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Print Catalog, electronic edition - Table of Contents:
Power surges are an increase in the voltage that
powers electrical equipment. Surges often go unnoticed,
often lasting only 1/20th of a second, but they are much more
common and destructive than you might think. According
to recent studies, electrical equipment is constantly experiencing
surges of varying power. Some of them can be absorbed by
a power supply while others can only be handled by a quality
surge suppressor. The most destructive power surges will
wipe out anything that gets in their way!
In this power-hungry computer age, utility power
systems are often pushed beyond their capacity, resulting in
unstable, unreliable power for consumers. Overburdened
power grids can generate powerful surges as they switch between
sources or generate "rolling surges" when power is
momentarily disrupted. Local sources can also generate
surges (such as a motor starting, or a fuse blowing out).
Lightning can generate a spectacular surge along
any conductive line to destroy everything in its path. NO
MATTER WHAT MANUFACTURERS MAY CLAIM, NO SURGE SUPPRESSOR IN THE
WORLD CAN SURVIVE A DIRECT LIGHTNING STRIKE. However,
with quality equipment the surge suppressor will take the hit
- ending up melted - but the equipment it protects will not be
Higher ratings offer more protection. Amp
levels are another important factor in determining surge strength. Look
for the highest amp protection levels available.
Underwriter Laboratories tests each surge suppressor
and rates them according to the amount of voltage they let-through
to connected equipment. The lower the let-through voltage,
the better the surge suppressor is. UL established the
330 volt let-through as the benchmark because lower ratings added
no real benefits to equipment protection, while surge components,
forced to work harder, failed prematurely. Be wary of manufacturers
claiming lower let-through ratings.
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