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We don’t need no stinkin’ Surge Protector!


Don’t think you need a surge protector? Surges never happen, right? Beware my friend, they DO! Just take a look at the above surge protector. This was in a home located in Cottonwood, Arizona, but it could just as easily have been in Sedona, AZ. Looks pretty burned from the top, right?

Just take a look at the bottom. It literally blew out the case and burned a square of carpet beneath it. The good news? The computer and two printers plugged into it are just fine!!

Blasted Surge Protector bottom

So how should you evaluate a surge protector with so many choices available? There are so many different makes and models it can be hard to choose the best one for you. Here are a few things you should know about surge protectors.

First off, what actually makes the difference between a good and a bad surge protector. As the name implies, the purpose of a surge protector is to prevent power surges from damaging the equipment that is plugged into them. There are very inexpensive and very expensive models. While you shouldn’t use price alone as a guideline, you should make sure to steer clear of the bargain units. Make sure you understand the difference between a surge protector and a power strip. A power strip provides several outlets, but does NOT provide surge protection! You should look for the joule energy rating of the product. If a device has no Joules rating, then it is just a power strip. Also, power strips are cheaper than surge protectors.

There are some surge protectors that operate like a fuse. Once they have absorbed all the electricity they can, the stop working altogether. This can come because of a single large surge or many smaller surges over time. But how will you know if it has reached its limit?

Most surge protectors are equipped with an indicator light that shows you are still protected. However, if it is behind equipment or other furniture, you may not be able to see it. Some models continue to provide electricity to equipment, even after their surge protection has been compromised. It’s best to steer clear of these. Higher quality models stop the flow of electricity when that protection is no longer provided. You never want to be using a surge protector thinking you are protected when you’re not.

You should also look at the warranty they provide. High-quality surge protectors offer a Warranty of a dollar amount, such as $300,000 to replace the equipment warranty connected to it. This is not a time to pinch pennies!

If you have questions about which surge protector is right for your equipment, be sure to contact us online or call us right away. We can make sure that your equipment doesn’t go up in smoke like the surge protector picture here did.