Surge protector still okay?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Errol42, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. Errol42

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 20, 2015
    Out here (South Africa) we are plagued with the electricity supply company merrily turning our power on and off whenever they like. I think it advisable to use surge protectors on many plugs to protect ordinary household devices, but how do I know if the surge protectors are still doing what they're supposed to do? I have some that have no warning light or other indication whether they're actually working properly or not. Is there any way of testing whether a surge protector is doing its job or is just conducting the current without providing any protection?
    Thank you.
  2. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
  3. RodneyB

    Well-Known Member

    Apr 28, 2012

    I live in Zimbabwe and suffer from exactly the same problem but a thousand times worse.

    I use a under over fridge protector to monitor the mains voltage. This then switches in a mains contactor. The time delay allows for any transients to be dissipated.

    For added protection I make a surge protector which is three 275 volt 20mm mom's. It is protected by a fuse and has an indicator light to show me if it's blown.

    I have inverters on equipment like computers etc. Over the years this forum has offered many solutions to improving the quality of life throughout unique electronic projects.

    I can tell you I have lived like this for 15 years. I have tried and failed and succeeded on many things to deal with the power cuts.

    Just know despite the promises it gets worse, so what ever you do make it permenant
    Errol42 and Hypatia's Protege like this.
  4. Hypatia's Protege

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 1, 2015
    Most commercial surge protectors employ MOVs as the 'crowbar elements' - the typical failure mode of which is permanent low resistance -- Any decent/compliant protector will feature an over-current fuse in the 'hot' lead prior to the MOV such that failure permanently disconnects the MOV and load -- absent said over current interrupter the MOV will explode or burn upon failure hence giving (dubious) indication of same --- 'Gas Fuse' protectors, on the other hand, tend to 'die' a more 'peaceful death' --- either way, in the interests of both equipment protection and fire safety, you are best advised to purchase only protectors known to incorporate internal over-current interruption schemes (this includes all units featuring an indicator lamp) --- Should you wish to DIY your protectors, I concur with the info/advice given in post #3 (above)

    Best regards
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
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  5. Errol42

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 20, 2015
  6. Errol42

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 20, 2015
    Hi Rodney, thanks for your reply. I'm sorry to hear your situation is even worse than ours. What a mess!
    Thanks also for the advice. I will start looking into the different possibilities. I think first off the easiest thing for me will be to get some decent surge protectors.
  7. Errol42

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 20, 2015
    Thanks for your reply HP (apologies to mcgyvr above for confusing your names!). Thanks for the advice. Yes, I will start off by getting some decent surge protectors that have an indicator lamp. Then that problem will be solved. I will have to do some more work on my electronic skills before I try constructing any high-power components like that.
    Hypatia's Protege likes this.