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Surge Protectors Actually Work!

March 12, 2008


I was never really sure. I have two high-end $200+ Brick Wall protectors, for my home theater system and for my computers and external drives, and the usual household assortment of cheap $20 so-called surge-protecting power strips. I had never had any surge damage, not even to a dozen or two of miscellaneous gadgets connected without any protection at all. I don't even know if I ever had a surge for which protection was needed.

So, as far as I knew, my surge protectors were working just as well as my elephant protectors. I never saw any elephants around the house, either.

Well, still no elephants, but a couple of weeks ago I really did get a surge. My alarm woke me up, running on its battery. (Nice feature!) The house had power, but the GFI in the bathroom had tripped, cutting off power to the adjacent bedroom. My computers started up OK, so one Brick Wall had worked. A few things didn't go through the Brick Wall. My DSL modem had no power at all. After I replaced its external power supply it powered up, but couldn't acquire DSL. Some cheap powered speakers were dead, too. The home theater downstairs was OK (another Brick Wall).

But the TV equipment (TV, satellite box, Sony PS2, DVD player) in a cabinet on the main level was without power. Those were connected to a cheap Belkin surge protector, which obviously had taken a big hit, as shown above. Even the case blew apart, as you can see from the damage to the seam on the side. It smelled of smoke, too.

All the equipment behind that Belkin was saved and is working OK. Way to go, Belkin!

So, now I believe in surge protectors, and I'm going to spend more than $20 on them, too. I'm not sure if I want to spring for Brick Walls all around the house, since not everything I have is even worth $200. But, if I don't, I'll probably get Belkins.

Update: Just after I posted this, I found a bunch of Belkins on Amazon, and decided to get two of these and another Brick Wall for that TV cabinet:


If you click the link below to buy your own Belkin, I'll get some money from Amazon, and it will cost you nothing extra:

Blog Archives

Photography Articles

Raw Conversion: Better Never Than Late April 24, 2008

Scanning in India by Way of California With ScanCafe February 15, 2008

How To Back Up Your Personal Computer January 30, 2008

Every Camera I've Ever Owned January 25, 2008

Sharpening JPEGs for the Web January 4, 2008

Lessons Learned From My Memory Problem December 20, 2007

Hunting Down a Mac Hardware Problem December 20, 2007

Trimming GPS Tracks With GPSTrackViewer November 13, 2007

The World's Shortest Camera Buying Guide September 22, 2007

Transporting and Storing Portable Backup Drives August 26, 2007

"The Luminous Landscape" Teaches Me to Print August 4, 2007

Creating a Google Photo Map (Revised) June 26, 2007

Sony GPS-CS1: Not Good Enough for Geotagging Photos June 24, 2007

Epson P-3000/P-5000 Multimedia Storage Viewer March 10, 2007

Trying Out Infrared January 20, 2007

Stupid Designs Hold Digital Back April 1, 2006


Other, older articles



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