Surge protection power board warranty and energy rating?

Discussion in 'Electronics & Electrics' started by dephilile, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. dephilile

    dephilile Member

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    I’ve been thinking about buying a power board with built in surge protection. I was looking at getting this Belkin 6-Outlet Surge Protector http://www.umart.com.au/pro/products_listnew.phtml?id=10&id2=57&bid=2&sid=22414

    My question is, is 1940 Joules of protection enough? 1940 Joules doesn’t sound like much. I did a bit of research on good old Wikipedia and found lightning can be in the order of hundreds of mega joules. In your typical lightning strike that blows up computers is most of the energy dissipated in the powerlines before it gets to your house?

    When claiming on the warranty how can they even tell how big the strike was? Obviously if it was a melted lump of plastic it the strike would have exceeded the units rating but are they likely to say that any damage caused to computer components was caused by a strike in excess of the surge protectors rating?
     
  2. Renza

    Renza Member

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    nothing will stop a lightning strike...
     
  3. 2xCPU

    2xCPU Member

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    If you get a direct hit from lightning, nothing short of an underground bunker is going to save your PC.
    A hit within 100m is slightly more likely, but a hit within several km could be reasonably assumed (given a enough years). This is what these boards are designed for.

    There are several ways to provide protection. The two most common are semiconductor (MOVs, transorbs etc) and gas discharge tubes.
    The Belkin board doesn't list which method it uses, so it's hard to compare it any other.
    Personally, I'd put the money toward a UPS (they all seem to have surge/spike protection built in).

    2.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    dephilile

    dephilile Member

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    I was looking at a UPS at one stage but put it off due to the cost. I might have another look at what is available as it would be a useful thing to have.
     
  5. 2xCPU

    2xCPU Member

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    If you factor in the price of a new set of batteries, good deals can be had from fleabay or similar (just assume, if it's for sale, the batteries are stuffed).

    2.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2008
  6. Captain Kermit

    Captain Kermit Member

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    The power boards are really just an extra warranty on your computer. We had one, has an "up to $10,000" warranty on it, if it dies and takes anything with it they'll replace it up to $10,000. A lightning strike murdered my PSU, I went and bought a new one, they sent us a new powerboard and I sent them back the old one and an invoice for the PSU. They then sent me a cheque for the amount of the PSU. So, we've got a 6 socket power board for $100, minus the $50 it paid back to us. Not a great deal all in all.
     
  7. Symon

    Symon (Plugging your Socket)

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    When you do get to the stage of getting a UPS, remember that not all UPS's are created equal - you will need a full conversion UPS to get the kind of protection you are after.
     
  8. Pugs

    Pugs Member

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    also they don't cover data just parts....


    best way to protect your pc froma lighting strike is to have a surge protector in the way then at least you ca claim on that...

    only oter things would be to disconnect everythhg that you don't want fried during a storm.

    hainvg the right insurance helps aswell... just make sure you fully covered for storm damage i guess...
     
  9. rvrolla

    rvrolla Member

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    Belkin boards use MOV's
     
  10. ~SnRuB~

    ~SnRuB~ Member

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  11. larryD

    larryD Member

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    If you can do without the warranty, try one of these.

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/SURGE-LINE-F...ryZ75577QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    3444 joules of protection. You can also usually pick them up from an electrical wholesaler for under $30 if you dont want to buy online. Much better value for money if you are on a budget. You get better protection and your'e not paying an inflated price for the warranty or brand name.
     
  12. Odje

    Odje Member

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    I normally specify Novaris Surge gear for the plants I design. They have some consumer plug in stuff too. I have never used it but I suppose it would be as good as the industrial gear, but you would probably be paying a fair bit for it. The Novaris stuff complies with Australian Standards and are Australian designed and owned.

    At home I have the DSE one with lifetime warrenty and connected equipment insurance. I also have a few of the Belkin Surge Cubes, they can be had for about $20 from online computer part retailers. Just search staticice. And I have one of the black Jaycar ones which has protection for TV antenna, Cable, phone etc.

    Just make sure you get one with an indicator light that shows when you need to replace the unit. Surge protection gear can only handle so many surges, after that, they are useless and need to be replaced.
     
  13. mbowen89

    mbowen89 Member

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    Why would all these surge protectors have such large warranties if they don't even protect from lightning?

    Isn't that the main reason we buy a surge protector, unless for some odd reason we have a surge through our for some other reason?
     
  14. Symon

    Symon (Plugging your Socket)

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    Because there is no way you can effectively protect from a lightning strike with a piddly little powerboard, you can protect from an indirect strike, but if you cop one fair and square your powerboard (and most likely everything connected to it) will be charcoal.

    Spikes and surges have many more sources than just lightning, and they aren't 'odd' at all. They happen several times a day.
     
  15. Badger

    Badger Caveat lector

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    because big numbers make people buy them. They simply gamble that they will make more money selling heavily marked up surge protectors than they pay out in claims (and they are notoriously difficult to claim)
     
  16. lui_gough

    lui_gough Member

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    Not all surges come from lightning strikes!

    Surge protectors do what they say they do (if they are made properly and not some cheap chinese trickery!). They protect you from "transient" overvoltage that may occur on the mains power. Imagine industrial smelters turning on and off furnaces, people with heaps of fridges, air conditioners turning on and off - there is a small spike in voltage every time this happens because voltage isn't regulated instantaneously! It's a feedback system.

    Worse is that the regulation usually involves switching between a set of terminals on a substation transformer - this switching induces inductive spikes sometimes depending on the quality and conditions of the terminals.

    But yes, lightning causes surges. A HUGE SURGE. Generally if lightning gets hold of a line, the utility usually has lightning arrestors on them that short the line to ground for a short while, limiting the voltage on the line (dependent on the resistance of the protection equipment path). This usually means spontaneous reboot too unless you have a UPS! But you can't always rely on THEM. They won't help you with the little surges caused by switching and lightning INDUCED surges in wires and transformers - the huge current causes a strong magnetic field which could increase voltage on adjacent lines and cause a spike! (That's why antennas placed outdoors should have lightning arrestors on them).

    So yes, a good working electricity utility should have only small surges, well designed equipment will operate for years off them without a problem. Equipment inadequately designed or incorporating cheap components pushed to the edge may fail as a result of seeing a few thousand small spikes which are considered normal in day to day operations. Lightning however, is just ... more than what most systems can handle. The utility deals with it by having (I think it's made by Power Guard) lightning arrestors on EACH pole so there are a lot of systems which will be exposed ... and ground the line in parallel giving more surge protection capability.
     
  17. -Toast King-

    -Toast King- Member

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  18. UV Memphis

    UV Memphis Member

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    http://www.powerguard.com.au/

    Powerguard Is a new Australian power board and the only one I found with voltage switching. i.e. You set your min and max voltage setting, say 225-255, anything outside this range it will switch off.
    It does work, I had to up my max v to 255 because of peaks over 250v switching it off all the time! Also It won’t switch back on until the voltage is stable for a given time.

    Plus it has a huge warranty, mine is 1 000 000 $ connected equip replacement.
    Harvey Norman sell them hugely overpriced but there is a good range to choose from.
    I don’t see anything wrong with buying a cheaper 2 socket one and running a cheap power board off it.
    Keep an eye on Ebay if you want to save a few hundred $$$ in exchange for the warranty
     
  19. GregDude

    GregDude Member

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    Whatever you get, get something! I lost over $300 worth of hardware in a single nearby lighting strike a while back. I heard a loud clap of thunder overhead then my router, one NIC and ironically a UPS all died.
     
  20. SenorGrande

    SenorGrande Member

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    Most don't but I have heard of ones that do (but they are installation-sized bits of kit). I had to replace the NICs in a whole office full of PCs once after the building was struck by lightning during a storm - didn't harm anything else, just the NICs.
     

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