Surge Protectors? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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post #1 of 23 Old 08-16-2014, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Surge Protectors?

Hi everyone,

I'm putting together a system with Emotiva XMC-1, XPA-2, XPA-5, and Samsung PN64F8500. Do I need to get a surge protector and if so what do you recommend? Does it need to be hi end with stage 3-4 protection or anything like that or can it be a simple one (with adequate joules rating)?

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-16-2014, 07:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mav99l View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm putting together a system with Emotiva XMC-1, XPA-2, XPA-5, and Samsung PN64F8500. Do I need to get a surge protector and if so what do you recommend? Does it need to be hi end with stage 3-4 protection or anything like that or can it be a simple one (with adequate joules rating)?
If you have problems with power line surges you probably already know it for sure, due to the stack of burnt out gear that you've had to dispose of.

If you have problems with surges, then your best solution is a whole-house surge protector which is typically installed by a professional electrician.
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-16-2014, 08:29 AM
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-16-2014, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
If you have problems with power line surges you probably already know it for sure, due to the stack of burnt out gear that you've had to dispose of.

If you have problems with surges, then your best solution is a whole-house surge protector which is typically installed by a professional electrician.
Thanks for the response. I've just moved into my new house and I don't really know if it's prone to surges or not. In fact the house was built in 1959 so I need to find out if it is even grounded at all! If not, I'll have to upgrade it and probably get a new power box as well. Can you tell me more about this whole house surge protector? I'm unaware of that. Any links to buying one?
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-16-2014, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Yeah I was thinking about the APC they mentioned in there and also this Tripp Lite --

http://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-HT1...ywords=HT10DBS

It's about $70 online.
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post #6 of 23 Old 08-16-2014, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mav99l View Post
Thanks. Yeah I was thinking about the APC they mentioned in there and also this Tripp Lite --

http://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-HT1...ywords=HT10DBS

It's about $70 online.
Spending extra cash on a surge protector is = to unnecessary $ spent on exotic cables
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-16-2014, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post
If you have problems with power line surges you probably already know it for sure, due to the stack of burnt out gear that you've had to dispose of.

If you have problems with surges, then your best solution is a whole-house surge protector which is typically installed by a professional electrician.
+1

Cost me $160 installed.
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-17-2014, 07:32 AM
 
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I was an electrician in a previous life, so I installed my whole house surge protector myself. Cost $65 for the protector alone, $160 installed is not a bad deal at all.


I also have APC UPSs for all my PCs, my networking gear, my Ceton Eth tuner, my AVR, and my projector. It makes me feel better knowing that I not only have surge protection, but brown out protection as well. Brown outs can do some serious damage as the equipment starts to turn off due to low power but then suddenly has all its power back. It also allows my HTPC (and other PCs) to power down gracefully - making Windows very happy.
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-17-2014, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by htpcforever View Post
I was an electrician in a previous life, so I installed my whole house surge protector myself. Cost $65 for the protector alone, $160 installed is not a bad deal at all.


I also have APC UPSs for all my PCs, my networking gear, my Ceton Eth tuner, my AVR, and my projector. It makes me feel better knowing that I not only have surge protection, but brown out protection as well. Brown outs can do some serious damage as the equipment starts to turn off due to low power but then suddenly has all its power back. It also allows my HTPC (and other PCs) to power down gracefully - making Windows very happy.
So this means you recommend getting the whole house surge protector AND also getting a separate surge protector for the outlet to my A/V gear?
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-17-2014, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by audio.hobby View Post
Spending extra cash on a surge protector is = to unnecessary $ spent on exotic cables
Not true at all. Not even close. Not a valid comparison in the least.

Several years ago a transformer blew on top of the pole across the street from our court. My TV, cable box, and receiver were plugged into a $40 Tripp Lite surge protector. Not top of the line by any means. The Tripp Lite fried. Burned to a crisp. Turned completely black...but did its job. The small stereo in the rec room was plugged directly into the wall, and was ruined.
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post #11 of 23 Old 08-17-2014, 07:50 PM
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Surge protection is mainly piece-of-mind for me rather than a necessity. A relative just took a lightning strike and lost a whole lot of electronics but they used cheap Belkin power strips rather than better surge protectors.

I'd get the APC Surgearrest for the amp and TV and either plug the amps directly to the wall or get Emotiva's high-current CMX-2 or 6 for them.

Denon AVR X7200WA, Emotiva XPR-5, Emotiva XPA-7, Sony XBR 75" 850C, Oppo BDP-103D, Roku 4.
DefTech BP7000SC (L/R), CLR3000 (C), SM55 (FH), UIW BPZ/A (SB), UIW 75 (TM).
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PC 2.1 setup. Emotiva Stealth 6, SVS SB2000 sub, Emotiva DC-1 DAC.
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post #12 of 23 Old 08-17-2014, 09:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mav99l View Post
So this means you recommend getting the whole house surge protector AND also getting a separate surge protector for the outlet to my A/V gear?
I would. The whole house SHOULD protect your entire house...but what if the lightning strikes a tree in the back yard and the electricity enters the house from someplace other than the main line? A two layer approach is what I recommend. It is also a "buy it once, have it forever" type of expense, so why not do it?
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post #13 of 23 Old 12-12-2015, 06:20 AM
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I went to the wire cutter site and they recommended this protector: http://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-Out...subtag=WC28180 and it comes with $150000 insurance for equipment attached to it. There are protectors that are more money with higher jule ratings, 2395 joule surge suppression rating for this unit. Would I need a higher jule rating and why?

My system: Definitive Technology BP 2002 TL mains, 4 Bpvx/p surrounds and CLR 3000 center powered by an Integra DTR 70.2. and an Oppo 103. No sub yet....but the looking, planning and wife persuading are well under way!
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post #14 of 23 Old 12-12-2015, 08:46 AM
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I have a Belkin surge protector for my HT, mainly in case of a lightning strike really.

My HT build: Tower Cinema - 9.1.6 in a 12'x12' room

Marantz | NAD | Monitor Audio | SVS | Pioneer
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post #15 of 23 Old 12-12-2015, 08:58 AM
 
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Monster Power

I have been using a Monster Power conditioner for many years. It has saved my gear from both power surges and once my kid cranked up the volume my speakers could have blown. Instead the PC tripped and shut down my system, saving it

The added benefit is the improvement in SQ, fantastic. Sound stage, noise floor, clarity, all improved. Monster claims they will insure your gear from a Power Surge if you use their PLC but have never needed to use it. They have many models but here is one I like:

http://www.amazon.com/Signature-Powe...=monster+power

FYI

http://mp1.monsterproducts.com/lit/P...P5100SS20A.pdf

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post #16 of 23 Old 12-12-2015, 04:55 PM
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Thanks. Any thoughts on a good starting point to read up on line conditioners?

My system: Definitive Technology BP 2002 TL mains, 4 Bpvx/p surrounds and CLR 3000 center powered by an Integra DTR 70.2. and an Oppo 103. No sub yet....but the looking, planning and wife persuading are well under way!
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post #17 of 23 Old 12-12-2015, 07:26 PM
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Start here and read the reviews. good place as any.


http://www.furmansound.com/


and I own one of these, really good.
http://www.furmansound.com/product.p...&id=IT-REF_20i
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post #18 of 23 Old 12-12-2015, 07:38 PM
 
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Thanks. Any thoughts on a good starting point to read up on line conditioners?
http://hometheaterreview.com/ac-power-product-reviews/

http://www.stereophile.com/content/2...ne-accessories
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post #19 of 23 Old 12-12-2015, 07:47 PM
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My electric company will install a whole house device called "zap cap" for approx 7-8 dollars per month fee. Supposed to cover replacement of any surge damaged devices--- computers, tvs, air conditioners....... I will look into the actual terms since I may replace my heat pump soon and wish the protection. Anyone have any experience with this coverage. From TECO in Florida.
Edit..... Yikes --- checked some reviews . Will need to see if this will really provide coverage.

Last edited by LokiRN; 12-12-2015 at 07:56 PM. Reason: Checked one site for reviews
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post #20 of 23 Old 12-17-2015, 06:23 AM
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Thanks. Those look like great product review and recommendations sources. I was hoping for an article or two that would address the question of whether they improve your listening experience. For example this thread has people in both camps making persuasive arguments for and against. Are power conditioners worth it? . The thread notes that this issue has been debated for a while. I bought a decent surge protector so I am comfortable that my equipment is protected but now wonder if its worth it to invest in a conditioner. And by worth it I mean will there be a noticeable difference in sound quality or is there no real difference. I am going to keep looking through the threads but don't think there will be a definitive answer.

My system: Definitive Technology BP 2002 TL mains, 4 Bpvx/p surrounds and CLR 3000 center powered by an Integra DTR 70.2. and an Oppo 103. No sub yet....but the looking, planning and wife persuading are well under way!
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post #21 of 23 Old 12-17-2015, 07:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aj1101 View Post
Thanks. Those look like great product review and recommendations sources. I was hoping for an article or two that would address the question of whether they improve your listening experience. For example this thread has people in both camps making persuasive arguments for and against. Are power conditioners worth it? . The thread notes that this issue has been debated for a while. I bought a decent surge protector so I am comfortable that my equipment is protected but now wonder if its worth it to invest in a conditioner. And by worth it I mean will there be a noticeable difference in sound quality or is there no real difference. I am going to keep looking through the threads but don't think there will be a definitive answer.
OK, try borrowing one here, just call and let them know what you are looking to do:
http://www.thecableco.com/content.aspx?iid=5777

In my system it made a huge difference but all power grids are not alike. Here is a very inexpensive outlet to try, if you don't like it you can send it back. This is not for surge protection, just for SQ:

http://shop.***************.com/Ultr...o/ACOUTLET-CL/
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post #22 of 23 Old 12-17-2015, 07:31 AM
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OK, try borrowing one here, just call and let them know what you are looking to do:
http://www.thecableco.com/content.aspx?iid=5777

In my system it made a huge difference but all power grids are not alike. Here is a very inexpensive outlet to try, if you don't like it you can send it back. This is not for surge protection, just for SQ:

http://shop.***************.com/Ultr...o/ACOUTLET-CL/




Thanks. Both look interesting. I think I will try the outlet first and then go from there.
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post #23 of 23 Old 01-03-2016, 03:16 AM
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I went to the wire cutter site and they recommended this protector: http://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-Out...subtag=WC28180 and it comes with $150000 insurance for equipment attached to it. There are protectors that are more money with higher jule ratings, 2395 joule surge suppression rating for this unit. Would I need a higher jule rating and why?
Wirecutter's article is grossly misleading. Their aim is the "best surge protection" for under $25. To their credit they basically state that whether you're buying a $10 surge protector from the local grocery store to a $180 Monster Power center, at the heart of the protection the technology is all the same. MOV's were never intended to be used for surge protection but because they are cheap, they are being used this way. A whole house surge protector will handle about 80% of the external surges but nothing for in-home generated surges coming from anything with a motor that cycles on/off (think air conditioner, furnace/box/window fan, washing machine, clothes dryer, blender, mixer, grinder, hair dryer and refrigerator). So targeted point solutions are still required.

Then how does an MOV surge protector work? Most use triple mode protection and divert the surge to NEUTRAL and GROUND. Where does the surge go when it gets to ground? It needs an ultra low impedance path to the mains electrical panel and subsequent ground wire connection to the buried ground rod, but consider that even a 1 ohm impedance of the house wiring can cause 1000 volts to appear on ground from a 1000 amp surge. The very electronics you're trying to protect from the surge will get zapped when Ground is contaminated. Over time you'll have an unexplained hard drive crash, fried motherboard, premature failure of a power supply, bad USB or bad HDMI port.

The only improvements in the 40-45 years in MOV technology is to how it is encased to prevent explosions or catching fire or how it's wired in a circuit (adjacent to a thermal fuse) that either takes the MOV out of the circuit and allows the surge protector to work w/o surge protection or takes the surge protector off-line and anything connected to it.

Connected Equipment Warranties are difficult to collect on especially if you did not follow all the rules and in the end if its determined that the surge made its way into the damaged electronics by a different path (i.e., ground contamination is a valid different path but not covered under the warranty) you get nothing. But even if you meet all the requirements at best you only get fair market value based on recent Craigslist or eBay prices.

An alternative is to use a true surge eliminator (not just something that diverts the surge) rather a series mode power filter made by ZeroSurge, Brickwall or SurgeX. These devices cost more up front (from $60 used to $160+ new) but are one time purchases per application and will outlive you. Consider that many manufactures of MOV based surge protectors encourage you to replace the surge protector annually (since they don't know how long the MOV's will last), long term economics favor series mode.

Then there is the matter of testing. Wirecutter relied on a surge ranging from 100 to 600 V in 100 V increments with no more than 2 amps of current. Put another way, a surge ranging from 0.01 Joules to 0.06 Joules. What surge protector would fail this test? And how does this test tell you how well a surge protector will work?

Wirecutter adds the following disclosure to their article: We help support the hundreds of hours that go into our evaluations through affiliate commissions on purchases made through our links. We’re committed to publishing unbiased guides that clearly detail our decision-making criteria to our readers, but we just want you to know." The #1 rated products appear to change every 3-4 months amongst the companies whose products are in those links and of course those companies tout the #1 rating assigned to them by Wirecutter. Wirecutter is happy, the manufactures are happy, but is the consumer happy? Their current #1 rated surge protector was given that rating because of information that the manufacture's PR department gave to Wirecutter last September. The information is not included on the manufactures website or in the documentation provided with the surge protector.

The author of the Dec 2015 update added "There are many ways to achieve the outcomes we desire" but consider that even APC in their Technical Note #T3 describes series-mode technology: "The best type of surge suppressors use a "series" or isolating design". Manufacturers of (series-mode) surge suppressors, such as Zero Surge, Inc., virtually eliminate ground wire contamination.." In other words, APC engineers had the integrity to acknowledge the benefits of the series-mode technology, even though they offer shunt-mode technology, and do not benefit from their candid observations.

Lastly, if you live in a place that has no ground connections, then you cannot use an MOV based surge protector which shunts surges to GROUND. Your only alternatives are to retrofit your wiring by adding a ground, moving or purchasing a SERIES MODE power filter which does not rely on MOV's or ground.
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