the best interest of the manufacturer’s marketing and accounting department. Basically this means that a surge protector’s warranty is not really determined by hard scientific data from the manufacturer.

However, there are some reports where a company backed up claims of its customers. On the flip side, there are also numerous horror stories of consumers having to go through so many hoops or in some cases not receiving any dime from the company.

You can also determine in their warranty whether a surge protector will act like a fuse or a circuit breaker. Typically, a lifetime warranty on a surge suppressor will act like a circuit breaker.

What Are You Looking For?

What type of surge protection are you looking for? Do you have any experience in using a whole house surge protector or do you just have a power strip? Leave your comments below. Thanks for checking this out.

Leave a Comment


*