So what’s the difference between an electrical power strip and a surge protector? The typical power strip provides nothing more than multiple outlets along a single “strip”. This “strip” plugs into a single electrical wall outlet, thus allowing multiple electrical devices to be plugged into a single electrical wall outlet. A surge protector also provides these, but guards against power surges often generated by lightning, thunder storms and when your power is first restored after an outage. Power surges can easily short-out electrically sensitive devices such as your TV, DVR, Roku, PC, laptop, tablet, smartphone, router and the like, because the surge contains far more power than these sensitive devices can handle. This will literally burnout your device(s).
Surge protectors are not usually recommended for high power appliances such as blenders, lamps, microwave ovens, washers/dryers and the like. Do NOT combine high power appliances and your surge protection strip on the same electrical wall outlet and power circuit as changes in high power appliance draws can cause internal surges.
Energy absorption / dissipation is what handles surges in electricity. This rating, given in Joules, tells you how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it fails. The higher the Joule number, the better the protection. Look for a Joule rating greater than 1,000, even more if you can afford it.
Response time is also important. Since surge protectors don’t kick in immediately, the longer the response time, the longer your electrical device is exposed to the power surge and the greater risk of damage. Look for a surge protector with a response time of less than one (1) nanosecond.
Finally, look for an indicator light that tells you if the protection is functioning.
If you have an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), these only provide limited surge protection, usually in the low-to-mid 100-300 joule range. If your device(s) have a need for both a UPS and surge protection, you can consider plugging a surge protection strip into the UPS, however, depending on the devices' power demand, you likely won't be able to connect more than 1-3 devices into a single surge protector since the power strip plugs into a single UPS plug and this one plug handles a lower total power than a wall outlet.
For questions or to have the proper UPS / Surge Protector installed in your home/office, contact the TheGoToTechGuru.
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