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I read that joule rating is more like the lifespan of a surge protector, some don't even list them, for an example the german brand Brennenstuhl only lists their surge protectors with leak through amp rating.

So I am not sure how to choose and pick one, what is good and what is not, there isn't many threads talking about them for Europeans and reviewing them. Here are some stats an APC model (PMF83VT-GR) provides:

enter image description here

But then there is this model (PL8VT3-DE), a more expensive (in MSRP terms) one and it seems only worse, I am not sure why:

enter image description here

The most useful thing found is this link. Along this I hear that the ts_nm surge protection response is a important one, and that the TVSS and let-through voltage is also important, but I cannot find that info on the brennensthul models, so how do I calculate it or it is not possible?

I see very few models of APC has this UL1449 rating and on amazon.de brennenstuhl has good ratings, but I cannot find actual stat numbers for their products, does anyone have experience with them, I want to know if they actually perform well, for example how does this model performs compared to the APC, I kinda don't see a way to calculate that as there is lack of info, or am I wrong?

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closed as off-topic by duskwuff, RoyC, laptop2d, Bimpelrekkie, Kevin Reid Feb 13 '18 at 19:26

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Honestly, your search is a waste of time. Surge protection is something which has to be done inside the mains filter of the actual device, and has to match the device's power ratings. These surge ratings you have there for the APC UPS are useless information about the properties of its mains filter.

It's like telling someone your car has a 5.7l motor.

For power strips, these ratings are especially useless because they don't have enough space to fit decent filter coils in it. A coil would indeed protect all the devices behind it against surges it because it's in series with the live and neutral wires. The "surge protection" these power strips offer in contrary is simply a varistor along with some X- and Y- caps filter. They leave out the filter coil because a 10A one with enough inductivity to help won't fit into the power strip. Yes, that arrangement eats up some small surges. But not for the devices behind it (it's parallel to the mains, so there is no behind) but for all devices in your house.

It's like telling someone your other car even has a 6.1l motor, because you hauled a scrapped one into the trunk.

So, while these ratings are technically correct, they are of no practical use.


Buy devices with decent power supplies. Cheap supplies cost as a little as 1€ in whole sale – so you know they are crap. A rule of thumb: The power supply should cost as much as the electronics behind it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So you are saying it wouldn't matter where you plug that in? \$\endgroup\$ – Arsenal Feb 9 '18 at 7:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ It doesn't matter at all for most of the power strips which are advertised "with surge protection", because they don't have filter coils at all. More expensive ones indeed have filter coils but they are too small to have any effect. This is all in for marketing purposes only. A decent 50/60Hz 10A filter coil has a volume of about 0.2l. That's too much to fit into a power strip. \$\endgroup\$ – Janka Feb 9 '18 at 8:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you neglect all the lines in the house like that? I'd imagine that cable inductance might play a role as well, but have no experience with house installation. \$\endgroup\$ – Arsenal Feb 9 '18 at 8:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is cable inductance but if it would have any significant influence those surges wouldn't be a problem from the beginning. It's simply too low. \$\endgroup\$ – Janka Feb 9 '18 at 9:11
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The most important and relevant indication is kAmps. More kA is better. But it's not sufficent information. The "48 kA" refers to Gas Discharge Tubes and they are slow to react. TVS diodes and varistors protecting the data lines make at best, 40A. There are other components which are worth paying attention. But they don't talk about that. It's a pitty. Then consider the extras. This device has a Groung OK indicator. This is very good since if it's not grounded/earthed, it's useless. So you know it immediately. Also good is the circuit breaker.

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