Now that you are more aware of
power problems and the various solutions, we recommend the following
approach in choosing a surge protector. This approach eliminates
the "technitalk" and confusion that the selection process
could entail, and, hopefully, will demystify the selection process.
What are you protecting? How valuable are these products?
With computers, also consider the value of your data; a surge
can destroy it all, as well as causing significant equipment
damage. Even home telephones, with telephone numbers in memory
will lose the "programmed" telephone numbers to a surge.
The same is true with programmable VCR's and TV's.
You should also consider power protection for other conduits
of surges. Surges are not limited to AC lines. TV and telephone
cables can also carry transient surges. Therefore, any equipment
such as a VCR, TV and HiFi System connected to an exterior antenna
or CATV cable deserves protection. The same can be said for telephone
lines acting as a conduit for surges. Equipment connected to
these lines; telephones, modems, faxes--; need telephone
line protection as well as AC line protection.
Once you have reviewed the equipment to be protected, the cost
of repair or replacement, loss of productivity, business or enjoyment,
and the inconvenience to get the equipment repaired or replaced,
you can then assess how much "insurance" you need.
The more "insurance" you need, the better the protection
and the greater the cost.
Look at the UL 1449
Suppressed Voltage rating. This number reflects the amount of
volt age the surge suppressor will let through to your connected
equipment after "clamping". The lower the rating, the
500V - Good
400V - Better
330V - Best
Stages of Protection/Surge
Current Rating. UL 1449 is great as far as it goes, but it does
not tell you how much surge current (in amps) can be handled
or how quickly the suppressor will clamp. With multiple stages
of protection, different components are used to sup press a surge.
The more stages, the more surge current can be handled.
1 stage - Good
2 stages - Better
3 stages - Best
The surge current rating in amps
lets you know the maximum amount of surge current that can be
safely handled by the suppressor. The higher the number, the
How quickly does the suppressor
respond--the faster the better.
- Nanosecond (billionths of a second) - Better
- Picosecond (trillionths of a second) - Best
Incoming Lines Protected--The more, the better.
1 line (Hot to Neutral) - Good
2 lines (Hot to Neutral, Hot to Ground) - Better
3 lines (Hot to Neutral, Hot to Ground, Neutral to Ground) -
Warranty. A summation,
of sorts, regarding the pluses" of a manufacturer's product.
The longer the better. Especially look for products that feature
lifetime warranties and equipment replacement guarantees.