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Surge Protection - Do I Really Need It?


Protecting equipment from damage by power problems has no one-size-fits-all solution. Discovering you've selected the wrong power protection for your electronics equipment often only happens after you have already lost expensive electronics hardware and/or critical data. Conversely, you may never notice that you've made a good choice if your protection devices have done their job - and saved you from a really bad day.

The kind of protection required depends on the equipment being protected and other devices already on the line. While many people think of surge protectors as just protecting devices at their electrical outlets, often times phone lines and coax cables get forgotten. As there are several types of surge protectors on the market, it's important to get one that will cover all sources of potential electrical surges to your connected devices.

Over time smaller surges can cause a gradual deterioration of electronic circuitry. Here are a few potential sources that could cause power issues with your equipment:

      • Weather (especially lightening and wind) – As it is always evolving and nearly unpredictable, this is a continuous danger to your electrical equipment. Let’s also not forget the extreme hot or cold climates, whichever you happen to live in.

      • Accidents – Accidents may cause power transformers and lines to fall.

    • General Power Fluctuations – Electric power varies up and down with overvoltages and undervoltages (via spikes, surges, brownouts, blackouts, sags, and noise). Normally, there are slight fluctuations in power and some computers and other electronic equipment are designed with limited built-in power protection to adequately filter through those fluctuations. There are some less protected devices that may lack such protection and require external protection and a backup power supply.

So how important is your electronic equipment to you? Let's look at it this way:

      • Average cost of a decent Surge Protector: $19.95

    • Potential replacement cost for...
        • Avg 42" HDTV: $550
        • Avg Desktop Computer: $650
        • Avg Notebook Computer: $450
        • Avg DVR System: $75
Burnt modem and motherboard due to a power surge through a phone line.
Burnt Board

Protect your equipment... Don't get burned!