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A different view of surge protectors (1 Viewer)

Marc Rochkind

Second Unit
Aug 26, 2000
First of all, I want to note that there's an interesting phenomenon that occurs when something is introduced to prevent a bad thing from happening, as opposed to something introduced to cause a good thing to happen. It's that, whatever happens, the something is assumed to have been valuable. The case at hand is surge protectors. Here are the possibilities:
1. No surge protector, no damage from surge. No cause to be negative towards surge protectors; any lightning is cause to stop procrastinating, as luck may run out. Verdict: Positive for surge protectors.
2. No surge protector, damage from surge. Absolutely makes one wish a surge protector had been installed. Verdict: Positive for surge protectors.
3. Surge protector, no damage from surge. Assumption is that damage prevention was due to surge protector (not luck). Verdict: Positive for surge protectors.
4. Surge protector, damage from surge. Fact that surge was so strong as to overwhelm surge protector indicates that surges are truly terrible. Should have gotten a better surge protector. Verdict: Positive for surge protectors.
Thus, no matter what happens, it tends to support the theory that a surge protector is a good idea.
Now, let's be reasonable: Surely a device that prevents damage from surges, even if it can't prevent the most severe surges, is a good idea, right?
Well, it depends on the prices, I think. Say the surge protector costs $250. If there is a surge and the protector works, it may have to be replaced, for another $250 (although it's likely anyone this happens to will upgrade). If it doesn't work, but gets damaged, there's a chance an equipment guarantee may apply. Or, maybe not--it's entirely up to the manufacturer.
Suppose instead one relied on homeowner's insurance, paying extra for special insurance, if necessary. I don't know the cost, but, whatever it is, one would have to figure that cost into the analysis.
Finally, if the homeowner's insurance were set up for replacement at new cost only (not repair and not fair-market value), then one gets an upgrade in the process as well. Is there anyone among us who wouldn't want to replace a 3-year old piece of equipment with a newer piece, for free?
So, instead of a surge protector, maybe it is better to get adequate insurance and hope for a lightning strike!
I await your responses... ;)

John Sully

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 25, 1999
I have reasonable surge protectors and good renters insurance. Let the lighting try it's worst!
However, if I wanted to get a *good* surge protector I would probably go for a Brickwall. These seem to be the best units I've seen.

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