Surge Protection: What to look for when buying a Surge Protection Powerboard
We always suggest that our clients purchase a good quality surge protection power board, we stock the Thor Technologies brand. Most people are aware of, and understand, the reasons for needing one of these. Not the least of which is to protect what is generally a large financial investment.
The problem comes when people buy a surge board with little to no understanding of what they should be looking for, or what specifications they should be looking at. In the paragraphs that follow we shall try to simplify this process and stop people from using what is currently the two standard criteria;
- Brand name: I know “Brand X” as I have their “Y product” (Speaker Cables, iPod Dock, etc.)
- The Point of Sale Suggestion: I need a surge board, this one is cheap, here at the counter handy, and they all look the same anyway
These two criteria lead the majority of people to purchase a power board that is not going to give them the level of protection they think, or desire, and as such leave them with a false sense of security.
So what should you be looking for when you purchase a Surge and Filtration Power Board?
Firstly you need to look at its reaction time. This is how quickly the board will react when it detects a spike or surge. The Thor range have a reaction time of “less than 1 Nano Second”, that is basically instantaneous.
The Second aspect to consider is the Clamping Voltage. The clamping voltage is how high the voltage spike has to go before the board will react. Some of the popular boards have a clamping voltage as high as 710v, by the time these boards activate most of your attached equipment is going to require a service agent. The Thor boards have a clamping voltage of 275v, so it will only take a small spike to cause these boards to go into protection mode and extend the life of your equipment.
The third item to look at is the Joules. This is the amount of power the board can absorb before it is no longer functioning as a surge protector. This is 6080 joules for the Thor A12 board. This means that the A12 will continue to protect your equipment till it absorbs 6080 joules, this can be in one big hit (lighting strike anyone?) or in multiple little hits over a number of years. Most surge boards on the market have no way of indicating when this limit have been reached, giving you the user no one of knowing if your equipment is still protected. Thor have corrected this by introducing a feature that stops the board itself from functioning once this limit has been reached. So with Thor, if the equipment plugged in still powers on then you are still protected.
The Thor Technologies range of surge and filter boards covers these three major criteria amazingly and are the main reason we at Complete Audio stock them. There is another reason for us supporting the Thor brand, all of their products from the simple D1 board to their high quality Power Stations are developed, and engineered, here in Australia for Australian conditions.
So with us quickly entering storm season, I can only suggest that you consider your current power boards, and then have a look at the website or drop into the shop and see what we can do to help with your power protection.