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Surge Protector Recommendations

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by jasper1605, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. jasper1605

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    I've got a monster HDP-2500 (don't worry I bought it at Best Buy when I worked there w/ my discount :) ) for my entertainment center in the living room, but I don't really feel like spending that much money to protect my computer/eyefinity monitors. What do you guys use to protect your stuff and what would you recommend to look for?

    Thanks :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  2. westom

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    Did you read Monster's numeric specifications? Where does it list protection from each type of surge? It doesn't. Why did that missing spec not raise a red flag immediately?

    View specs for a $7 protector sold in the grocery store. Similar specs. Why? Monster and grocery store protector are same protection circuit. If working in Best Buy, then you know Monster Cable has a long history of identifying scams. Then selling the same product for much higher prices. Monster even sold speaker wire with polarity. Because the wire was labeled, that $7 wire sold for $70.

    So how does a little 2 cm part inside a power strip stop what three miles of sky could not? More numbers you should have been asking. How do hundreds of joules in that Monster absorb surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules? Magically because retail advertising tells a majority what to believe.

    Effective protection costs about $1 per protected appliance. Effective protection is obvious once you ask where energy dissipates. Protection was always and only about one thing - where those hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate.

    Either that energy dissipates harmlessly in earth. Or that energy is inside hunting for earth destructively via appliances. Nothing inside averts the hunt. Nothing. Only you make the choice.

    For over 100 years, protection has always been about surges harmlessly absorbed outside. Obtain that solution from more responsible companies such as Siemens, ABB, General Electric, Square D, Leviton, or Intermatic. A Cutler-Hammer 'whole house' protector sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50.

    From the breaker box to earth ground is a bare, solid, quarter inch wire. That connects hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly to earth IF you have installed a 'whole house' protector, if that wire is short (ie 'less than 10 feet'), if that wire has no sharp bends (ie does not go over the foundation and down to earth), if the wire is separated from other non-ground wires, if that ground is the single point earth ground used by all surge protection connections, etc.

    Nothing here will make sense until you go to Lowes to touch the ‘whole house’ protector, 6 AWG wire, and ten foot copper clad ground rods.

    Example: did you know all phone lines already have a 'whole house' protector installed for free? Required by code. So inexpensive and so effective ... but only if connected 'less than 10 foot' connection to the same earth ground. Often via a green or gray 12 AWG wire.

    Where does energy dissipate? Every useful reply always discusses energy dissipation. No protector - not one - does surge protection. Either a protector connects energy harmlessly (and short) to single point earth ground. Or you have no effective surge protection.

    Your choice. Only you install the 'whole house' protector. Only you must inspect or upgrade single point earth ground. In every facility that can never have damage, they waste no money on scam power strip protectors that are too close to electronics and too far from earth ground. In every case, every wire inside every cable connects short to single point ground. Either directly (satellite dish, cable TV - no protector used – even Best Buy sells the ground block). Or via a 'whole house' protector (telephone, AC electric).

    What does every valid protector recommendations discuss? Where energy dissipates. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground - which the Monster does not have and will not discuss. Monster can sometimes make appliance damage easier. A superior protector costs about $1 per protected appliance.
     
  3. 95Viper

    95Viper

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    @westom> lightning is not what a surge\line conditioner\filter protector is all about; please, quit ranting everytime someone asks about them.:shadedshu Your advise has merit, but you go overboard with it.:)

    Back on topic...

    Personally, I like the Tripplites.
    But, here is some good info, if you wish to read up on protectors:
    How Surge Protectors Work
    Choosing the Right Surge Suppressor
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
    jasper1605 says thanks.
  4. jasper1605

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    yeah I was pretty much looking for something with some filtration in it. I think I'll just go w/ one of the tripplites in the 20-30 buck range. I don't think my staples guy filters the power for me :(
     
  5. Jakeman97

    Jakeman97 New Member

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    I'm using this one now, APC Smart-UPS SMT1000 1000VA 120V LCD UPS System. Because I choose to live in the lightning capitol of the world and destroying two perfectly good PSUs. So far so good. Got mine at Amazon.com as they had the best price.
    Jakeman97
     
  6. Batou1986

    Batou1986

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    I would also recommend an APC-UPS a black out or brown out on computer equipment can cause some serious harm.
    You would be surprised how much your power fluctuates the UPS-line conditioner on our server would kick in about 5 times a day during the summer when everyone was using there AC.
     
  7. westom

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    Show me numbers that claim significant filtering. Those numbers do not exist. Serious and superior filtering must exist inside electronics; as even required by FCC regulations.

    For example, first thing that incoming AC connects to is a common mode line filter. That first filter is superior to what most any power strip filter might do. But the supply must do more filtering - many times repeated. After filtering, the power supply converts AC power (and noise) to high voltage DC. Then filters it again. Then converts that high voltage DC to high voltage radio waves.

    Yes radio waves. Filters that follow must make major RF noise irrelevant as well as less AC line noise. Radio waves are converted to high current radio waves through another filter that also does galvanic isolation. Then is converted to DC voltage. Then filtered again. Did you know about all those filters and conversions? Did you know line noise it converted to high voltage DC, then to radio waves, then to DC but again? All that and other functions are powered by power supplies for all electronics for so much less money.

    Why spend so massively for a power strip filter that does virtually nothing?

    Manufacturer spec numbers from APC. Tripplite, Monster, etc say why those manufacturers were not listed with other more responsible companies.

    Another myth is electronics damage due to blackouts and brownouts. Even 40 years ago, international design standards required no damage. All electronics are required to work ideal and normally even when incandescent light bulbs dim to 50% intensity. How often does your electricity brownout that severely? It doesn't. Why? Because lesser brownouts are harmful to motorized appliances such as refrigerators, furnace, and washing machine. If brownouts are destructive, then the UPS must be on motorized appliances that are at greater risk. Protection from brownouts is another urban myth to promote unnecessary sales.

    Why is line conditioning about lightning and other equivalent transients? Because all electronics contain protection that makes lesser transients irrelevant. See all those conversions and so many filters standard in all electronics? Just another reason why so line conditioners and filters hyped by the less responsible companies is wasted money.

    The most serious electrical anomaly is the rare transient that can overwhelm protection already inside every appliance. That means earthing energy before it can enter the building. Near zero filter inside a Tripplite power strip does nothing useful.
     
  8. WOG-BOY

    WOG-BOY New Member

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    the Belkin PURE|AV boards do a good job and are an alright price, they offer a warranty of something up to $25k if your gear dies from a surge, i have 2 and they never let me down
     
  9. westom

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    These myths promote Belkin products. He never read so many fine print exemptions that mean warranty claims are rejected. For example, another manufacturer said that a protector in the house from any other manufacturer voided their warranty. These exemptions are routinely ignored when only only reads a big number on the box.

    Learn from other's experience - ignored by popular myths. For example, djohn in "Are surge protectors a waste of money?" on 8 Apr 2010:
    > Phoned up manufacture of UPS [Belkin] and they were not happy as soon as I said I was
    > using the surge protectors, should have used UPS on its own! Didn't bother to follow that
    > up any further at that point a I could see it would most likely end up in small claims court.

    Or Newsman on 10 Sept 2002 in "SONY TiVo SVR-2000":
    > Eventually it boiled down to a line in the warranty that said "Belkin at it's sole discretion
    > can reject any claim for any reason".

    All appliances already contain serious protection. Destructive surges occur typically once even seven years. So what did that UPS do? Why is it credited for protecting appliances that protect themselves? Why credit a UPS for averting surges that did not exist? Because so many only read $25K. Never bothered to learn the fine print reality.

    How do hundreds of joules in a UPS absorb surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules? It doesn't. But again. A near zero surge protector gets hyped as 100% protection - because he ignored the fine print and he ignored the spec numbers.

    UPS has only one function. To provide temporary and dirty power during a blackout.
     
  10. Arctucas

    Arctucas

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    Please explain and provide examples?
     
  11. westom

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    International design standards over 40 years ago required 120v electronics to withstand 600 volts without damage. Intel ATX standards raised that number to thousands of volts.

    Ethernet ports are typically rated for 2000 volts. Newer IEC 61000-4-2 standards defined protection of up to 15,000 volts.

    Or read manufacturer datasheets:
    http://datasheets.maxim-ic.com/en/ds/MAX1487E-MAX491E.pdf
    Up top on page one: 15,000 volts for the interface electronic chip.

    Protection required by Intel to be inside every power supply may be bypassed when a protector is too close to the appliance and too far from earth ground. In a detailed analysis of a failure, power strip protectors earthed a surge destructively through a network of powered off computers. Protector bypassed protection required to exist in every supply.

    What does a power strip protector really do? A (maybe 6000 volt) surge on the black (hot) wire is connected to the white (neutral) and green (safety ground) wire. Now that surge has three wires to hunt for earth destructively via an adjacent computer. Or in the analysis, found earth via multiple networked computers.

    Same protector circuit is also inside a UPS.

    A surge too small to overwhelm protection inside a computer, instead, easily destroys an adjacent protector. Undersizing protectors to fail is too common. Then the most naive among us assume, "My protector sacrificed itself to save my computer." Reality. The computer protected itself. A surge too small to harm electronics easily destroyed a scam protector. That protector undersized to fail so that the most naive will recommend it.

    Any protector that fails provided no protection. Another reason why informed homeowners earth a 'whole house' protector. Inferior protectors disconnect (fail) ASAP while leaving a surge connected to the appliance.

    All appliances contain serious protection. So that appliance protection is not overwhelmed, better informed homeowners earth one 'whole house' protector. Energy not hunting inside a house will not overwhelm protection inside every appliance.
     
  12. Arctucas

    Arctucas

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    Again, what "serious protection" are you referring to?

    To me, as an electrician, "protection" typically means Overcurrent Protection, i.e. fuses, circuit breakers, etc. which is normally connected only to the ungrounded or "hot" conductor. Or, in the case of GFCI, ground fault protection, which is designed to prevent electrocution of personnel.
     
  13. westom

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    Your job (and code that defines it) is mostly about human safety. Surge protection is about transistor safety. Little in your code books address appliance protection.

    For example, your 15 amp breaker will trip (if I remember) on 20 amps after maybe 5 minutes. Or 30 amps after 1 minute. Or 100 amps after half a second. Circuit breakers do not protect appliances. Only protect humans after the appliance has failed. Ie protect from fire.

    Meanwhile surges are done in microseconds. Nothing required by code averts such transients. Nothing required by code can stop destructive surges.

    Also not discussed in code is impedance. Code is mostly concerned with wire resistance (ie wire diameter). Wire diameter is mostly irrelevant to surges; length is critical. Code is mostly concerned with wire resistance. Surge protection is mostly concerned with wire impedance - including a shorter connection to earth.

    Surge protection means both meeting and exceeding what is required by code. For example (and discussed previously), a breaker box ground wire going up over the foundation and down to an earthing electrode meets code. That same 6 AWG wire is insufficient for surge protection. Too many sharp bends. Bundled with other non-grounding wires above the breaker box. And too long. To exceed code, that wire is routed through the foundation and down to an earthing electrode - to lower impedance.

    That shorter wire does nothing to improve human safety. But is important for transistor safety.
     
  14. Arctucas

    Arctucas

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    Basically, the N.E.C. (NFPA 70) is about protecting more than personnel, but that is irrelevant to the conversation at hand.

    I am waiting for you to explain your "serious protection" that "all appliances contain", please.
     

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