How important is having a surge protector?

mho64

Active Member
Hi,

I am hoping to gain your opinions on using a surge protector extension lead for OLED TVs. I am planning on wall mounting an OLED TV and have the option to add a normal plug point to the wall behind it that I can just plug the TV into. Ideally I would have liked to have used a surge protector extension lead but this might add too much bulk behind the TV. My question is, how essential are surge protector extension leads? Is it a gimmick that we do not need to worry about?

Michael
 

sebna

Member
IMHO not important but YMMV.

I have about 10 computers / servers at home plus tone of other electronic of every kind (2 Oleds among them) and I have been like it all my life surrounded by gear. I have lived in numerous locations and few countries and I never used or needed surge protector in my life. Most of the time they are actually not fit for purpose anyway.

Not to mention hundreds of PCs and servers I manage in professional environment, which are also not protected with surge protectors.
 
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mho64

Active Member
My want for these is to protect against a spike in electric current which might damage the appliance. I am not aware of the technical details about it and also realise that for something like that to happen is quite rare but if it does offer some protection then I'd be happy to use it. I guess I just want to know if these actually offer any protection or not?
 

depot

Well-known Member
My want for these is to protect against a spike in electric current which might damage the appliance. I am not aware of the technical details about it and also realise that for something like that to happen is quite rare but if it does offer some protection then I'd be happy to use it. I guess I just want to know if these actually offer any protection or not?

I looked at this a while ago and was told the surge protectors you can buy in the shops are next to useless and not to bother, if a electrician is installing your socket, they might know better.
 

JayCee

Distinguished Member
You're unlikely to get a spike through the mains supply here in the UK.
Your equipment is more at risk from lightning during a thunderstorm specifically via an aerial, sat dish or the telephone wiring.
 

hamiltone

Active Member
You're unlikely to get a spike through the mains supply here in the UK.
Your equipment is more at risk from lightning during a thunderstorm specifically via an aerial, sat dish or the telephone wiring.

You can definitely get a surge from the mains via a lightning storm, as it happened to a relative a few years back. Their electric was fed directly by overhead cables though, so it does depend where you live.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
You can definitely get a surge from the mains via a lightning storm, as it happened to a relative a few years back. Their electric was fed directly by overhead cables though, so it does depend where you live.

A surge protector of this sort does not protect against lightning strikes and surges. It will burn the protection out instantly.

Also these surges protectors only protect against a few surges, if they are behind a tv you have no idea if it is actually working or not still. :(
 

sebna

Member
You're unlikely to get a spike through the mains supply here in the UK.
Your equipment is more at risk from lightning during a thunderstorm specifically via an aerial, sat dish or the telephone wiring.

That is exactly the case. The only real danger comes from phone lines and aerials during thunderstorms which in UK (thunderstorms) are very rare are not they? Also usually Oleds are not connected to phone lines ;)

Finally, funnily enough off the shelf surge protectors are more of fire hazard then anything else for surges caused by lighting strikes causing surges in the grid...
 

sebna

Member
A surge protector of this sort does not protect against lightning strikes and surges. It will burn the protection out instantly.

Also these surges protectors only protect against a few surges, if they are behind a tv you have no idea if it is actually working or not still. :(
+1
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
If you think about the energy involved in a surge, it is usually expressed in KA & KV. What chance does that little 50p surge protection device have of surviving that sort of over voltage and current? It might protect against the first spike, but that will be it.

Having seen the devastating effect a lighting strike can have on a house - a school friends house was hit, blew out the chimney, every electrical device connected at the time, every light switch, every light bulb and destroyed much of the wiring, I doubt anything would protect you.

To test this, I suggest standing on top of a hill during a thunderstorm in copper armour, shouting "All Gods are [email protected]***S" and waving a surge protector in the air...
 

MarkyPancake

Distinguished Member
Some devices advise to plug directly into the wall socket, such as the Xbox One. Although, running my Xbox One via a surge protector has never caused it any issues.
 

Soulman61

Active Member
If you want to protect your TV unplug everything from it during a thunderstorm.

As pointed out before a surge extension strip will not provide protection against lighting.


Agree, but all our phone and electricity cables, are underground, so I just unplug the outside aerials, to be absolutely safe. Anyway we live in an apartment block which, I assume, has a lightening conductor on the roof.
 

sebna

Member
Agree, but all our phone and electricity cables, are underground, so I just unplug the outside aerials, to be absolutely safe. Anyway we live in an apartment block which, I assume, has a lightening conductor on the roof.

Lightning can strike many mile from where you leave and it can travel through the grid to you.
 

sebna

Member
Have you got any links\evidence of that?

Uhmm, well. Me and my family have actually survived it... not so much anything (electrical) in the room. I was just a little boy and it was in a different country over 30 years ago, so hopefully technologies involved, standards etc. have massively improved since. I have to ask my dad about details but I think it was considered to be a freak incident of some sort but back there in the day I do not think there was any proper investigation into it. It might not be a good example as it was extreme situation and potentially caused by something else like a failure of lightning protection on the building (which is mandatory for every building there) but the fact is that lightening shot up from the electrical socket. I mean real lightning not few sparks in the room we were all sitting and watching telly. There was no thunderstorm or even rain... I think it was evening on a summer's day. Room was 3x4m in the block of flats...

I think the phenomenon is called ball lightning what we have experienced.

In general lightning hitting electrical lines is nothing new and uncommon. It will cause overloading and will activate industrial protection systems in the gird but if it hits the lines close enough to your dwelling then your dwelling will get a massive surge. Distance does not really matter. What matters is, if there are transformer stations and other protection stages between where it enters the system and ones dwelling.

I might be mistaken tough. I am not an expert.

Cheers
 
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ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
@sebna glad you survived that one :)

Agree with lightning is nothing new and according to the metoffice there are 44 strikes a second, presumably worldwide.

My point was though you are comparing a very close strike, albeit in unusual circumstances to one that hits a few miles away. It is one a few miles away causing a surge to your house that I was questioning?

If overhead power cables are hit then that the lightning suppression systems would kick in preventing that from reaching your house and needing a surge protector for that purpose. If you are very close to the incident though as you said, your cheap surge protector is not going to give you any protection.

The big surge protectors that do get fitted in some countries are big and heavy for a particular reason.
 

gbjbaanb

Member
That is exactly the case. The only real danger comes from phone lines and aerials during thunderstorms which in UK (thunderstorms) are very rare are not they? Also usually Oleds are not connected to phone lines ;)

A lot of OLEDS are connected to the phone line - the internet cable's connected to the router the router's connected to the phone socket, the phone socket's connected to the phone line... and so you can be struck by lightning (as my flat was once upon a time) which will (literally) melt the TV aerial in the loft, cause the router to blow up, and destroy the internet ports on all connected equipment.

But what was most interesting is that just the internet ports died, the amp worked fine (but no internet radio for it ever more) the PC worked fine (plus internet once I slotted in an old network card), etc.
 

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