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Need to Know If Surge Protector Need to be Replaced

by PGerald / July 9, 2012 9:40 PM PDT


Just a couple months ago, my TV and DVR started cutting off and turning back on unexpectedly.

I initially thought it was the cable box (Comcast) so I swapped cable boxes and plugged in the new box (right out of the plastic).

After watching TV for a little while, the cable box and TV went out again. I know it's not my TV or the cable box, so now I'm looking at my surge protector.

I have a Phillips (don't remember the Joules) and I've had it since Oct 2009. The lights on it shows that both electronics are protected and grounded.

At this point, I don't know what else it could be. Any help with this would be highly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.


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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by PGerald

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Suspect surge suppressor
by mjd420nova / July 11, 2012 11:35 AM PDT

Yes, if it points to the power strip, get a new one. Those boxs that also have jack to route the phone lines and cable coming into the home will introduce an added resistance and changes in impedance, reducing signal strength. The surge protectors are a sacrifical element and when doing their job will burn themselves out before the equipment can be damaged. IN THEORY.

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They're so inexpensive...
by Pepe7 / July 10, 2012 12:44 AM PDT wouldn't hurt to grab one from Radio Shack or Home Depot and test it out.

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What is going out?
by w_tom / July 10, 2012 7:38 AM PDT

You don't say what is cutting out? The cable? AC power? Only the screen? Only the sound? The entire neighborhood?

Connect a light bulb in that power strip. Does the light bulb stay on when the TV cuts out? Report back for further information.

Watch incandescent bulbs. Do any change intensity?

Is cable connected via the protector? Cable companies strongly recommend not using a protector that can degrade TV signals. It also does not claim to protect from a destructive surge. Can make damage easier to any nearby appliance. And in rare cases, even caused a house fire. Don't take my word for it. Read its manufacturer spec numbers. Post the number that claims any protection to learn more.

So, first define what is meant by 'cutting off'. Your replies can only be as useful as details that are first posted.

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Changed Surge Protectors
by PGerald / July 10, 2012 10:21 PM PDT
In reply to: What is going out?

To W_Tom,

Only the TV and the cable box was turning off and turning back on after a few seconds. Those are the only two things that I have connected to the surge protector. The power is still working because nothing else in the apartment goes out.

Yesterday, I unplugged the surge protector from my computer (a Belkin model) and plugged my TV and cable box into it. I watched my recorded program yesterday and the TV and cable box didn't cut off.

As for cable companies not recommending using surge protectors that degrade tv signals, they didn't tell me anything about that. Unfortunately, I have only two outlets free on that particular wall and I don't want to plug the TV directly into the wall socket. I'll contact Comcast and ask them about using surge protectors and see what they say, but right now, everything is working fine.

Either way it goes, I'll have to get a new surge protector for my computer.

Thank you all for your help.

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The best solutions also costs less
by w_tom / July 11, 2012 12:39 PM PDT

Cable already installs the best protection for cable. Cable earthed where it enter the building by one wire (ie 'less than 10 feet'). That earthing (not any protector) is the most superior cable protection. For other incoming wires (ie AC electric), also have an earthed 'whole house' protector. That and no other protector is by far the best and least expensive protection for your computer. About $1 per protected appliance. That is also what every facility that cannot have damage does. They also do not waste big bucks on that adjacent protector for solid engineering reasons.

A protector adjacent to your computer only claims to protect from surges that typically cause no damage. Your concern is another type of surge that typically causes damage. It must be eliminated where utility wires enter. Cable needs no such protector. Better protection provided only by a wire. But AC electric must be earthed by a 'whole house' protector. Earthed to the same ground used by cable to protect that computer. And everything else you own.

Any sacrificial device does not do protection, is grossly undersized, is often obscenely overpriced, and is recommended by hearsay and advertising. One need only learn how electricity works to understand that a failed protector left a surge fully connected to the computer. Adjacent protectors have no number and need no number. A profit center need only make subjective claims to sell for tens or 100 times more money - because it easily fails.

BTW, they might mention the homeowner is responsible for and maintaining the most important component that protects your computer, TV, etc. You may want to learn this rather than spending tens or 100 times more money on a device that does not even claim that protection.

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by mjd420nova / July 13, 2012 3:56 AM PDT

Having been doing electronics repair for over fourty years, I have seen the many advances and procedures implimented by power companies and the electrical standards industry. I still do service for clients in their homes and offices where there is NO ground. Not even through a three pronged wall plug. Many instances of upgraded power distribution but not a complete whole site upgrade creating serious damage to equipment and facilities. Ground loops can be as serious as laying a bare wire across an open area of carpet. Mixing wiring through interconnected devices can create current surges faulting upgraded sources and tripping breakers and blowing fuses. Relying on your service providers for protection is pretty much the norm but can lead to serious property loss. Once the wires enter the home and terminate at a junction box, fuse box, the utility's responsibility stops. If the service provider installs any equipment, because it is on your premises, you are responsible. Satelite, cable and phone lines are supposed to be protected but it is only the bare minimum and can be breached in extreme cases and a judge would call that "An act of God" and hold no one liable. Having a good ground at each outlet is the first step and a surge protector/power strip needs this to protect you and your hardware.

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