APC, Belkin, ... large surge protectors: made in China

I've got some of these 8 or 10 socket surge protectors.
(The Belkin ones are in a metal case)
I might need to get more. So, looking at Amazon at some of them, I, as usual, look at the reader reviews, with ratings of 1(horrible) to 5(good, excellent).
The poor ratings told stories of having to open them up and bend peices to where they should, fix connections, etc.
QUESTION: What experience have you had with these two main brands of surge protectors? Anything like the above?
Oh, some reviewers said that APC *used* to be *excellent*, but that a few years APC moved its production to China, and since then the quality has fallen to like zero.
Your experiences?
And what fixes had to be done?
Did any of you make pictures/videos of repairing them?
Thanks,
David
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On 05/14/2013 06:12 AM, David Combs wrote:

Half the reason in getting a surge suppressor is for the system warranty the manufacturer provides should your system become damaged by a transient event. That warranty is going to be null and void if you tamper with the housing of the suppressor.
Jon
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On Tue, 14 May 2013 09:12:35 -0400, David Combs wrote:

Buy a non-sacrificial Class One type of protector like Brick Wall, SurgeX, or Zero Surge. They actually stop surges, instead of merely attempting to shunt them to ground. They don't wear out after repeated surge events. The best ones even have line conditioners.
The only downside is price. About $400 each. You get what you pay for.
--
Tony Sivori

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From reading the description of how they operate, the other downside would appear to be that unlike the simpler MOV types, they don't shunt the surge directly to ground or anywhere else. The incoming pulse sees an inductor, which presents a very high impedance to the surge. While that does protect the eqpt on the other side of the surge protector, it also leaves the surge on the incoming AC line. With it not shunted to ground, it's left on the AC line for it to find it's way to ground somehow and that is what it's going to do. And that could be through arcing through insulation or through another unproteced load on the AC line.
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On Tuesday, May 14, 2013 9:12:35 AM UTC-4, David Combs wrote:

e of them, I, as usual, look at the reader reviews, with ratings of 1(horri ble) to 5(good, excellent). The poor ratings told stories of having to open them up and bend peices to where they should, fix connections, etc. QUESTI ON: What experience have you had with these two main brands of surge protec tors? Anything like the above? Oh, some reviewers said that APC *used* to b e *excellent*, but that a few years APC moved its production to China, and since then the quality has fallen to like zero. Your experiences? And what fixes had to be done? Did any of you make pictures/videos of repairing them ? Thanks, David
It's all a waste of money. Most modern power supplies can handle a wide ra nge of voltages. Lots of them work on 100 to 240 vac without changing any switches or anything.
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On 05/14/2013 12:19 PM, jamesgang wrote:

I'm not so sure about that.
It's a rare occurrence, but a few years ago a tree fell on a power line near where I used to live, which sent a massive spike through a several block radius of homes - apparently one or more of the high voltage transmission wires fell onto and contacted one of the 240VAC lines, and a bunch of people got to see the principle of "letting the smoke out" in action. A coworker who lived one street over lost several TVs among other things; whereas in my house anything electronic was on a surge strip and we also had one of those surge protectors at the panel and our losses were considerably less. Sum total of losses in my house - the power supply for the electrostatic air filter (which did not have its own surge suppression; since added), the circuit board for the dishwasher (obviously hardwired to the panel) and one surge strip in the bedroom which when I checked it was over 10 years old.
The power company denied our claims for reimbursement, claiming that this was an act of God or some such (they just sent out form letters to everyone in the area.) Since the total cost was under $200 and a couple hours of my time we didn't bother pressing the matter and it wasn't worth even mentioning to homeowner's insurance. Others were not quite so happy however...
I did replace the suppressor at the panel after that as I was pretty sure that it was compromised at that point.
Did I have the *best* protection possible? Definitely not. Did it help, in that one instance? Absolutely.
If I need a power strip for anything, I get one with surge suppression. The cost difference is minimal - it's probably just a couple MOVs in there after all - and I don't really see the downside.
nate
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On 5/14/2013 2:43 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:

I agree. Parallels my experience. I've got surge protectors on all TV's and other appliances like phones, microwave oven and refrigerator and battery back up on computers.
I've heard that "act of God" BS but fact was that power company was saving money on their normal tree trimming.
When surge protector does its job and fails, the light goes out. It will still supply power but will not protect.
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I know this gal, her husband attepted to cut down a tree on their property. The tree came down but dropped a 15KV volt line on a local circuit 120 / 240 it took out over 20 grand of electronics on that circuit:(
their homeowers insurance paid for all the equiptement but changed their policy to exclude it in the future.
the gal believed people collected broken equiptement from friends because people claimed so many failures. no doubt she was accurate.....
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I agree but with one caveat...
I prefer the surge suppressed outlet strips be housed in metal. MOVs can catch fire. I don't like the idea of a burning MOV inside a plastic housing under the curtains.. MOVs in the main (metal) panel are very good thing.
Mark
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On 5/14/2013 2:43 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:

power company hooked up the power wrong. 3 houses burned to the ground, the one with protection survived.
--
Jeff

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On 5/14/2013 12:43 PM, Nate Nagel wrote:

As I have often posted, excellent information on surges and surge protection is at: http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/IEEE_Guide.pdf - "How to protect your house and its contents from lightning: IEEE guide for surge protection of equipment connected to AC power and communication circuits" published by the IEEE. And also: http://www.eeel.nist.gov/817/pubs/spd-anthology/files/Surges%20happen!.pdf - "NIST recommended practice guide: Surges Happen!: how to protect the appliances in your home" published by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology
The IEEE surge guide is aimed at people with some technical background (but should be quite readable for almost anyone here). The NIST surge guide is aimed at the unwashed masses.

I agree with trader. Surges you worry about are a far higher voltage than 240V.
I do not think anything in a house would produce a surge that would damage equipment in the house. The main source of damaging surges is lightning. Next is normal and abnormal electrical utility operations.

A surge is, by definition, a very short duration event. Crossed power lines are not a surge. MOVs, which can handle thousands of amps for the short duration of a surge can be rapidly burned out by the much longer duration of crossed power lines. This is covered in the IEEE surge guide. Neither service panel or plug-in protectors will reliably protect from crossed power lines. A UPS that disconnects may be the best protection. (On the other hand, surge protectors are likely better than nothing.)
When using a plug-in protector all interconnected equipment needs to be connected to the same protector. External connections, like coax, also *must* go through the protector.
UL has, since 1998, required thermal disconnects for overheating MOVs. I am not aware that fires are a problem for UL listed protectors made since 1998. Any surge protector you buy in the US should be listed under UL1449. (Some UPSs don't seem to be.)
I have not seen reliable information that non-MOV based protectors (like SurgeX) are better (or as good as).
Best protection is a service panel protector, a "single point ground" with short connections from cable, phone, ... entry protectors to a common connection point, and plug-in protectors connected correctly for high value electronics - particularly if it has both power and signal connections.
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ome of them, I, as usual, look at the reader reviews, with ratings of 1(hor rible) to 5(good, excellent). The poor ratings told stories of having to op en them up and bend peices to where they should, fix connections, etc. QUES TION: What experience have you had with these two main brands of surge prot ectors? Anything like the above? Oh, some reviewers said that APC *used* to be *excellent*, but that a few years APC moved its production to China, an d since then the quality has fallen to like zero. Your experiences? And wha t fixes had to be done? Did any of you make pictures/videos of repairing th em? Thanks, David

g any switches or anything.
Do they handle a 4000V surge when lightning hits the power lines near the house? That's what surge protectors are for, not small voltage differences.
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David Combs wrote:

Investigate "Whole House" surge protectors. Perfectly adequate ones should be in the neighborhood of $75 or less and do, in general, a sterling job of protection. Look for: .Meets UL Standard 1449 (second edition) .Has a clamping voltage - the amount that triggers the diversion of electricity to the ground - of 400 volts or less. The lower the number, the better the protection .Absorbs at least 600 joules of energy .Protects all three incoming lines: hot, neutral, and ground. Look for "L-N, L-G, N-G" (line to neutral, line to ground, neutral to ground) on the product's spec sheet * 40,000 amps surge protection .Stops functioning when its circuits are damaged by a surge
In addition, they are almost trival to install.
Also, it's NOT a "belt and suspenders" approach to include individual power strips in your circuitry. Smaller power surges can be triggered by devices INSIDE your house: laser printers, electric dryers, refrigerators, and other electronics.
Use both whole-house AND power-strip surge protectors.
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