All told, four surge suppressors in the home were destroyed, two of which had PCs connected. All smelled of burned plastic, two of them were slightly charred ...
It has me wondering why some of our other suppressors tripped off and were not damaged, while these four nearly caught fire. What makes the difference amongst similarly-priced suppressors?
First ask what a surge protector does. Many completely different devices exist - all called surge protectors. Those adjacent to appliances do not even claim to protect from typically destructive surges. But only the fewest who ask "what it does" would know that and know why.
View spec numbers. Being adjacent to an appliance, it must either block or absorb a surge. How does that 2 cm part block a surge? It doesn't. How many joules does it absorb? Hundreds? Destructive surges are hundreds of thousands of joules. Yes, read those numbers. A fuse inside each power strip (different from its 15 amp circuit breaker) must disconnect protector parts as fast as possible to avert a house fire. Disconnect protector parts while leaving the surge connected to your computer. Where is the protection?
A surge too tiny to damage computers, the furnace, clocks, and dimmer swtiches also destroyed the protector? In some cases, a tiny (maybe 1 amp) fuse took so long to blow that those power strip almost caused a fire. But again, all are called surge protectors. Some are only for surges that typically do no damage. Either disconnects from or is catastrophically destroyed by a typically destructive surge. And does not even claim that protection (read its numeric specs). How many joules did it claim to absorb?
Best protection on an incoming utility cable is a hardwire, as short as possible, to single point earth ground. That best protection is routine on properly installed cable TV. Unfortunately, if AC wires connect directly to earth, then appliances cannot have electricity. So for over 100 years, facilities that cannot have damage replace that hardwire with a 'whole house' surge protector. This completely different device (with a same name) works by connecting surges harmlessly to earth. Effective protectors are only connecting devices. Never stop or absorb surges. And used when wire cannot make what is a better connection.
What harmlessly absorbs hundreds of thosuands of joules? Protection
. An effective protector
does not do protection
. An effective protector
only connects low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to what absorbs energy - single point earth ground.
The effective protection system - even required to protect power strip protectors - 'always' includes an earth ground that exceeds code requirements. Makes a low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot', no sharp wire bends, etc) connection from every incoming utility cable - including telephone. Did you know your phones already have a 'whole house' protector installed for free? Did you inspect its earth ground connection?
Best protection for cable TV is a wire - no protector required, But every effective protection
system always features single point earth ground.
A surge too tiny to damage most (or any) appliances easily destroyed high profit and ineffective protectors. Learn why grossly undersized protectors even create house fires. And why a 'whole house' protector - properly earthed - is necessary to protect those high profit and undersized adjacent protectors.
The completely different device does not foolisly block or absorb surges. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Why do power strip protectors always not discuss earth ground? You are now ready to learn why. What does that protector do?