A quality surge protector safeguards appliances in the event of power surges, brownouts or other power problems – something that everyone needs but not enough people get in time to protect their equipment in case of an accident. To protect your electrical equipment from damage, and for a reasonable amount of money, you can have a firewall between your expensive electronics and your electricity.
You can choose between a surge protector that is installed by a qualified electrician in your switchboard and protects all of your outlets, wiring and appliances in a office or home, or you can buy portable surge protectors for each appliance you have in your home.
A surge protector limits the amount of volts that are delivered to an electrical device by shorting to ground or blocking excess voltage. There are many types of surge protectors – we’ve done the research and listed the top 5 so you don’t have to.
TOP 5 SURGE PROTECTORS
1. CLIPSAL OVERVOLTAGE PROTECTION DEVICES
The devices contain metal oxide varistors that suppress overvoltage to a safe level and act as a bodyguard for valuable electronic equipment. The Clipsal 920/940 range of overvoltage devices includes options for single-phase and three-phase power, plus auxiliary contact options for remote monitoring of overvoltage device status. Next to your main switch in your switchboard and will protect your whole home.
NOTE: These need to be installed by a licensed electrician, Call Power Integration for a free quote.
2. BELKIN PIVOTPLUG
The Belkin 12-Outlet PivotPlug Surge Protector (BP112230-08) is the best all-purpose surge protector, perfect if you don’t care about power being cut off and want a low-clamping voltage (330V on all legs). It’s flexible and adaptable, and has 2.5 metre-long cord and both protection and ground-vault indicators.
The 12 outlets, including 8 along the side that tilt 90 degrees, you can fit all manner of power blocks at myriad angles. It’s important to note that the PivotPlug will keep the power on even after its surge protection is used up – which is better for hard drives or sensitive equipment that can be harmed by a sudden shutdown, but worse for TVs and other similar appliances.
3. BELKIN CONSERVE SMART AV
The Conserve range is well regarded for its energy efficiency. Every protector in the line makes it simple to save power and cut the flow of power once a device is charged. The device is ideal for home entertainment centres, especially where the TV is the main appliance.
4. TRIPP LITE HT10DBS
This device is a powerful surge protector with 10 outlets. It’s ideal for entertainment or computer workstations and features filter banks to keep equipment safe from line noise. It comes with an 2.5 metre cord and ethernet cables to help with connecting to gear.
5. APC 8-OUTLET SURGE PROTECTOR 2630
The APC 8-Outlet Surge Protector 2630 will protect up to 8 different electronic devices and two USB-powered phones. Unlike regular strips, this one is wider and has 4 regular and 4 transformer-spaced outlets that can accommodate oversized plugs – which guarantees that you’ll actually be able to use those 8 outlets. It’s also features a 1.8m cord which has a handy 180º rotation plug that can be adjusted for devices in different angles.
HOW A SURGE PROTECTOR WORKS
This may come as a shock, but the electrical grid wasn’t exactly designed for electronics. At the beginning of the appliance-era, surges and spikes used to be more regular. While that had changed drastically over the years, depending on how old the appliances and utility systems are, surges and spikes may still happen.
A surge protector basically works as a shield, as it blocks excessive voltage when it exceeds a certain extreme point.
This point is called clamping, and is typically 330 volts (V), 400V, or 500V. While electronics and all other electrical appliances commonly used in a home or office can accept brief amounts of much higher maximum voltages, it’s the big surges that they need to be protected from – otherwise, they can literally fry.
Depending on your electrical installation, some circuit breakers may trigger first rather than the surge going all the way to your electronics – but if you live in somewhat a remote area where electricity can be unpredictable or you are worried about your electrical equipment, surge protectors are definitely a great and convenient way to ensure your electronics are taken care of.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A SURGE PROTECTOR
We can list the portable surge protectors we think are the best based on research – however, the best way to protect your whole home is have the surge protectors installed by Power Integration in your switchboard which will cover your whole home, rather than just one or two appliances.
Important questions to be asked when purchasing your surge protector are:
- Do you want to protect your whole house or just one appliance?
- How’s the cost in relation to features and outlets?
- Does it allow advanced features, such as USB outlets?
- How many outlets does it protect?
- Is it travel-friendly? Can it be compact and functional?