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Looking for a good quality surge protector?

Last response: in Components
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December 30, 2007 3:34:04 AM

Hi all, well I have finely finished my computer build last month and lastnight it hit me when my house had some serious power surges do to very high winds. My hole house's lights and hometheater flickerd on and off over and over again, can you say wake-up call. :ouch:  So now I'm in the market to purchase a high quality surge protector/line conditionor.


I am looking to spend just under $100 dollars for a good quality line conditionor/surge protector and only know of the Belkin brand of surge protectors. I also visited this website on surge protection 101 to get an idea of what I am looking for. http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/pub0009/LPMArticle.a... Theres just so many different brands out there that one can get lost on finding the best surge protector. I like to shop at NewEgg btw.

Thank you for your suggestions!

Systemlord, :sol: 
December 30, 2007 10:29:11 PM

Second that G-Paw... ive got a Belkin UPS similar in spec to that one that works excellent last lightening storm i continued playing CSS online while every thing else in the house was flicking on and off... I run 24"LCD, e6600, Netcomm modem and Dlink gigabit switch off my 650VA with no issues.
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December 31, 2007 3:15:44 AM

Yes sir, UPS ftw. Dunno about which one but get a UPS. Some overclocked pc runs better on them.
December 31, 2007 4:08:14 AM

Most of the UPS from APC are heavy sunofabitch, many of them will weigh 25-30lbs.

Your local office supply chain is usually the best place to buy an UPS as you can walk-in and walk-out with the unit and avoid the expensive shipping charges.

For a plain jane surge protector, Belkin is the least expensive brand.

APC is the leader in UPS. Belkin and TrippLite will be recommended by some.

Visit APC.com for recommendations. Usually for typical office and gaming computers the sub $100 units are quite sufficient.
December 31, 2007 4:17:31 AM

So its better to just get a UPS instead of a plain old surge protector?
December 31, 2007 5:10:08 AM

Definitely better to go the UPS route. That way if you have a momentary loss of power, you can still run the comp or whatever for some time yet.

We lost power to our home during the ice storms earlier this month, and I was able to keep my laptop, a desk lamp, network switch, and my server running for over 40 minutes after we lost power. I saved about 3 hours of programming work due to having it. Is it worth it? I say DEFINITELY.
December 31, 2007 5:26:30 AM

Not to be too picky, but I think what g-paw meant to say was to get an Uninterruptible Power Supply, not a Universal Power Supply. A Universal Power Supply is usually a replacement power brick for a laptop. A Uninterruptible Power Supply is a battery backup and surge protector in one (Which is what systemlord needs). I didn't want him to google it and accidentally get the wrong thing.

And as most have said APC makes a good one. Best Buy and Staples put them on sale all the time. As StevieD said you can save a lot on the shipping by getting one locally.
December 31, 2007 5:28:03 AM

Surge Protector=Tripplite
Power Conditioning=Tripplite
UPS=APC, Tripplite
December 31, 2007 6:06:50 AM

systemlord said:
So its better to just get a UPS instead of a plain old surge protector?

Yes.

Your lights flickering off and on because of wind and/or trees hitting the wires is not surges, it's just the power dropping out momentarily. Not good for most electric devices.

A surge is what happens when lightning or a malfunctioning motor or an electrical short circuit somewhere creates a huge spike in voltage. The surge protectors protect you from that and from basic electric/RF noise on the lines. Nothing else.

A full-time UPS like the ones from APC et al have batteries that during times of low voltage or no power at all, will supply power to whatever is connected to the UPS. A good UPS is actually running on battery all the time, while keeping the batteries on a trickle charge, so that there are no switchover delays and so that the power supplied to the devices is absolutely stable regardless of any fluctuations at all in the house power.

Check to make sure that if whatever UPS you buy doesn't have its own surge protector built in (nearly all should), that you use a surge protector between the UPS and the wall socket.

The bigger the UPS and its batteries, the more you can connect to it and/or the longer the batteries will last. So a small one is OK for transient dropouts like during wind storms, but a larger one is more useful if that storm takes a wire down completely and blacks out your house or your neighborhood.

-B
December 31, 2007 11:52:07 AM

1777311,8,125857 said:
Not to be too picky, but I think what g-paw meant to say was to get an Uninterruptible Power Supply, not a Universal Power Supply. [/quotemsg

Stand corrected. Yet to find a keyboard that puts in what I mean rather than what I enter, stupid keyboard. :( 
December 31, 2007 12:01:43 PM

bobbknight said:
Surge Protector=Tripplite
Power Conditioning=Tripplite
UPS=APC, Tripplite



Quoted For Truth - And you can get something perfectly good (for the house) for $100.

Also as pointed out: UPSs are generally pretty heavy, since they use a large battery pack to provide power when nothing comes out of the wall. You'll definitely be best off going somewhere local (Staples, Computer Store, or wherever) and hauling the thing home yourself. The few bucks you "save" buying online will be eaten up by shipping/handling charges.... And then some...
December 31, 2007 12:52:21 PM

Definitely go for APC.

They are affordable and very reliable. And they come in all sizes; from small (small office PC) to absolutely overkill (server rack).

I currently have got the Basck-UPS 1500 VA, and use it for 2 heavy game machines. gives me a few minutes to shut it all down once the power is gone. But the most important reason I've got them are our power fluctuations. My machines kept on shutting down it was that bad.

And for the support. When I got this UPS from APC it was defect. I've called them right away and they sent me a new one without asking (3days) and took the old one back.
December 31, 2007 12:54:02 PM

But for 100 bucks you won't ever power a home theater system fur more than 30secs...
December 31, 2007 12:57:32 PM

aziraphale said:
But for 100 bucks you won't ever power a home theater system fur more than 30secs...


As an aside, contacted APC a couple years ago about a UPS for the home entertainment system and was told you can't use a computer UPS for this, needed one designed for this and they're, or at least were, a lot more expensive.
December 31, 2007 12:59:24 PM

aziraphale said:
But for 100 bucks you won't ever power a home theater system fur more than 30secs...



Maybe we're just reading into the original post, but I don't believe he is looking to power the home theatre. Rather the goal is to protect the newly built PC. You can certainly do that for a hundred bucks.
December 31, 2007 5:39:38 PM

g-paw said:
As an aside, contacted APC a couple years ago about a UPS for the home entertainment system and was told you can't use a computer UPS for this, needed one designed for this and they're, or at least were, a lot more expensive.


Yes of course these are not build for anything else than computer equipment (warranty and stuff). But if you have a computer connected to them, you'll see how much your ovreall system draws. You can (with a little cable tinkering) attach everything you want to it. You just have to test it. But these backups are really strong. if you don't exceed their amperage limit you can "emergency power" a home theater easily. Just have to test it thoroughly.

For example: My APC 1500VA-RS unit takes the full 800Watt load for about 3 mins.

No way you need that time. If your power fails you have another problem. We talk about power fluctuations here. and these normally last for a few msecs. That's way enough to power a rack with such a unit.

So the problems the OP was talking about "could" be solved with a "mediocre" unit from APC.
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