This is an incorrect statement. While it is true they both will not conduct until a breakdown voltage is reached, this is where the similarities end. A zener diode will stay at the breakdown voltage, the Diacs voltage will drop. It kind of acts like a spark plug.A diac is just two 30V zener diodes back to back, it ensures that the capacitor charges upto approx 27V then it fires the triac.
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by Luke James