If you’re like me, you probably have your home theater system and other electronic devices connected into some sort of power strip or surge protector. (If you’re using a simple power strip, I strongly advise you to upgrade to a surge protector!) Surge protectors are an excellent way to safeguard your gadgets from damaging, if not destroying, power surges. Surge protectors, like all devices, have a limited lifespan that you should be aware of.
So, how often should you replace a surge protector? If you wish to protect electrical gadgets, you should purchase a high-quality surge protector. I explain what a surge protector performs and how to tell if yours is still functional below.
What Are Surge Protectors?
Purchasing a high-quality surge protector is an excellent approach to help prevent unwanted harm to your electrical devices. A surge protector is typically used as a power strip with an integrated surge protection feature. In addition to normal outlets, some of the later models incorporate USB connections. Higher-end models typically incorporate coaxial outlets and ethernet ports to protect your fax machines, cable boxes, and other devices.
Surge protectors have a metal oxide varistor built in (MOV). The MOV absorbs any extra voltage that happens during a power surge. The MOV weakens with time as it absorbs excess energies.
Let’s find out Should I plug my PC into a surge protector or the wall?
Surge protectors and power strips are frequently mistaken for one another. If you’re not sure whether you have a power strip or a surge protector, look at the item itself. A surge protector will often have both a power or grounded light and a protected light. These lights show whether or not your gadget has a surge protection feature and whether or not it is active.
How often should you replace a surge protector?
Surge protectors should be replaced every two years, according to experts. A surge protector is rated in joules, which show how much excess power it can withstand during an electrical surge. This amount, however, can be difficult to track because surges differ by location.
How long do surge protectors last?
A surge protector’s lifespan is not measured in years. It is expressed in joules. The MOV in your surge protector is rated in joules, which corresponds to the lifespan of your specific surge protector.
There are numerous surge protector devices on the market today. If you want a surge protector that can withstand a lot of abuse, check at the joules it can manage. This is the amount of energy that your surge protector is rated to safeguard your gadgets against.
How Do You Calculate a Surge Protector’s Lifespan?
The future amount of energy it can defend you from lowers with each spike of energy. For example, if you purchase a surge protector rated at 1,000 joules, you will be able to manage surges of up to 1,000 joules. This might mean that a single 1,000 joule attack will zap the life out of your surge protector. You can, however, handle 10 surges of 100 joules or 100 surges of 1-joule attacks.
What does it all mean to you? It means that the lifespan of your surge protector varies. With each strike, the quantity of joules it can withstand decreases. When the joules are depleted, the surge protector will function as a conventional power strip. It will continue to transmit current and power your devices, but it will no longer protect them against surges of energy.
Can You Tell When a Surge Protector Has Failed?
It is nearly hard to establish whether your surge protector is no longer effective unless you know exactly how many joules were present when the power surge occurred.
A good surge protector will notify you when it has reached the end of its useful life. Not all surge protectors, however, will. However, these lights are not infallible, and you should not rely only on them. That being stated, if your surge protector’s surge light has stopped working, you should presume that the MOV has failed altogether. At this time, you should replace the surge protector.
However, experts advise replacing your surge protector every two years. Because surges differ from location to place, it is crucial to realize that there is no universal rule. After two years, your surge protector may or may not be depleted. However, when the cost of a surge protector is weighed against the cost of replacing all of the electronics connected to the device, it makes sense to just replace the protector before it’s too late.
The truth is that if your surge protector is older than 5 years, it should be replaced. This is true whether or not the surge indicator light is illuminated. When compared to the cost of replacing the remainder of your electrical gadgets if a power surge occurs and the built-in MOV is exhausted, the costs are quite minor.