Originally Posted by crazydj
Do i need a surge protector? Where i am from, no one uses a surge protector or UPS because we never get surges or power failure. What major benefits do surge protectors bring?
When I did research in early 2008 so that I could comfortably make an informed purchase, one thing I learned is that there are supposedly surges constantly coming directly from the power company itself 24/7. In addition, a surge happens each time something turns on or off that is powerful enough. This can be a space heater, a hair dryer, a power tool, a vacuum cleaner, the garage door opener, a window air conditioner, a dehumidifier, a washer and dryer, a microwave, an electric stove and electric oven, refrigerator or freezer, possibly a high-powered stereo system, etc. When our washer is running, I notice that the light coming from any incandescent bulb will pulsate constantly until the washer is done. I believe that this is a sign of constant little surges - but I don't know for sure.
Sensitive electronic devices like our computers (and especially LCD monitors and TVs, based on what I read) are the most vulnerable to these surges. That's not to say that these are the only things that need protection - but it's that they are the most vulnerable.
The bad thing I remember reading is that this is bad in the long-term. So, the longer the exposure, the worse it is. I also learned that it's a bad idea to just go out and get any surge suppressor, or to only go by the Joule rating, etc. I needed to do more research, and so I did. I learned what features are important and what to look for in each feature - as it pertains to modern surge suppressors. In the end, I found about a half dozen units that I compared and tried to find reviews for and I eventually narrowed it down to one unit based on features like the number of outlets.
As was pointed out, Consumer Reports hasn't looked at surge suppressors in about a decade, and I have to assume that a lot has changed since then due to the general changes in our technology. I mean, I can only assume that it would be a bad idea to protect a modern computer system with a 10-year old surge suppressor - even if it was never used! So until Consumer Reports reviews some of today's surge suppressors, I'm going to say that their information is irrelevant due to being extremely outdated.
So anyway, yeah: I believe everyone needs a good surge suppressor.
Edited by TwoCables - 1/21/13 at 9:52am