Q&A – Is your surge suppressor really protecting your equipment?

Surge suppressors are designed for catastrophic events, like lightning. They simply don’t hold noise levels down to a level low enough to be effective. The vast majority of them do not even begin to work until the spike level reaches 350 volts or more. Surge suppressors provide no common mode noise protection (the worst type of noise). In fact they create common mode noise and therefore problems. Claims made by manufacturers of surge suppressors regarding dB of attenuation, joules, and response times in nano and pico seconds are difficult to substantiate. They’re confusing and virtually meaningless since they give no real indication of the actual effectiveness of the surge suppressor. When evaluating a power protection device, consider one that gives a maximum pass through voltage that is less than 30 volts when injected with the ANSI/IEEE standard 6000-volt spike.