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  1. Post
    #1

    Surge Protection: How much do you cover

    In the early days, I just focused on my computer. I then expanded that to include my TV, Stereo and DVD/Blu-Ray players, etc. Now I taken to also protecting the Fridge. Our fridge microprocessor started playing up (which may have been after a power cut - not sure), and I reverted to an auto-timer to reset the fridge every couple of hours. Eventually the fridge gave up the ghost and died. I have talked to a few people and they have said after the last power cut their fridges have also died. With the auto defrost functions and what-have-you, these devices are also quite complicated now too. Only the stove, washing machine and dryer are not currently covered.

    On a slightly related note, when I told the retailer (Magness Benrow - Greenlane), our fridge had died they delivered our new one and took away our old one within 1/2 hour of buying it. So just a small plug for that great service. Interestingly enough we bought the fridge's single point surge protector from Dick Smith on the morning before the announcement.

  2. Post
    #2
    Atm its the TV's and PC's. Although tbh I'm not even that worried as I've only had 1 item ever damaged from surges and it got replaced with a newer better model by the insurance

  3. Post
    #3
    Get surge protection for the whole house at the mains.

  4. Post
    #4
    you can do it at the mains fairly cheaply and more reliably. After that you should be fine 99.99% of the time even in a lightning strike( used to live in a former tin mining area, not surprisingly house was hit regularly by lightning strikes , as long as the mains was engaged and it shuts down , nothing else was ever damaged. )

  5. Post
    #5
    Markuchi wrote:
    Get surge protection for the whole house at the mains.
    What is involved with this?

  6. Post
    #6
    Fragluton wrote:
    What is involved with this?
    It usually requires a certified electrician to install a master surge suppressor at the main electrical switchboard/junction (in the garage for most newer homes). There are DIY methods, but I would strongly stand against that.

    Call up a few sparkies and ask for a quote.

  7. Post
    #7
    Get a friend who knows a mate of a mate who's brother does the odd sneaky cashie on Saturdays to sort it no worries m8

  8. Post
    #8
    A lot of damage to smarter electronics comes from brownouts - when you get power drops/dirty power - which a surge protector does not help with.

  9. Post
    #9
    How does one protect against brown outs?

    Asked about the whole house protection as will be in a position to get that wired in later in the year. So that's good to know. Currently run my PC/NAS off a UPS as power has dropped on me twice since moving into temporary location. Not sure that will help with brown outs though. But keen to protect the likes of TVs from that in new place.

    Would be nice to keep TV / internet / PC all running if power does drop out. But I imagine that gets a bit messy due to varying locations of everything. When wiring new, is there a good way to sort that? Link it all to a decent UPS or something?

  10. Post
    #10
    Brownouts are potentially harmful to motorized appliances. So the utility will cut off power if voltage gets too low - to protect motors.

    Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. Even voltage that low is perfectly good for any properly designed electronics - even long before PCs existed. Blackout may occur if voltage drops too low for motors.

    Neither brownout nor blackout is a surge. Low voltage anomalies have no relationship to a voltage that might peak in the thousands. Nothing adjacent to an appliance protects from a typically destructive type of surge. Others have accurately recommended a 'whole house' solution. But that is not just a protector. That protector is only as effective as another item that actually does the protection - single point earth ground. THE only 'protection system' component that must always exists in every effective solution is an earthing electrode. Some venues may or may not also have a protector in their solution.

    For example, TV cable needs no protector. A hardwire connects a cable, on a low impedance path (ie less than 3 meters), to an earthing electrode. Telephone cannot connect directly to earth. So a 'whole house' protector does what a hardwire would do better. Effective protectors are only connecting devices - are not protection.

    Every wire inside every incoming cable must connect low impedance (ie wire with no sharp bends) to earth before entering a building. That means a 'whole house' protector (rated at least 50,000 amps) and located where AC utility wires enter. Many (even sparky) mistakenly assume a 'box' does protection. That 'whole house' protector is simple science. 'Art' of protection is a single point earth ground. That 'art' often means and existing earth ground must be upgraded to meet above requirements and other factors.

    This is fundamental. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Plug-in protectors or UPS have all but no earthing. A 'whole house' protector improves with each upgrade to earthing electrodes and related connection to that 'single point earth ground' (all four words have electrical significance often not taught to sparky).

    Protection means one can always say where hundreds of thousands of joules are harmlessly absorbed. Even homeowners can do this. But that means understanding a critical concept - low impedance. Not resistance as taught to sparky; impedance.

    Brownouts and surges are two completely different topics requiring two completely different solutions.

  11. Post
    #11
    westom wrote:
    Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. Even voltage that low is perfectly good for any properly designed electronics - even long before PCs existed. Blackout may occur if voltage drops too low for motors.
    Nope, anything with a CPU of some sort, memory and/or storage does wierd stuff when voltage gets to low.

  12. Post
    #12
    Vulcan wrote:
    Nope, anything with a CPU of some sort, memory and/or storage does wierd stuff when voltage gets to low.
    AC voltage does not determine DC voltage to a processor. You are supposed to know that massive AC voltage variations result in no DC voltage variations - due to something called a regulator - also called the power supply. Or post valid technical numbers with a dismissive denial.

    AC voltages can vary from 85 to 265 volts. DC voltage does not vary even a tenth of a volt. Mostly unknown to many educated only by advertising and hearsay. Some then promote fear of brownouts to recommend an expensive and unnecessary UPS.

    BTW, if a brownout causes electronics damage, then a responsible poster cited specs from a datasheet. An open invite to support that claim with facts and numbers - to demonstrate basic electrical knowledge.

    Meanwhile, OP's concern is surges. UPS does nothing for that (does not even claim to do something useful). A plug-in protector from Dick's also does not even claim to protect a fridge from destructive transients. Myths get promoted because some do not even know major AC voltage variations mean no CPU voltage variations.

    Really weird are some who posts dismissive denials as if this stuff had been learned before posting. One should learn what a regulator does. Sufficient voltage for electronics (with computer and memory) is even when incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity.

  13. Post
    #13
    westom wrote:
    Really weird are some who posts dismissive denials as if this stuff had been learned before posting. One should learn what a regulator does. Sufficient voltage for electronics (with computer and memory) is even when incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity.
    Theories on paper are nice, 30 years working in IT watching it happen paints a different picture.

  14. Post
    #14
    Brownout destroying electronic hardware is popular with IT people (programmers) who never learn how electricity works. OP is strongly encouraged to separate myth and hearsay from what is reality. Multiple posts without relevant numbers implies wild speculation and hearsay.

    Electronics work fine even when incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. International design standards (even long before an IBM PC existed) state that bluntly. Every traveler knows this by connecting a phone and laptop directly to any voltage anywhere in the world. But after 30 years, some programmers still do not learn.

    Protecting hardware (ie refrigerator or any other appliance) is about protecting from a transient that might overwhelm superior protection inside each appliance. Neither power strip protectors nor UPS claim to protect from those potentially destructive transient.

    UPS is temporary and 'dirty' power so that unsaved data can be saved. Power strip protector is for a transient made irrelevant by protection already inside each appliance.

    Potentially destructive surge, typically once every seven years, is made irrelevant by a properly earthed 'whole house' solution. This solution (proven by 100+ years of science and experience) is found in every IT and communication facility that cannot have damage.

    Relevant number: protection is defined by what harmlessly dissipates hundreds of thousands of joules. An informed homeowner (who learns from spec numbers and who ignores hearsay) might spend about $1 per protected appliance for this proven solution. OP is strongly encouraged to learn from one who actually did this stuff.

  15. Post
    #15
    Brownout destroying? Never said that, destruction would make the issue a lot simpler. Some electrician obsessed with light bulbs might think brown outs create no issues but then they probably have no idea what happens inside a cpu/ram/flash storage. I suggest you google brownout flash memory corruption. There is no shortage of results.

    Modern appliances rely more and more on being based on smart electronics, not the simple stuff of the 20th century. Hence they are more prone to these issues.

  16. Post
    #16
    An engineer who designed this stuff (even long before flash memory existed) cites how scans get promoted. Not one single fact or number support those denials. Brownouts do not cause flash memory corruption - made obvious had he first learned this stuff. That is the point. Scams are easily promoted by many who post empty denials. Naivety is demonstrated by not one fact and no numbers to support those classic urban myths and fears

    A programmer who does not know how electricity works has also posted 'fear and loathing' of brownouts. Maybe it could be the title of a book?

    Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 40% intensity. Even voltage that low is ideal for computers. However that same voltage can be harmful to motorized appliances - ie refrigerator. An informed recommendation might recommend brownout protection for what is really at risk - a refrigerator. It did not happen.

    Many recommend only using wild speculation and junk science reasoning. Informed consumers properly earth a tens of times less expensive, and well proven 'whole house' solution. Because facts and numbers were provided that say why. And that demonstrate it was recommended by another who actually did this stuff - for a few decades.

  17. Post
    #17
    westom wrote:
    UPS is temporary and 'dirty' power so that unsaved data can be saved.
    UPS power is a lot cleaner than mains is. By connecting everything through an online UPS putting out pure sine waves you can extend the life of sensitive electronics.

  18. Post
    #18
    Analgia wrote:
    UPS power is a lot cleaner than mains is. By connecting everything through an online UPS putting out pure sine waves you can extend the life of sensitive electronics.
    Thank you for facts and numbers that support that claim. Oh. You have none. Only quoted was wild speculation.

    To create AC power from a battery, transistors switch fully on and off (just like a switch). How do those spikes create a sine wave? They don't. Sine waves come from AC mains. Dirtier power is generated by a typical UPS.

    Learn from an AC utility that demonstrates a UPS output:
    http://www.duke-energy.com/indiana-b...ech-tip-03.asp
    Why are those UPS waveforms clearly not sine waves?

    Tech Tip 3 shows an AC generated sine wave on the left. Then that UPS switches to battery. What do you call those rectangular spikes? Rectangular waves and other 'dirty' electricity is simply a sum of pure sine waves. So it is called a pure sine wave output - knowing you will believe the first thing were were told. Knowing that you might forgot what was taught in high school mathematics.

    My 120 volt sine wave UPS outputs 200 volt square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts. That is also a sine wave output. Those are also a sum of pure sine waves. But I am not played by subjective reasoning. I learn from an actual output and numbers. Not from hearsay or wild speculation.

    You knew because someone told you what to believe. Otherwise facts and numbers were provided. A mythical pure sine wave output demonstrates that many can be brainwashed: automatically know something only because another said it was true.

    UPS is temporary and 'dirty' power so that unsaved data can be saved. It does not claim to protect from destructive surges. Protection inside appliance is already so robust that even the 'dirtiest' UPS output does not cause hardware damage.

    'Dirty' UPS power can be problematic for motorized appliances. Motorized appliances need cleaner sine waves provided by AC mains. So a UPS must not power his refrigerator, laser printer, or other motorized appliances. Because a UPS output in battery backup mode is so 'dirty'.

    Protection already inside appliances is so robust that even 'dirty' UPS power does not harm or threaten electronics. The point remains - best protection at an appliance is already inside that appliance. Effective protection addresses transients that can overwhelm existing internal appliance protection. These transients must be earthed BEFORE entering a building - to even protect a UPS and 'sensitive electronics' in a refrigerator.

    Informed consumers earth a 'whole house' protector so that protection inside all appliances (that makes 'dirty' UPS power also irrelevant) is not overwhelmed.

  19. Post
    #19
    The power draw of electric motors / laser printers and heaters is why you don't use a UPS on them. Also your precious regulator inside the switch mode power supply goes holy ****... Kapow (it draws more current, and then overheats and dies- sometimes spectacularly) trying to convert <~180AC volts to 5&12volts DC with any decent wattage. And not all UPS's are created equal as anyone whose tried to run a APC UPS on a HP Proliant server since about g5, can attest.
    Different UPS's http://www.tripplite.com/support/art...power-problems

    And saying UPS's don't protect against surges is plain idiocy, thats exactly what they do, up to a limit. Lightening strikes can cause such massive spikes that just destroy everything, but thats what insurance is for.

  20. Post
    #20
    Unsettled wrote:
    The power draw of electric motors / laser printers and heaters is why you don't use a UPS on them.
    Many believe only because someone told them that. If a motor needs more power, simple - a more powerful UPS is obtained. Then more than enough power exists and is still problematic for motors. Waveforms in Tech Tip 3 make that obvious. Reality (why a UPS can be problematic for motors) is observed in waveforms from an AC utility. Motors (not electronics) need sine waves:
    http://www.duke-energy.com/indiana-b...ech-tip-03.asp

    Switching regulators are quite happy with those rectangular waves. They are only precious when one is emotional and easily manipulated. When one ignores facts. When one has no idea what a power supply does. First a power supply convert AC voltage (85 volts or 265 volts) into well over 300 volt radio frequency spikes. Then superior filters and regulators convert those spikes into rock solid low voltage 5 and 12 volt DC. That is the point. Best hardware protection at electronics is already inside electronics. Making even 300 volt spike irrelevant. Details provided below.

    Since a UPS does not claim to protect from surges, then one should not deny emotionally (as he posted). Instead one provides specification numbers as proof. Anyone can provide numbers - if existing. Not provided for one obvious reason. The emotional automatically believe what he is told to believe. The logical demand facts tempered by perspective (ie numbers). Numbers say surge protection is near zero.

    How does that UPS absorb hundreds of thousands of joules? Propaganda rather than science is promoted as knowledge. So he posts a soundbyte as if that is proof. He told us what to believe. Why is that proof of anything?

    He knows that, "saying UPS's don't protect against surges is plain idiocy" and "Lightening strikes can ... destroy everything". Why does someone with significant experience and education know otherwise? Spec numbers exposed that hardware protection myth. Other manufacturers of integrity provide solutions so that even direct lightning strikes need not do damage. Specification numbers say a 20,000 amp lightning strike need not cause damage. Unfortunately they said it with numbers. So eyes glaze over.

    As the doll Barbie once said, "Math is hard." Apparently Barbie also knows better.

    A Tripplite citation discusses only a few (five) power anomalies. Does that mean those anomalies cause hardware damage? Of course not. Subjective claims that lie are both legal and routine. Did they provide numbers? Of course not. Otherwise they could be sued.

    A market of naive consumers is easily educated by soundbytes (qualitative claims) without numbers (quantitative facts). Create fear of something that really does not cause harm. Then hype a cure. Propaganda works.

    For example, Tripplite's 1st anomaly: where is a number that defines a surge? Not provided. That number was provided repeatedly - hundreds of thousands of joules. Where does Tripplite claim any protection from hundreds of thousands of joules? They don't have to. Propaganda works by creating alarm - without numbers.

    Where is a number for destructive noise? Where is noise "protection" defined in their products? Not necessary. They invented a mythical fear to market to a target audience: technically naive consumers.

    A switch mode power supply intentionally creates massive noise - well over 300 volt radio frequency spikes (as described above). Existing and superior filters and regulators convert that into rock stable 5 and 12 volts. Best noise protection is already inside electronics. Why did Tripplite promote fear of noise? They are marketing to whom?

    Where is a destructive brownout/undervoltage/sag? Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. As made obvious even in ATX Standards. Voltage that low is potentially harmful to electric motors. And ideal for all properly designed electronics. So again, what really needs a UPS? Refrigerator, laser printer, and dishwasher - if that anomaly creates consternation. Electronics operate just fine without 5 and 12 volt DC variations. And without hardware damage. An international design standard long before PCs even existed. And still so many only educated by parables know otherwise.

    Displaced anxiety means many just know electronics must be protected by a UPS. Same emotion invented a 'sensitive electronics' trepidation. And a "UPS outputs pure sine waves" sham.

    Soundbytes promote panic. Paragraphs with numbers define reality. Never let a fear mongers promote a technical decision. Hardware protection means one says where hundreds of thousands of joules are harmlessly absorbed. That means earthing a 'whole house' solution. Then superior protection inside all electronics (especially with such robust switch mode power supplies) is not overwhelmed. Then nobody even knew a direct lightning strike occurred.

    Sounbytes can promote anything. Reality takes many paragraphs.

    Ignores panic, dread, and wild speculation that also promotes a UPS as hardware protection. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground - which that UPS does not have and that Tripplite will not discuss. Best and only protection for everything is the well proven 'whole house' solution.

  21. Post
    #21
    gathixpower wrote:
    It usually requires a certified electrician to install a master surge suppressor at the main electrical switchboard/junction (in the garage for most newer homes). There are DIY methods, but I would strongly stand against that.

    Call up a few sparkies and ask for a quote.
    Plenty on the market these days too, the size of the installation will be the main governing factor behind the kind of surge protection you would have fitted in a home.

    Had a brief gander on some of my suppliers and it would cost roughly $200-300 + installation to have surge protection installed in your average 63Amp supplied home single phase home. At a guess all up $800-1000.

    Source: I'm a flippin sparky

  22. Post
    #22
    westom wrote:
    Thank you for facts and numbers that support that claim. Oh. You have none. Only quoted was wild speculation.
    What.

    westom wrote:
    To create AC power from a battery, transistors switch fully on and off (just like a switch).
    An online UPS is permanently connected to the battery.

    westom wrote:
    How do those spikes create a sine wave? They don't. Sine waves come from AC mains. Dirtier power is generated by a typical UPS.
    Seriously? Spoiler alert: Sine waves on AC mains aren't generated through magic.


    westom wrote:
    Learn from an AC utility that demonstrates a UPS output:
    http://www.duke-energy.com/indiana-b...ech-tip-03.asp
    Why are those UPS waveforms clearly not sine waves?
    Uh. Did you even read your own "source"? - "The random computer lockups ceased following replacement of the standby UPS with an on-line, pure sine wave output UPS."

    westom wrote:
    Knowing that you might forgot what was taught in high school mathematics.
    Mate, going by your argument you dropped out of high school in the first year. Maybe try taking some remedial physics or electronics classes? It'll help a lot the next time you decide to post a full page rant full of misinformation.

    westom wrote:
    You knew because someone told you what to believe. Otherwise facts and numbers were provided. A mythical pure sine wave output demonstrates that many can be brainwashed: automatically know something only because another said it was true.
    Just going by what the oscilloscope says, which I honestly trust a lot more than you.


    As for why AC power is dirty? Equipment with large variable frequency motors like A/C and fridges create harmonic frequencies and other noise on the line which causes big issues with power quality, lowering the lifespan of both electronics and other motors.
    http://static.schneider-electric.us/...8803PD9402.pdf

  23. Post
    #23
    Analgia wrote:
    Uh. Did you even read your own "source"? - "The random computer lockups ceased following replacement of the standby UPS with an on-line, pure sine wave output UPS."
    Why completely ignore the point? Why promote a near $1000 UPS to ignore what most everyone has in their ($100) UPS? Please stop running off onto irrelevant tangents. Please stick to the topic.

    Protection inside electronics is so robust that even that a 'dirtiest' UPS (what most people have) is ideal power (meaning your diatribe about that other UPS is irrelevant). Also bogus is a fable that 'dirty' power causes incremental damage. A fable created to manipulate the naive. That fable is irrelevant to the OP’s request.

    All UPSes are pure sine waves. Those nasty and 'dirty' outputs, demonstrated in Tech Tip 3, are also nothing more than a sum of pure sine waves. Instead of acting like a child and insulting my education, please learn what was even taught in high school math. Those nasty waveforms - again to push you back to the topic - are ideal power for all electronics. Those nasty waveforms, also called a pure sine wave output, do not harm electronics.

    To repeat because you do not read what is written - all electronics contain robust protection meaning a 'dirty' UPS does not cause hardware damage (or other fables). The point again repeated because you ignored it.

    When selling to naive consumers, the myth is "connecting everything through an online UPS putting out pure sine waves you can extend the life of sensitive electronics." Total bull. Zero reasons justify that. The insulted engineer, who was doing this stuff before you were born, says you are gullible. You automatically believed any first soundbyte. Sine waves are unnecessary to protect electronics. Even square waves with higher voltages and spikes do not cause damage. Your parable has no numbers, citations, or knowledge. But you magically know more than an engineer who designed this stuff.

    Now we can make this real nasty. Or you can learn how little you know about electricity and how brainwashed you have been. Posting facts and numbers that show why a pure sine wave protects electronics is the adult thing to do. Apparently you do not know how to do that.

    Nothing in 'dirty' electricity shortens life of electronics. In fact, a 'dirty' UPS output often means more power from its battery - a good thing.

    Please read your citation rather than putting forth an emotion tirade. Schneider Electric citation discusses how harmonics are created. It says nothing about lowering the lifespan of electronics. It says electronics can even create harmonic problems. You foolishly assumed that harmonics destroy switching power supplies. You also foolishly invented low voltage causing explosive damage. How does 'dirty' electricity causes incremental damage? You invented that apprehension. And did not even understand your own citation.

    It says harmonics create problems on neutral wires, increase power demands, and cause heating in motors. Same reason that a typical UPS creates problems for a refrigerator or laser printer. Harmonics, et al are why a UPS is not recommended on motorized appliances.

    Your citation discusses industrial motors. Who said industrial motors cause damage to home electronics? Schneider Electric does not say that. Apparently hearsay told you. Do you automatically believe myth purveyors? Or first learn the numbers? That citation says nothing about "pure sine waves you can extend the life of sensitive electronics." Your citation says nothing about "lowering the lifespan of both electronics". You invented trepidation out of thin air. Correction - you were told to panic so they could hype mythical solutions.

    OP asked for protection of all appliances. His best solution is a properly earthed 'whole house' protector. A superior solution means robust protection inside all appliances is not overwhelmed. Best solution (clearly not available from a UPS or other plug-in device) costs about $1 per protected appliance.

  24. Post
    #24
    Got my tv, amp, ps4 and sub plugged into a fireproof monster 8 way power filter / surge protector.

  25. Post
    #25
    You are full on crazy