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  1. #1
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    Surge Protector Joule Ratings

    I was wondering- you can buy at the store lots of types of surge protectors, and the major difference (aside from # of connections, etc) is the Joule-rating that they have.

    Now I know what joules and all that are, but I have no scale to compare it to computer protection. What I mean is- in order for my PC to be sufficiently protected, how high of a joule rating does my Surge protector need to be? I have seen on the boxes that the cheap ones (i.e. the one I probably have now) are like 1000 or so Joules, whereas the expensive "good" ones are 2500+. So how many is enough? Is it worth it to fork out to get a high-joule protector?

    On the back of the boxes they have company-assigned ratings, where it says approx 1000 Joules is sufficient for like 300MHz PC's but if you're running 1GHz+ you need a fancy 2500+ Joule protector. Is this mostly marketing or does it have merit?

    Thanks!

    Ruahrc

    P.S. Here at OfficeMax and their 2000+ joule protectors are upwards of $65 or $70. But if you go on over to Lowes or Home Depot I saw the same and even better protectors (even over 3000) made by the same company for $30! Lesson: Buy your surge protectors at hardware stores, not office stores

  2. #2
    Canuck FreakyOCR's Avatar
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    From what I know, higher joule ratings mean it will prevent that amount of charge from reaching your equipment b4 tripping. SO it will basically absorb it to a certain point.... well actually I'm just guessing here.

    Could be true though..
    - Freaky

  3. #3
    Ultimate Member agathodaimon's Avatar
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    eh,
    just go with the highest rating that you can afford...

    I think i have about 1750 joules or something around there.
    Got it for under $20 at Best Buy

  4. #4
    Si vis pacem, para bellum daveleau's Avatar
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    Wal Mart also used to be much lower on these as well. You can price match it and get it at a decent price.

    As for joule ratings, mine is 1850, I think.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member osprey4's Avatar
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    Re: Surge Protector Joule Ratings

    Originally posted by Ruahrc
    Lesson: Buy your surge protectors at hardware stores, not office stores.
    Joule ratings do not by themselves guarantee the quality and reliability of the surge protector. Yes, equivalent models may be cheaper at stores other than the computer stores, but you need to do your homework beforehand.

    HYPE: The Joule jive; Some surge suppressor manufacturers want you to believe that a superior surge product is based on its Joule rating. Joule ratings are considered invalid measures of performance by both the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Joule ratings do not always correlate to actual performance. In fact, some products have increased Joule ratings without any of the components changing.
    LET-THROUGH: The truth. Two competitorsí brands tested under the same criteria (using a 6000 volt electrical spike) let through an average of over 400V peak. Both of these competitors claimed Joule ratings of over 800 Joules. In comparison, an APC Pro7 model, rated at 320 Joules, allowed an average of 85V peak let-through. The APC unit has a lower Joule rating but does a better job at suppressing the surge. Donít be fooled by Joules!

  6. #6
    Member capybara's Avatar
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    check out the clamping voltage. some wont clamp until the voltage is over 400 vac, but ideally, anything over 150 vac should be clamped.
    my signature was so lame i deleted it.

  7. #7
    Xtreme Ultimate Member Mntsnow's Avatar
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    For quality systems I stick with Quality UPS/Suppression from Highly tested manufactures such as APC, Tripplite, Powerware.

    bottom line..know what your buying before hand...Check reviews and test results....Never put your 2000 dollar system on a 10 buck unknown suppressor and expect it to live
    -Mntsnow-

  8. #8
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    Good advice, so I should maybe get myselfa nice high-joule rated Belkin? (Those seem to be common). The protector I have now is actually a pretty old IBM, I don't know the joule rating on it though.

    How about the "AC filters" that most higher-end supressors advertise? Are those snake oil too or is having a supressor with ac filtering actually useful?

    Ruahrc

  9. #9
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    Exclamation Plastic Ground on Surge Protector

    I just bought a surge protector for a home theater surround sound system. The Woods Surge Protector has a plastic ground where it will plug into the other outlet. Can you cut it? The other outlet, is being used by another device.

  10. #10
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    Arrow DON'T THROW YOU MONEY AWAY

    It's easy to be dazzled by the claims and exaggerations of some manufacturers, truth be told, you only need a surge protector that protects to 90 joules. If you want to play it absolutely safe just go a little over that. Meaning, a sure protector with protection up to 200 joules is enough to protect anything and everything in you household. EVERYTHING.

    you want to know why? Simple:

    In accord with industry standards, powerline surges inside a building can only go up to 6,000 volts, and 3,000 amperes, and deliver up to 90 joules of energy.

    90 joules my friend. 90!

    Think about it, "1000" "2500" or "3000" joules(!/?), it not your electronics that would be damaged, it's you whole house or block that would go up in flames.

    Of course, companies know they can impress consumers and charge for things you don't need.

  11. #11
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    Joule rating

    Hello chaps, What I've been told is that these ratings are considered invalid measures of performance by both the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Joule ratings do not always correlate to actual performance. In fact, some products have increased Joule ratings without any of the components changing. The let through there are two competitorsí brands tested under the same criteria (using a 6000 volt electrical spike) let through an average of over 400V peak. Both of these competitors claimed Joule ratings of over 800 Joules. In comparison, an APC Pro7 model, rated at 320 Joules, allowed an average of 85V peak let-through. The APC unit has a lower Joule rating but does a better job at suppressing the surge.

  12. #12
    Millwright stroyal's Avatar
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    Sounds like Osprey's quote from 8 years ago.

    Of course if you get a local power line hit by lightning, nothing will protect you.

    Except maybe a lightning arrester.
    Last edited by stroyal; June 29th, 2010 at 05:07 PM.
    Hard Sayin Not Knowin

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