Prevent power surges
December 5, 2007
Lightning, power surges, and voltage spikes can permanently damage anything that is plugged into the wall--including your PC and monitor--and can ruin any image files stored on the hard drive.
|That's why you need to protect all of your electronic devices with some type of surge suppressor.
There are three specifications that indicate of the level of protection offered.
The first is Clamping Voltage. This indicates the voltage required to trigger the surge suppression circuitry. Look for a unit that has a certified UL rating of 330 volts. (The actual "let through" rating may be quite lower, but UL's lowest testing threshold is 330 volts.)
The next spec is the Energy Absorption Rating, listed in Joules. High numbers mean that the unit can absorb high energy levels before it fails. Insist on a rating of at least 600 Joules (higher is better).
The third specification is the Response Time. Since it's mechanically impossible for surge protectors to sense and respond to voltage spikes instantaneously, your electronic gear is exposed during the lag time.
Buy a surge protector that responds in less than one nanosecond. This is generally indicated as "< 1 ns." Power strips are a great way to plug more than two devices into a single wall outlet, but most offer very little protection from power spikes.
Don't trust your valuable equipment to anything that does not have a UL (Underwriter's Lab) surge protection rating printed on a permanent sticker.