Originally Posted by agmar
Thanks for the rebuke and the useful URLs
I'll def check with my power company, but in the meanwhile I did go ahead and order a device that is UL certified and follows the guidelines as outlined in one of the URLs mentioned in your comment above ...
A protector can fail during UL testing and still be UL listed. UL says nothing about protection. Only that no sparks and flames appear during their test waveforms. Protectors in those scary pictures were UL listed - which only means fire is less likely.
Appreciate the 'mistake' made in your citation. If the protector fails - thermal fuse trips to avoid a house fire - then protector abandon the appliance. The appliance had to protect itself. A common problem with power strip protectors. A surge too tiny to overwhelm protection in any appliance can easily destroy the ineffective power strip protector. Fortunately, all appliances already contain significant protection.
Second, MOV manufacturers state that any condition (necessary to blow that fuse) must never exist. That catastrophic failure is a complete violation of MOV manufacturer specs. But that catastrophic failure is too often seen in power strip protectors. By undersizing a protector (violating what MOV manufacturers state), then failure gets the naive to recommend more such protectors.
Third, once the light reports MOVs disconnected, now you have a perfectly safe ($4) power strip. MOVs are no longer connected to create a (potential) house fire.
Fourth, how does a 200 or 600 joule protector absorb typically destructive surges (hundreds of thousands of joules)? It does not. Surges that small typically do not overwhelm protection already inside all appliances. Protector that small can be damaged by a surge that would not overwhelm protection inside all appliances.
Fifth, that protector must be located away from flammable materials. A fact I neglected to mention previously. Away from dust balls, rugs, and desktop papers.
One final note. See that reference to response time? More nonsense. All protectors respond in nanoseconds. For example, MOVs respond so quickly that the length of its wire lead (typically 3 inches) can significantly change the MOVs response time. View manufacturer data sheets. Response time testing even discuss how long the leads are because even that wire can change a protectors response time. If response time is that close to near zero, then why do many discuss it? Popular myths are promoted without first reading manufacturer data sheets.
Notice which source is citing datasheets that only designers read. That alone indentifies which source has better credibility. Identifies who learned this stuff by designing it - and having his designs 'tested' by direct lightning strikes.
The kludge solution is not recommended. It is only a poor option.