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Old Surge Protector Still Good? #4993242 01/28/19 06:27 AM
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LoneRanger Offline OP
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I've had a Monster HTS 400 surge protector in service since 2006. I know that if it ever has taken a surge that it has the sacrificial type of protection and the protection is expended. What I don't know is when these devices age do they start to actually make the power worse, or "dirtier", than simply plugging your electronics directly into the wall outlet?

Monster HTS400:


[Linked Image]



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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4993268 01/28/19 07:12 AM
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MasterSolenoid Offline
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I'm not an Electrician, maybe one will comment.

I've had Surge Protectors for at least 10 years and just go by the green/red LED to tell me if their still good.
I did quite alot of reading when buying my Whole House & Individual Surge Protectors.
I never read they go bad with age / unlike Smoke & CO Detectors.

The very least, buy from a reputable manufacturer, get a high joule rating and occasionally inspect the LED (indicator) lights.

Last edited by MasterSolenoid; 01/28/19 07:17 AM.

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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4993303 01/28/19 07:54 AM
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HangFire Offline
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Most surge protectors of that era are MOV (semiconductor) type. Over time they may go out of spec a bit, but should still work in terms of gross overloads.

Older ones than yours may have a spring loaded disconnector. These can fail in either direction, but the better ones become oversensitive over time. It becomes pretty obvious because you have to keep resetting the spring loaded switch manually. I have one of these still in service.

Lightning arrestors come in various forms, some have glass discharge tubes filled with a special mix of gasses design to conduct (short the circuit) at high voltage. As long as they keep their seal, they will work indefinitely. Sometimes you can tell just by looking at it (corossion, cracks) that it is compromised, otherwise problem is, it's hard to tell if they work without testing.

I live along a ridge in hill country. I have a bunch of surge protectors/arrestors of various ages. I continue to use them, but I use them in deference to their size and age. Meaning, I rely on newer ones for expensive equipment and older ones for older, less valuable equipment. I've had to toss a few, and a few UPS's hooked directly to the mains, over the years. Since the MOV's are always blown with this happen, I am confident that they caught a lightning strike to the power lines.

There is an internet personality w tom that trolls forums and claims all surge protectors are a scam except for one favorite type of his. His end argument is always the direct lightning strike, and ignores any other scenario. Well yes, if lightning hits your electronics directly, it will do what it wants and what it is plugged into won't matter.

I have multiple direct strike experiences and can tell you lightning can be weird, taking out parts of systems and leaving others, seemingly more vulnerable, alone. When I related these stories I was called a liar, and part of the scam conspiracy by the roving internet personality.

If you want "the best" I have used Brick Walls through multiple types of power events and never lost equipment protected by them:

https://www.brickwall.com/


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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4993317 01/28/19 08:04 AM
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46Harry Offline
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I've heard that 5 years is a good rule of thumb to replace surge protectors as the Metal Oxide Varistors used in them do lose their effectiveness over a period of time due to taking minor power surges over the years. Better protectors have a monitor on them that shows when they are no longer functioning properly, but many protectors have no indicator on them to indicate a failure so replacing them is the only way to be sure that expensive equipment has surge protection.

Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4993330 01/28/19 08:13 AM
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Triple_Se7en Offline
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I keep a spare new one out in the garage on a shelf, should the one behind my entertainment center karap-out, or others plugged in behind my desktop / surveillance camera computer station, where (2) exist.

Also, it's not a good habit to use every outlet available. Don't overload them and they will last a much longer time.


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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4993385 01/28/19 09:16 AM
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EdwardC Offline
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I don't think an older suppressor would add any noise or make the electricity any dirtier, especially the MOV type. They're typically placed in parallel with the incoming power (and shunts surges). If/when they fail, they should pop open, so it's essentially just a bare wire straight through.

Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4993433 01/28/19 10:13 AM
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Dan55 Offline
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Here is the one I have. https://www.tripplite.com/isobar-4-outlet-surge-protector-6-ft-cord-3330-joules-space-saving-plug~IBAR4 when it stops working I give them a call and they send me a new one. Sadly they are no longer made here, very rugged construction.


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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4993512 01/28/19 11:25 AM
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maxdustington Offline
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I'd keep using something that old, there's a good chance it has decent quality components. Anything comparable would today would probably be HT grade/$$$$$.

That looks like it was made before Monster really took off and became consumer grade Best Buy junk.


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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4993636 01/28/19 01:02 PM
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Delta Offline
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I had a couple that we're getting up in years (7+) and a couple weeks ago we had a major surge (tree cutting company dropped a tree on the line) and they worked exactly like they were supposed to, kinda. The surge was so big that it literally fried them; I couldn't even reset the breaker on one as it was literally melted. The other one actually made a loud audible buzz and pop switching on the breaker, thus going up in smoke (literally). The switches on both were literally melted as the first outlet on the strip. Don't think this went as they intended, but saved my equipment. I just spent $56 on 4 new ones at Home Depot and that little amount pars in comparison to the equipment it was hooked to. This is the first time I ever "needed" them, but glad I had them. I would use the older ones, but on caution. The ones I bought ranged from $9 to $15, so if it makes you sleep better at night, buy some new ones.


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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4993845 01/28/19 04:40 PM
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HangFire Offline
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Anything is better than nothing, but $38-$55 for Tripplite Isobar's is a good deal for a lot of protection.


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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4993898 01/28/19 05:32 PM
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Triple_Se7en Offline
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That Monster HTS400 pictured above is too pretty to use. It belongs in front of the Entertainment Center, not behind it.


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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4993933 01/28/19 06:12 PM
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MOVs often failed in the shorted mode. They saved the equipment but had to be replaced along with the fuse


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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: maxdustington] #4993971 01/28/19 06:48 PM
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LoneRanger Offline OP
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Originally Posted by maxdustington
I'd keep using something that old, there's a good chance it has decent quality components. Anything comparable would today would probably be HT grade/$$$$$.

That looks like it was made before Monster really took off and became consumer grade Best Buy junk.


Yeah the actual manufacture date I think is 2005.



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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: 46Harry] #4994095 01/28/19 08:30 PM
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WhizkidTN Offline
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Originally Posted by 46Harry
I've heard that 5 years is a good rule of thumb to replace surge protectors as the Metal Oxide Varistors used in them do lose their effectiveness over a period of time due to taking minor power surges over the years. Better protectors have a monitor on them that shows when they are no longer functioning properly, but many protectors have no indicator on them to indicate a failure so replacing them is the only way to be sure that expensive equipment has surge protection.


The MOV's do age due to getting minor hits over time and become ineffective. The filtering aspect of the surge suppressor may not be affected.
With newer standards over recent years, I tossed all of mine and bought new ones from well know company (APC) that does actual testing/certifications (and a warranty on the protected equipment). The way this one is designed, if it gets a big enough hit, it will fail open requiring you to replace it as it sacrificed itself to protect you.


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Re: Old Surge Protector Still Good? [Re: LoneRanger] #4994489 01/29/19 09:36 AM
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westom Offline
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Originally Posted by LoneRanger
I've had a Monster HTS 400 surge protector in service since 2006. I know that if it ever has taken a surge that it has the sacrificial type of protection and the protection is expended.


It is called electricity. That means if an electric current is incoming to a Monster, then at the exact same time, that same current is also outgoing into attached appliances. Much later, that protector parts fail (sacrifices) ... after damage has happened to things in that electrical path. Where is this sacrificial protection? It is the urban myth promoted to so many who even forget that basic electrical concept taught in elementary school science..

Even fuses have a voltage number. If a transient electrical current exceeds that voltage number, then a blown fuse continues to conduct current. A second reason why sacrificial protectors do not exist. It conducts that surge into attached appliances until that surge current finally stops. Only then does the disconnection exist.

MOVs must degrade. Degradation is the only failure mode that is acceptable. Catastrophic (sacrificial) failure is clearly stated as a violation of manufacturers specifications. But if that protector is grossly undersized, then a manufacture can promote outright lies (sacrificial protection) to the most naive consumers.

Why would they do that? View specification numbers. It has the same tiny protection also found in $10 protectors sold in Walmart. A $3 power strip, with five cent protector parts, is hyped by lies, advertising, myths, and hearsay into a $30 or $90 sale.

Monster has a long history of doing this. They sold speaker wire marked with the amp and speaker ends. Monster said connecting a speaker end wire to the amp would subvert sound. Many did just that and claimed they could hear a difference. It is called a scam. And it works because so many automatically believe what they are ordered to believe rather than think for themself.

So Monster sold that $7 speaker wire for $70. Monster's long history is to identify scams. And then sell an equivalent product for much higher profit. That Monster protector even sold in Radio Shack for $120.

Any honest person reads specification numbers. How many joules does it claim to absorb? Hundreds? Thousand? A surge that tiny is routinely converted to rock stable, low DC voltages by power supplies. That surge is converted to power safe to power semiconductors because that surgte is so tiny. A tiny surge destroys a sacrificial protector - to promote more sales.

More numbers. How often does a surge exist? Maybe once every seven or eleven years. Why would anyone say a protector must be replaced every two or five years? Those are profit centers. Marketing lies to naive consumers is that profitable.

Your concern is a surge that is hundreds of thousands of joules. No plug-i protector claims to protect from typically destructive surges. Meanwhile, the solution routinely used over 100 years ago does protect from those surge. And does not fail after many such surges over many decades. But that means learning well proven science and over 100 years of proven experience everywhere in the world. Most don't learn from facts and numbers. Most are routinely manipulated by soundbytes, advertising, hearsay, spin, lies, and emotion.

That failure light can only report a catastrophic type failure - a completely unacceptable one. It can never report degradation - the acceptable type of failure.

To avert house fire, a one amp thermal fuse would disconnect protector parts as fast as possible from the surge. And leave all appliances connected to the surge. No problem. The numbers were posted above. Electronics will routinely convert that surge into low DC voltages to safely power semiconductors. Protect itself. Meanwhile a naive consumer, using wild speculation, will claim, "My protector sacrificed itself to save my electronics." Total bull invented by wild speculation. And completely dismissed once one actually learns specification numbers. Or learns what all MOV manufacture state with numbers often on page one of the datasheet. Catastrophic failures happen when the protector is grossly undersized. That light will only report when a ;protector is grossly undersized - should not have existed - was a potential fire. Also called a scam.

Effective protection even from direct lightning strikes costs about $1 per protected appliance. It is the solution routinely used over 100 years ago in facilities that cannot have damage. It comes from other companies known by any guy for integrity. Monster clearly never was on the integrity list.

Effective protection always (as in always) answers this question. Where are hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly 'absorbed'. The informed have asked and answered that question even 100 years ago. An effective solution costs that little - about $1 per protected appliance. If any one appliance needs protection, then every appliance must be protected.

It was always this simple. But first so many lies, hype, speculation, and scams must be exposed - above. Monster products will never answer that 'hundreds of thousands of joules' question. That would harm profits. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Obviously wall receptacle safety ground is not earth ground. Then hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate harmlessly outside. Best protection has always means no surge anywhere inside. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.


Did I mention that a plug-in protector can even compromise (bypass) what is superior protection inside appliances? We engineers even demonstrated that in design reviews ... by literally tracing the surge path by actually replacing each damaged semiconductor. How many foolishly assumed price defines quality? How many ignored every specification number? Most apparently.

Last edited by westom; 01/29/19 09:39 AM.
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