Surge Suppressor Buying Guide

Surge suppressors, sometimes called surge protectors, protect your electrical devices from surges or spikes in power due to lightning strikes, power outages, cycling of large appliances, and other reasons. By plugging your expensive equipment into a surge suppressor, you can save it from being destroyed should there be a surge in power. When you go to purchase a surge suppressor, you need to be careful that the device will actually protect your equipment because some power strips look just like surge suppressors, but do not offer any actual protection.

Types of Surge Suppressors

Strip surge suppressors are usually long and narrow and typically have a cord to plug it into the wall. This allows you to place the surge suppressor in a variety of places, depending on the length of the cord. Some also have mounting holes that allow you to hang the surge suppressor on a wall. This type of surge suppressor typically has six to 12 electrical outlets and may have ports for other types of cord such as phone or even USB.

Wall mounted surge suppressors have no cord but plug directly into the wall. They usually have less outlets than a strip protector. Most have between two and six outlets available for plugging in devices. Travel models may have a plug that folds right into the housing of the device for an extra compact package that is easy to pack in a computer bag or other luggage.

Battery back up surge suppressors can be important in some cases. These models have batteries in them to provide power to the plugged in device should the power go out. This may be important on something like a sump pump that you would want to continue to run, even during a power outage. They provide surge suppressor functions to the device as well.

There are also whole house surge suppressors . These are designed to be connected at the electrical service panel in your house. They will protect all of the electrical devices in your home from outside power surges. They will usually not protect devices from surges caused by cyclinglarge appliances inside your home.

Pay Attention to

Decide how many items you will need to plug into the surge suppressor and purchase one with at least as many as you need. Additionally, remember that transformer plugs take up more space than traditional plugs and may cover some outlets, requiring you to need more than you think. While some surge suppressors take this fact into account, some do not, and you should be sure that you will have enough room to plug in all of your electronic devices.

The amount of protection that the surge protector provides is a key factor to consider. The joule rating of a surge suppressor tells you how much energy it can absorb before it fails. The higher the number, the greater the protection will be. The amount of protection you will need will depend on several factors. Most importantly, you need to consider the device or devices you are planning to protect. You will want a surge suppressor with a higher rating for equipment that is more expensive. In addition, if you live in an area that gets frequent thunderstorms or power outages, you will want a higher joule rating on your surge suppressor to prevent problems during these events.

Consider where the surge suppressor will be located. If it is going to be located in an environment where it might get damaged, you might want to purchase a surge suppressor with an all metal outer casing. These types of surge suppressors are virtually indestructible.

The length of the cord and the design of the surge suppressor are also important. You will need to decide how far from the wall outlet you will want to place your surge suppressor and make sure that the cord is at least that long. In addition, you should consider the design of the surge suppressor. For example, if you are planning to put furniture flush against the wall where the surge suppressor is located, you will want a surge suppressor that has the plugs at right angles so that they do not block the furniture. Other configurations include standard strip, in-line, direct plug in, and under monitor.

You will probably want to choose a surge suppressor that includes indicator lights. First, there should be an LED light that indicates that the surge suppressor has power. In addition, many surge suppressors also have an LED light that indicates that it still functions as protection for your divides. After several power surges, the circuitry inside the surge suppressor will burn out and an LED indicator light will allow you to know whether your electronics are actually being protected by the surge suppressor.

Top Brands and Product Lines

The Tripp Lite Surge Protector is a moderately priced brand with a variety of features including the fact that it will turn off the power to devices if it cannot stop a power surge.

The Belkin brand offers surge protectors in a variety of styles and price ranges including one that will help you save energy by turning off your devices on a timer when they are not in use.

Ascell products offer lower priced surge suppressors that still adequately protect your devices from a power surge.

Bestek offers moderately priced surge protectors with a variety of designs and number of outlets.

CyberPower has surge protectors in the lower price range. They offer several models with varying number of outlets.

Insignia, Best Buy's house brand offers value priced surge suppressors in a variety of styles.

Rocketfish surge protectors are mid to higher priced surge protectors for the consumer who wants extra features.

Monster surge protectors are higher priced models with similar protection to other brands, but they often have extra features that you may or may not need.