Surge Protectors - A waste of money !!!

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WIth all the messages about the defective surge protector that went up in smoke, I just wanted to note that I have my computer plugged into TWO of them. One is plugged into the outlet itself, then there is a power strip with another one built in. In the past 3 years, I have lost one motherboard, one video card, and 3 modems from lightning. WHILE PLUGGED INTO THESE SURGE PROTECTORS.
They are a total waste of money in my opinion. The only way to prevent lightning damage is to unplug stuff when you are not using it, and especially when there is lightning.
The sellers os surge protectors are the only ones that benefit from them. They benefit with riches and laughter as they laugh all the way to the bank!
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On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 23:50:28 -0500, somebody anonymously wrote:

Maybe you need to get one that guarantees to protect your equipment (that pays for anything that gets damaged).
In our part of the country, they put a grounded wire above the power and phone lines to take lightning strikes. So my only experience with power surges was an apparent increase in voltage just before a transformer or something blew (twice last summer). The lights got bright, air conditioner fan sped up, then everything went dark, except my computer. My computer and network equipment is on a UPS, so I was still online. There was no storm, just overheated transformer on a hot evening.
A coworker had a storm go through her neighborhood that took off some roofs and lightning dug a hole in a nearby street. She thought it blew out her TV and VCR because they no longer worked, but it turned out she had a surge protector, it did its job, and was the only thing that was really damaged.
But I guess if you are on high ground, there is no substitute for pulling the plug when the storms come.
--
David Efflandt - All spam ignored http://www.de-srv.com /

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Protectors really don't do much for a bad hit. Also as surges happen they "wear out " and lose ability to handles surges. Best thing in my opinion is to buy a name brand with a warranty back your stuff up and pull the plug if you are home.
UPS helps too as it can shut off commercial power in case of a spike. It could be too slow to save your system though!
Wayne

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No they don't. Do a search here on threads with the word "ground" or "grounding" in the title. There have been several recent threads that went into this deeply.
Bob
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Plug-in surge protector did exact what they claim to do. They don't stop, block, or absorb surges. They simply shunt (short, connect) a surge to all other wires. If that surge protector had been within feet of earth ground, then shunting to surge protection would have been effective. But a plug-in surge protector is not surge protection. A plug-in surge protector is only effective when it connects short (less than 10 feet) to protection (earth ground) and is connected distant from transistors.
Your protectors were too close to transistors and too far from earth ground. They simply provided a surge with more destructive paths through appliances. More wires to find earth ground destructively through one motherboard, one video card, and 3 modems. An adjacent surge protector did exactly what the manufacturer claimed. It protected from a surge that does not typically exist and was ineffective for the other type of surge that typically damages electronics.
As 'nuther Bob posted, there are many threads in this newsgroup and many other newsgroups about earthing and surge protectors that actually claim to protect from destructive surges - 'whole house' surge protectors. Notice how often your town's phone service, connected to overhead wires every where, is down for days after a thunderstorm. No outage? Its called 'whole house' surge protectors. They are that effective that even the telco's high expose, switching computer cannot be damaged.
Two minimally sized 'whole house' protectors for residential AC electric are sold in Home Depot - Intermatic EG240RC / IG1240RC, or Siemens QSA2020.
A protector using the same circuit and components as other plug-in protectors (even the expensive ones) was more honest about what plug-in surge protectors really do. SL Waber EP63 Power Master:

Of course not. What plug-in protectors forget to mention to sell at inflated prices - a surge protector is only as effective as its earth ground. No short connection to earth ground means no effective protection which is why plug-in protector avoid all mention of earthing. They don't claim to provide that protection - even the brand name ones with big buck warranties - as your damage demonstrates.
!!!!!!!!!!@!!!!!!!!!!!.!!! wrote:

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Unless all this damage occurred with a single strike you must live in central Florida. The mention of 3 modems leads me to suspect the phone line as the culprit since this would allow the direct entry of high voltage into the chassis bypassing your power strip. This year I lost a cable modem during an electrical storm. Fortunately it is an external unit plugged into a firewall before it entered the computer. Only damage was the modem. If I am correct as to the source of your misfortune you might look at putting additional protection on your phone line. I have a mechanical modular phone switch (radio shack) on one computer that uses a dialup connection and I leave it switched to the telephone unless I'm on the net. This might fry the phone but the computer would be isolated up to the arc over voltage in the switch which so far has been adequate.
Regards,
John
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I see two options here- either this joker is buying $5.00 USED equipment or he's a troll. Either way, go away little man.
!!!!!!!!!!@!!!!!!!!!!!.!!! wrote:

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Some dear friends of mine live a few states away. I see them once a year when I go to visit them for a few days. The first year I went to visit they told me lightning killed their computer. The second year I visited they told me lightning killed their TV. The third year lightning hit the hot tub receptacle. That was when I decided to take a look around the house. I love their hot tub. It turned out that they had no ground on their house. Their water came from a plastic pipe off of a well connected to copper pipe indoors. There was an old rusted ground rod in the wall of the basement with a very poor connection. I went out and bought a 10' x 3/4" ground rod for them and some #2 wire and installed it and bonded their copper pipes. They haven't had a problem with lightning since.
Some "surge protectors" are nothing more then cheap power strips with some electronic components soldered in. They usually get their UL approval before they solder in the extras. I actually witnessed one burn up.
Many manufacturers of electrical devices produce a surge suppressor receptacle. It takes the place of a standard receptacle and is UL approved for that purpose. That is what I recommend to my customers. These types of receptacles are around $40.00 - $50.00, but I believe them to be more reliable and functional than the plug-in power strips. You can buy them at an electrical supply.
I hope this helps.
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv

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Yes.
I don't believe this and I'd like some proof of this.Do you have any references?

--
Jim Yanik,NRA member
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Jim,
A while back ( Maybe a year or two) Electrical Construction and Maintenance magazine (E C & M) ran an article on this very subject. They had done the research for the article and found that some companies had submitted their power strips to UL for approval and got it. Then they took those same power strips put some surge suppression components in them and remarketed them as surge suppression power strips. However they never resubmitted the changed design to UL, but kept their UL label on the strips. They had also reported that there were a number of fires as a result of this design change. A reputable company should be able to furnish you with a copy of their UL listing. That will tell you exactly what the device has been tested and approved for.
Don't tell me that you are surprised to hear about corporate deception. I just read an article yesterday about Citibank and JP morgan paying millions of dollars in fines because of their role in deceiving stockholders in the Enron scandal. Of course Enron's accounting firm was in on the deception as well. In my mind the people who did this have no honor and lack integrity. Fortunately not everyone is like this, but the buyer must beware. There are some people who believe that money and profit is everything and nothing else matters.
I sign my own name at this newsgroup because I am not trying to deceive anyone. I speak from my own experiences as a licensed electrical contractor in two states who began his career in grammar school helping his electrical contractor father on weekends over 30 years ago. I do not claim to know everything and I do pick up some handy tips from peeking into this newsgroup from time to time. The advice I give here is not a substitute to having a professional do the work for you.
John Grabowski

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The issue here is surge suppression not fire protection. UL has no interest in whether a product does what is claimed, only that it not burn down your house or electrocute you. Hence their logo on a product is totally irrelevant as to whether the product is totally useless or not. Ultrasonic pest repellers are UL approved but if you think that means they annoy vermin I have some swamp land...
Regards,
John
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I believe that there is a correlation between surge suppressors and fire hazards. Check out this website: http://www.rbs2.com/fire.htm

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That is not in dispute. There very well could be a fire hazard associated with surgistors but this is irrelevant as to whether they actually provide any protection to electronic circuitry from voltage spikes on the mains.
Regards,
John
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Years ago when appliances had electro-mechanical controls that was true.......these days appliances with electronic controls (ranges, washers, dryers, etc.) most certainly _will_ be damaged by a major surge if not protected.
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Lets take the specification from a Seasonic power supply: Dielectric withstand, input to frame/ground: 1800VAC, 1sec. Dielectric withstand, input to output: 1800VAC, 1sec. Is that not internal protection? It is routine for any 120 VAC appliance to withstandat least 600 volts for 120 microseconds without damage - a minimal requirement. Again, it is internal protection. That is the job of 'whole house' protectors - to shunt surges to earth before they enter the building - so that the 1800 volt and 600 volt internal protection inside an appliance is not exceeded.
Yes, electronics are more susceptible to surge damage. Therefore starting in the 1970s, we should have been building homes as if the transistor exists. For example, foundation footing should have been poured with Ufer grounding: http://www.psihq.com/iread/ufergrnd.htm http://scott-inc.com/html/ufer.htm http://lists.contesting.com/_towertalk/1997-April/004413.html Or foundations should have been backfilled with a halo ground. Here we are 30 years later and still don't build homes as if the transistor exists. Electronic devices have internal protection as demonstrated by numbers. But that protection will be overwhelmed if the incoming surge is not earthed before entering the building.
volts500 wrote:

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Except that there are several ways for a lightning strike or surge to enter the home and it's electronics,not solely thru the mains."Whole-house" surge protection may not address that at all.
--
Jim Yanik,NRA member
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Just a couple of points.
None are going to offer 100% protection.
A direct hit by lighting is going to get you.
They wear out. The better ones last longer, but they all have a limited life span.
Don't use two in a row.
Make sure you have good grounds
If you live in an area with problems, get one with an equipment warrantee.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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quoting:

Yea, it sounds like you found out the hard way.. Cheapo store bought protectors or useless for lightning. They are only usefull for power line surges, which is the small stuff.
A brand like APC makes decent UPS units. One of the things APC advertises is lightning protection. They'll supposedly replace equipment if lightning damages it. There's other good protectors out there too, just can't think of their names right now. But you're best bet is probably a whole house protector.
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Feel free to explain in electrical terms why a brand name surge protectors and a cheapo surge protector with same joules are so different. Dollars does not mean quality. Big names don't make parts work better. Its called basic science. Please explain in clear electrical terms how two surge protectors, having same joules rating, are significantly different.
JM wrote:

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One reason cheapo brands dont work as well is their clamping time reaction time, the good ones such as Tripplite clamp 5to 10 times faster in nanoseconds. Also quality and durability and size of components , open a cheap one and a good one, you will see the difference, TripLite monitors surge protector condition, and showes through LEDs if it isnt operating any more due to a hit, or if your wiring is improper. Also check warrantys, fine print, some are impossible to comply to for a claim. Trip Lite does warranty against lightning, My ins co went back to them on a claim.. They also make units that protect phone, cable and power in one unit. But your 1st line of defence is proper house, phone, cable,and antenna ground, second a whole house protector, and third a surge protector, and fourth common sence, using switched outlets,
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