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Surge protector power strip turned off still protecting?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by moody07747, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. moody07747

    moody07747 Member

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    Here's an interesting one. Say you have one of those surge protector power strips with 8 outlets on it and its plugged in and working.

    If you turn the switch on it to the off position and all the lights that are on the unit turn off, is that surge protector still working to protect whats plugged into it?

    My lights are marked "Protection" and "Grounded" and when i hit the switch they both go dead.
     
  2. dknguyen

    dknguyen Well-Known Member

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    Why would it need to protect something that's disconnected physically (via the switch contacts inside)? The protection mechanisms on powerbars fail closed over time though though such that they lose the ability to become open when they need to be and stay closed permanently always able to pass current.
     
  3. things

    things New Member

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    do people actually buy these things for lightning protection or something like power station surges? If they buy it for lightning protection it's not going to help at all. If lightning has just travelled 100's of kilometres through the air whats one power board going to do to stop it from travelling 2cm through the power board:confused:
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. HiTech

    HiTech Well-Known Member

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    It's elementary... if the power is off, then that's as good a protection you can ask for, short of pulling the plugs from the outlets! And a good many of those devices provide a single event protection, not the repeatable, ongoing protection one would expect. Only the more complex designed Sola, TripLite, APC, etc. can undergo repeated electrical events. Even most of those $20+ surge outlet strips that offer a $10,000 equipment replacement promise, aren't all that great.
     
  6. audioguru

    audioguru Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    There used to be an excellent surge protector that had MOVs for speed and big gas-tubes for high current.
    It was banned by the Canadian authorities because they said it was too heavy to hang on a wall electrical receptacle.

    The el-cheapo surge protectors and in power bars are useless.
     
  7. moody07747

    moody07747 Member

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    I buy them more for peace of mind for power outages.

    I just feel that a power outage has more of an energy spike than turning off at the switch does and so having the protection of the surge strip is better IMO.
     
  8. Optikon

    Optikon New Member

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    Yes, they are mostly intended for power company anomalies. They are not supposed to provide protection from lightning (obviously) - just surges that come from all kinds of sources. It is nice to have them since things like unplugging equipment when not in use is a nuisance.
     
  9. HiTech

    HiTech Well-Known Member

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    Nothing is going to protect your equipment from a direct lightning strike.... short of unplugging it and hiding it in a hole in the basement! However, you can undergo measures to reduce the negative effects of a lightning strike... and that begins with surge protection. But, I will say that when the forecast warns of dangerous lightning approaching, I do take the time to unplug my valuables, including removal of phone/DSL and CATV lines which can also be points of entry for spike/surge problems.

    You'd be surprised at how effective a good electrical ground to your home can be of importance. I have two 8-foot copper rods in the ground, with #6 wire to the AC box. I also borrowed an 0-1 ohm meter to assure that my grounding was indeed in the low 10ths of an ohm. I also buried a few pieces of metal near the rods and the soil remains moist most of the time. All services like CATV, phone, water line are grounded to one central point... no loops!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2007
  10. Speakerguy

    Speakerguy Active Member

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    MOV based strips are near worthless. MOV's have a lifespan based on surge severity and how often they've seen overvoltage. After a thunderstorm or two they could be worthless. I've even seen power strips that had all the MOV's cut out that still had an LED turned on indicating the protection was still working (in addition to the usual "power connected" LED).

    I've been using computer equipment without them in 4 different apartments and one house over the last 8 years and never had any problems. And we have hella thunderstorms where I live. I had a friend who had his computer connected w/o a surge protector during a major thunderstorm. It took out his oven/range, some other major appliance I can't remember, and one thing on his computer - the HD tuner card that was connected via cable. The computer itself survived hunky dory other than that. He also had several thousands worth of home theater equipment connected w/o protection (front projector, surround sound pre/pro, seperate amp, all kinds of stuff). All survived...

    I think if you want real surge protection you have to pay a lot of money for it, or build it yourself. A whole house unit that does it right might be worth the money if you are really concerned.
     
  11. HiTech

    HiTech Well-Known Member

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    Yes those little power strips are fairly bogus towards good protection.... about as protective as using a condom on a crack whore, that's been in your wallet for 2 years! :eek:

    The TrippLite, SOLA, APC and so on are the quality brands that can withstand repeated attacks most of the time.
     
  12. Hero999

    Hero999 Banned

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    That seems silly to me, they could have easilly integrated it into an extension lead.
     
  13. Carolie

    Carolie New Member

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    First of all, be sure that you have a real protective one. I know APC, Tripe Litte, BESTEK and Belkin are famous power strip brands, but not all the items marked with these brands are good. So go their own online store to buy a reliable. If your power strip is really built-in surge protection, it will protect your devices as long as it is connected with power. If you switch off the power that is the general power switch of it, then the power for it will be cut off, and it is likely not to provide protections. I'm now using a bestek power strip with 5566J high surge protection. When I don't need to use it or I know there will be thunderstorm, I often unplug it. But I'm sure the bestek surge protector can provide my devices from surges in the circuit.
     

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