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Are power conditioner/surge protectors really necessary?

by sfjoyboy / February 8, 2004 1:04 PM PST

I just ordered a new TV from The Good Guys and the salesman was trying to get me to buy an $80 Monster Power Conditioner/Surge Protector and some $40 Monster component cables to hook up my DVD player but I told him I was gonna research it some before I spend more money on these accessories. Personally I am very skeptical that the power conditioner will do anything noticable to the picture or the sound. I'm not even gonna have the audio hooked up to a stereo, I'm just using the TV's built in speakers. Is this guy just trying to get me to spend more money or will I actually notice a difference in the picture or audio quality when using a power conditioner? I'd like to do a side by side comparrison with and without the conditioner but unfortunately the Good Guys won't return opened accesories. What a shock! Has anyone tried this?

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Re:Are power conditioner/surge protectors really necessary?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 9, 2004 1:10 AM PST

"will I actually notice a difference in the picture or audio quality when using a power conditioner?"

With tongue in cheek I'll answer that you will, only after a lightning strike on a nearby power pole. These items are only additional line and surge protection. I install one per device in the house and the plan here is that with all the surge protectors installed the total number of joules that can be absorbed due to an out of bounds electrical spike might do no damage.


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Re:Re:Are power conditioner/surge protectors really necessary?
by mmorasch / February 9, 2004 6:14 AM PST

I went out and bought the Monster Power Conditioner that you mentioned and have noticed a difference. A couple weeks ago, my home theater system started playing static over the speakers. After hours of sitting on the phone with various tech support people, it was discovered that only one particular wall outlet caused the problem. Unfortunately it was the one outlet that is in reach of my system.

Once the Monster product was installed, problem solved.

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Re:Are power conditioner/surge protectors really necessary?
by Paul Claxton / February 9, 2004 11:35 PM PST

Yes. If they only work once you've paid for their purchase many many times over. While living in San Diego the local power company thought that it might be a good thing to double the voltage to our sub-division. Everything that was running on 120V was fed 240V. I had a dozen things blow up all around the house - cordless phones, clocks, the washing machine and the like but my computer and stereo equipment was protected by surge suppressors which "gave their lives" to protect the equipment connected to them.

The power company did end up paying for everything they blew up.

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raised voltage is different than a spike or surge
by Bryan_G / April 11, 2012 3:38 AM PDT

A surge protector or power conditioner would not have helped. If you run 240 volts through your house everything meant for 110 volts will fry, even the power conditioners and surge protectors. As far as the surge protector, the name itself explains this, running 240 through the house is not a surge, it's a steady flow....

I'm 99% sure of what I'm saying, I studied electronics in high school and college then I was an electrician for 20 years, but still there is a small chance I'm wrong. I'm going by what I understand about electricity but I've never actually been told this.

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Absolutely correct
by lawrencesharon2 / December 7, 2012 2:22 AM PST

Bryan, I'm also a licensed electrician with 20+ years of experience, and your reply to this post is right on the money. A surge/spike protection device that audiophiles use to protect their equipment or "generate" 120v clean input to that one device can cost upwards of $2000 for a good one- just type it in in your favorite search engine and you'll see what I mean. However, surge/spike protection, whether it's a one receptacle type device (these are usually the multi-receptacle strips you buy at your favorite electronics store) or a whole house device, will not protect any device from improper voltage delivery by the utility- which is why they paid for all of the damage due to their mistake.

If you're looking for a whole house solution, ensure the device is UL listed for that purpose, that it is patented, and that the manufacturer stands behind their warranty. Also realize that most strip outlet surge protectors have a limited warranty and some do not even promise surge/spike protection- in other words, be an informed consumer and read about the product you are purchasing, don't just listen to some commission based sales person feed you a line of b.s. to push up his paycheck.

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