Surge Protector vs UPS? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-07-06, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Surge Protector vs UPS?

I am not a complete newb when it comes to home theatre but have very little experience with protectors and electricity in general... besides using my fair share.

A recent storm blew the VGA out on my computer, the VGA adaptor and video 2, 3 and DVD on my receiver.

I had what I thought was a decent surge protector but apparently it was a glorified power bar. I have read many of the threads regarding UPS and protectors but still feel as though I am missing something.

My understanding to this point is that the higher the joules rating the better the protection.

I think I would like to get a UPS that provides great surge protection while offering me the chance to continue running everything in a short outage. I was looking at two products on tigerdirect.ca.

Tripp Lite 8-Outlet / 1200VA / 700Watt / SmartPro Digital UPS
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...Tab=2&NoMapp=0

and Tripp Lite / HT1010SAT3 / Protect It! / 10 Outlets / Surge Suppressor
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...4910&CatId=232

The surge protector power bar has a joules surge rating of 3345 while the UPS only has 480. Why is the UPS rated so much lower? What is adequate protection?

Can I combine the two and run the UPS through the surge protector?

Thanks
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-07-07, 12:47 PM
dc
 
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What does "running everything" mean? Consumer level UPS's are not meant to provide long-term backup power. They are only meant to give you enough time to perform a controlled shut-down (ie 5 or 10 mins.).

It's not a good idea to plug more outlets into a power bar or UPS. You could easily exceed the rated amperage in such a situation.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-07-07, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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What I meant is when the power flicks on and off the PVR, computer, tv and receiver would not have been shut off. I understand that the UPS is not designed to continue the operation of my gear when the power is actually out.

The real issue and question is do UPS's or the one I have singled out provide sufficient surge protection?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-07-07, 01:45 PM
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"sufficient" is such a nebulous term. It depends what you expect to come down the line. No surge protector will protect from a lightning strike - only unplugging will do that.

Basically, the more you spend, the more protection you get, so perhaps the amount of protection is dictated by the amount you wish to spend on that protection.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-07-07, 03:09 PM
 
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For surge protection you need a device that absorbs energy -- not a device like an MOV. Surge-X have industrial quality protection, but it may be over and above what you need. Their website is http://www.surgex.com/.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-07-09, 07:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbamford
For surge protection you need a device that absorbs energy -- not a device like an MOV.
Since when does a MOV not absorb energy? Maybe not well enough to protect your equipment, but a MOV is designed to absorb energy. Above a certain voltage, the resistance of a MOV drops rapidly, thus drawing more current and absorbing energy by converting it to heat.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-08-21, 06:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrnice
A recent storm blew the VGA out on my computer, the VGA adaptor and video 2, 3 and DVD on my receiver.
If you're talking about protectiong yourself form lightning, forget it. Even the above mentioned commercial surge protectors are only good for ~6000V. A lightning strike can be up to *one billion volts*.

You have two ways to protect yourself from lightning

a) Install a tall enough lightning rod with a heavy duty ground on your roof. This should divert any possible bolts away from your power mast

b) Get homeowner sinsurance

Chances are you're already covered by b - I have never heard of a homeowners policy that didn't cover lightning damage, but if yours doersn't you should switch companies, since it is pretty standard.

About 6 months ago someone I knew's house was hit by lightning - fried a TV, a computer monitor, blew a hole in the siding, and some plaster off the wall. The insurance claim was for over 3,000.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-08-21, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunes
You have two ways to protect yourself from lightning
c) Unplug any devices of concern during a storm.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-09-04, 07:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 57 View Post
c) Unplug any devices of concern during a storm.
What happens if the storm happens when you're at work?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-09-05, 11:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brunes View Post
a) Install a tall enough lightning rod with a heavy duty ground on your roof. This should divert any possible bolts away from your power mast
No, a lightning strike can happen elsewhere and come in on the power or telephone or cable wiring. Unplugging is the best way.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-09-05, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerstream View Post
What happens if the storm happens when you're at work?
If the equipment is plugged in and a large enough surge comes down any of the various lines connected to your equipment, that equipment will likely be damaged.

The surge protection in these devices for home use is simply not adequate to protect against lightning. It's designed for the mild power surges that occur on electrical systems from time to time, perhaps from a circuit breaker going elsewhere due to a lightning strike elsewhere.

A lighting strike nearby will not be stopped by a small box inside your home. However, that box can often provide assistance with insurance for replacing damaged equipment. Read the box insurance policy.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 2006-09-09, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrnice View Post
Can I combine the two and run the UPS through the surge protector?
That is not recommnded and can cause more problems than it solves (like damaging the UPS.) There are special UPSs made for A/V equipment. Do not use a computer UPS for A/V equipment. The 700VA UPS should be adaquate for you computer and peripherals (except laser printers.)

It sounds like the surge travelled down a video cable, possibly between the computer or digital receiver and TV. Many people ignore external sources of surges, proper grounding and basic electrical wiring. A surge protector or UPS is not a cure all. Most sources of lightning damage are not due to electrical surges on the power grid.

1. Make sure all RG6s are grounded where they enter the house. A high percentage of dish installers do not bother to ground installations properly.
2. Make sure all interconnected equipment (TV, computer, etc.) are on the same circuit and the electrical circuit is properly grounded. I also use a GFCI on that circuit.
3. Use a UPS on computer equipment and digital (satellite/CATV) receivers.
4. Use a well made power bar for all A/V equipment. Well made does not mean expensive. I have also seen expensive power bars that were poorly made. Trippe Lite makes good, reasonably priced power bars but they are hard to find.
5. Joule rating is not that important. Make sure there are enough outlets for all your equipment. Plug all UPSs and power bars directly into a wall outlet on the same grounded circuit.
6. Run telephone cables through the power bar or UPS but don't count on this to stop a surge. The telephone cable should be grounded at the service providers box where it enters the building.
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