Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

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Copernicus
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Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Copernicus »

I am having a tv and soundbar mounted on the wall. There is a convenient power outlet hidden behind the tv that can supply both tv and soundbar. There is no room to put a power surge protector there. Is it necessary to use a power surge protector for the 'smart' tv and soundbar?

Residence in Northern California. Samsung 55 inch smart tv. ZVOX SB400 soundbar.
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prudent
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by prudent »

Is a whole-house surge protector a possibility? Those are installed in the breaker box.
Broken Man 1999
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

All you need is to replace your current outlet with a surge protector outlet.

Should be available from most any hardware/big box store.

Broken Man 1999
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Copernicus
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Copernicus »

I live in an area where lightening is not common. I can't recall in the last 15 years.
Other than lightening strikes, are there other reasons for power surges that might destroy electronics?
EagertoLearnMore
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by EagertoLearnMore »

We had lightning come in through the telephone line and destroy a security system that was connected to it. That was a few houses ago for us and surge protectors were not popular back then. I can understand the OP wanting to protect the tv and sound bar. The idea of replacing the electrical outlet is something I have never looked into since we use stand alone surge protectors and UPS backups.
miles monroe
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by miles monroe »

my tv, sound bar, and blue ray cost 2.5K. you better believe i've got a surge protector in place.
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midareff
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by midareff »

I live in an area that has occasional lightning strikes and more than occasional electrical voltage spikes. All audio and video systems (3) and computer power supplies are on high quality surge protectors. I would never, never, never do anything else.
jayjayc
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by jayjayc »

It should be ok to plug the tv and soundbar directly into the socket. If you want more peace of mind at a cheap price, then consider a wall mounting surge protector. Here's one for $10.

http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-SurgeMaste ... B00006BBAC
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Rob5TCP
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Rob5TCP »

A surge protector is for more than just lightning strikes. You get smaller surges all the time. Most appliances today can take a fair amount of small surges, however over time it does add up. I look for a few things in a surge protector;
let though voltage - no more than 400V max, preferable 330v
response time - should be in nanoseconds (for mission critical or hi end picoseconds)
amount of joules it can handle - this does not determine how much protection it gives; but how many spikes/surges it can handle - the higher the number the better (I usually buy a unit listing at least 2500 joules).
95%+ of surge protectors use MOV's: they are fine but they wear out.
I replace after 2-3 years (or sooner); and use the older ones for much less expensive equipment,

PS For my own computers: I have UPS with a high end surge protector on the front end.

If your stuff is $1,000 or over consider a $35 investment cheap insurance.
For super end equipment I would buy a zero surge (think 5 figures on audio/computer equipment): http://www.zerosurge.com/faq/
Last edited by Rob5TCP on Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Bammerman
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Bammerman »

I route all power to my home theatre setup through a switched surge protector and I only turn the power on when it's time for the evening news and I turn it off when it's time to go upstairs to read and sleep. =No electrical path for surges, strikes, etc. while the setup is not in actual use.
BHUser27
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by BHUser27 »

Just to stir the pot a little bit...

I have never put surge protectors on any device in my home. Not PCs, not TV's, nothing.
I have never had a piece of electronics fail for any reason I could attribute to "surge phenomena".
As an electrical engineer I am highly skeptical of:
1) a surge protector's ability to meaningfully increase the protection level of a modern device over the protection that is already built-in.
2) the existence of frequent enough device destroying surge phenomena to warrant using them.

In my opinion, most surge protectors are junk and a waste of money.
I am sure there are well designed surge protection devices, but you will have to pay good money for them.
Good luck protecting electronics against lightning strikes - even with the best surge protectors.
The problem is that lightning can creep into the devices via all kinds of paths, not just the AC mains.

My advice. Don't worry about it. If the warranty on your expensive electronic device *requires* a surge protector to be used then buy the absolute cheapest one you can find that meets the letter of the warranty and don't put any further thought into it.
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Copernicus
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Copernicus »

BHUser27 wrote:Just to stir the pot a little bit...
As an electrical engineer I am highly skeptical of:
1) a surge protector's ability to meaningfully increase the protection level of a modern device over the protection that is already built-in.
2) the existence of frequent enough device destroying surge phenomena to warrant using them.
Hi BHUser27,
It would be helpful to me, with little/no understanding of the topic, to know what built-in protection do devices such as smart TVs, computers, consumer electornics have?
Also, apart from the personal experience, is there a way to find whether and how often the local power supply might have experienced past major surges? Thank you.
BTW, I read this article and I felt a bit discouraged reading it, and especially the last sentence.
http://www.cnet.com/news/9-things-you-s ... rotectors/
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Rob5TCP
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Rob5TCP »

A "reasonable" surge protector is cheap protection for $25-$35
It's not worth going crazy to investigate (unless you have mission critical equipment).

For my computers, i can afford minimal down time. I have surge protector and a UPS to protect.
(with multiple brown outs; two blackouts and unknown # of surges) they've kept my equipment fine.

Surge protectors die; that's what they are designed to do. They take the hits so the equipment doesn't.
The joules will tell you how many hits they can take (none can survive lightning strike - but that is usually quite rare).

If you equipment is fairly expensive, protect it. If it's not -- the built in ability to absorb hits might be all you need.

Copernicus: I agree with your CNet article

"Bottom Line

There really is no reason not to get a surge protector. How much you need it will vary. If you live in an area with lots of thunderstorms, your gear is probably more likely to experience power surges. Even if you live in the desert, your A/C or refrigerator could kick power spikes back down the lines to your A/V gear.

Since most surge protectors are cheap, they're worth getting just in case."


A few to consider (cheapest to most expensive) -- on sale they can be substantially less
Under $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

$25-$30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

Over $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Copernicus wrote:Is it necessary to use a power surge protector for the 'smart' tv and soundbar?
No. Lots of people don't. I don't. I've never lost a TV. I can't say for certain I've never lost electronics to a surge, but if I did it was after it had a long and productive life. I don't think extending the life of a computer from ten years to forever is worth paying $25.

I probably would use a surge protector if I lived somewhere were the power went out every summer afternoon. Or I might just use a relay on a timer.
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by FrugalInvestor »

Copernicus wrote:I live in an area where lightening is not common. I can't recall in the last 15 years.
Other than lightening strikes, are there other reasons for power surges that might destroy electronics?
It's possible but not probable. If you had room I'd put a surge protector in but if not I wouldn't worry about it.
Have a plan, stay the course and simplify. Then ignore the noise!
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Ged
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Ged »

Copernicus wrote:I live in an area where lightening is not common. I can't recall in the last 15 years.
Other than lightening strikes, are there other reasons for power surges that might destroy electronics?
Certain types of power company problems can create damaging power surges.

Here is an article about one such case:

http://www.app.com/story/news/investiga ... /85623042/

I've had a fair amount of electronics (my house is packed with this stuff) destroyed by lightning originated power surges so I have a fairly robust device at my entry panel.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D-Sur ... /205905090
Last edited by Ged on Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by FrugalInvestor »

Have you thought about something like this?.........

http://tinyurl.com/zz86ujg
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Rob5TCP
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Rob5TCP »

Surge protectors are useless if you have you have power outages. Only a UPS helps with a power outage.
For the cheap money involved, I put a surge on all my better equipment (and UPS on my computers).
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Rob5TCP wrote:Surge protectors are useless if you have you have power outages. Only a UPS helps with a power outage.
Not so. There are often surges associated with the loss and restoration of power. A surge protector will stop these feeding through to your equipment.
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Rob5TCP
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Rob5TCP »

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Rob5TCP wrote:Surge protectors are useless if you have you have power outages. Only a UPS helps with a power outage.
Not so. There are often surges associated with the loss and restoration of power. A surge protector will stop these feeding through to your equipment.
Your partially correct; there can be a surge when the current returns. For a computer, a power outage can result in a hard disk crash. Computers today handle it much better; but they still are susceptible to harm.
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by rgs92 »

I use one of the Panamax power strips. It has the gentlest effect on the sound to my ears and may even improve it by shielding stray RF noise. They are about $35-$60 on Amazon. Avoid a cheap generic power strip as it will mess up the bass and make it less resolute. My Panamax has been running strong for many years now.
Tripp Lites are OK also (I use these also), but the Panamax sounds better to me.
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by BHUser27 »

Copernicus wrote: Hi BHUser27,
It would be helpful to me, with little/no understanding of the topic, to know what built-in protection do devices such as smart TVs, computers, consumer electronics have?
Also, apart from the personal experience, is there a way to find whether and how often the local power supply might have experienced past major surges? Thank you.
Hi Copernicus,
Most consumer electronics devices will have some basic low-energy protection circuits on the power supply inputs - this protection will be suitable for most of the everyday spikes, transients and noise due to things like lights being turned on/off, washing machines cycling on/off, etc. These circuits use MOV and TVS type components to clamp transients to ground - same as most low cost power strip protectors. At a minimum there will be static electricity protection on other signal inputs/outputs as well.

My main point was that no surge protector is going to prevent damage from nearby or direct lightning strikes. Only way to ensure protection is to unplug devices during storms (and who wants to do that?). So we are left with a situation where the add-on surge protector may only be covering a narrow range of rarely occurring conditions.

I agree with the other poster's comments about treating surge protection as "insurance", but if I was going to spend money in this direction I would start with making sure my house electrical system was properly grounded at the entry point and consider a whole-house protector as a first line of defense. If I lived in a high lightning zone, I would consider having a lightning rod installed before buying a bunch of low cost surge devices.

Here are a few articles to chew on:
http://www.online-tech-tips.com/compute ... ally-work/
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2334015
http://www.cnet.com/forums/discussions/ ... ty-566830/

I will add that I am a strong proponent of using an UPS on your most important computing devices (desktop PC, NAS drive, etc.) to prevent data loss due to brownouts and power outages.
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by michaeljc70 »

Broken Man 1999 wrote:All you need is to replace your current outlet with a surge protector outlet.

Should be available from most any hardware/big box store.

Broken Man 1999
+1

This is what I did.

My brother's girlfriend was running 3 high power things on the circuit my brother had his tv and that was the end of it.
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by t3chiman »

Copernicus wrote: Is it necessary to use a power surge protector for the 'smart' tv and soundbar?
Short answer: No.
Longer answer: You really should have a systematic approach to managing the electromagnetic environment in which your home's electronic devices operate.

I'm an electronics engineer and a licensed PE. I use a sine-wave UPS for my computer workstation, primary server, wireless router, and cable modem. For my washing machine, I use a Tripp-Lite Isoblok2-0 surge suppressor. One day, I noticed that the status LED was out. I found a charred mess inside the suppressor, and a functioning washing machine attached. Tripp-lite replaced the suppressor free of charge--lifetime warranty. I have nothing special on my audio/video stuff.

There is a lot of misinformation floating around regarding power and audio/video wiring, and their degree of coupling into the world of conducted and transmitted electrical energy. A great site for general information is http://audiosystemsgroup.com/publish.htm, and an ideal starter reference is "Power and Grounding for Audio and Video Systems
A White Paper for the Real World "
. For a survey of the pragmatics of electromagnetic filtering and protection, seek out the same author's "A Ham's Guide to RFI, Ferrites, Baluns, and Audio Interfacing". It is frankly heavy going for the uninitiated, but there's a section on lightning protection in the appendices that's not too overpowering.

When considering any sort of protection scheme, a bit of commonsense reasoning goes a long way. Isolation and backup for your most valuable resources; filtering for medium-value items; bonding and grounding for everything else. And don't imagine that any device or practice will protect you 100%--that lightning bolt has just traveled 2 miles through empty air, and will not hesitate to jump the last few inches around your disconnect switch. You can imagine how I know this...

HTH
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by itstoomuch »

We had a buss strip with surge protection with no devices plugged-in, blow out. I think it protected the whole house since nothing else blew. IOW, I think a surge protector does not have to be on the same fuse circuit, but desirable. :?: :?:
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

There is no "one size fits all" answer to your question. I'm a EE and have worked for companies who design control ICs inside UPS systems and for a company that makes a true sine wave military double conversion UPS. If I were to buy a surge protector/UPS, I would do one of 2 things. Either:
1: Buy the cheapo recepticle, $10's of dollars surge protectors. They'd help with the slow changing surges but do nothing for fast changing surges.
2: Spend $10k on a UPS from the company I used to work at. It is never connected to the input line. If the input sees a huge, fast spike, the output sees absolutely no change. In between input and output, a DC voltage is generated and a pure sine wave generated.

I also have a neighbor whose house was struck by lightning. At our house, incandescent bulbs exploded and all the other lights in the house looked like flash bulbs. At his house, all of his electrical wiring was vaporized, a 2 foot hole started at the top of the house and blew down to the breaker box which was blown off the wall and turned into a pile of melted plastic and metal.

I have no protectors on anything in my house. I don't buy high end stuff so if a TV gets vaporized, I throw it out and buy a new one.

I agree with some of the other EEs that all electrical equipment have protection on the front end. Being curious and residing in a lab for a long time, I and my cohorts have taken apart equipment out of curiosity to see why things like laptop chargers are such a problem for noise and surge. We've found that many of them simply have safety and noise components not-installed and replaced by opens and wires. We suspect that these far east sourced components go through UL, pass and the companies then self inspect and lie about what's inside. Things missing include common mode chokes (mostly for noise) and MOVs (for surge). Consumer stuff is typically not built to run more than 3 years. If your tv is more than 3 years old and still works, you're lucky. On the military side, MIL STDs govern what devices must do and are far more stringent. That's why a $50 commercial device costs $10k to go into a Humvee running communication in east-nowhere-desert with a "battle short" switch to ignore all warnings and faults and run regardless.
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Selu Gadu
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Selu Gadu »

Epsilon Delta wrote:
Rob5TCP wrote:Surge protectors are useless if you have you have power outages. Only a UPS helps with a power outage.
Not so. There are often surges associated with the loss and restoration of power. A surge protector will stop these feeding through to your equipment.
+1 I was a biomedical equipment technician at a hospital working in the Lab maintaining mostly blood cell counters, blood gas instruments, chemistry analyzers, etc. A squirrel got into a nearby substation and caused a major outage when it grabbed the wrong thing. Then the fun began. The hospital emergency generator kicked in as designed and restored power within a couple of seconds, after a few minutes the voltage regulator on the generator failed. For several minutes the voltage surged and sagged unpredictably until someone managed to disconnect the generator. I had the whole episode on the print-out of a voltage monitor I installed in the lab. We lost a chemistry analyzer, blood cell counter, and a couple of blood gas instruments, if I recall. Took a couple of days and a few $K in parts to get everything running again. Stuff that was not connected to the emergency outlets had no issues but since I was interested in what might happen during a power fail I had left the voltage monitor in an emergency outlet.

I use plug strips with surge protection and turn them off as a precaution if lightning starts to pop. UPS on the home network is only there to allow orderly shut down in case of power failure, then disconnect the loads and UPS and wait for stable power to bring the network back up. YMMV.
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Luke Duke
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Luke Duke »

Get one of these. They allow you to use any surge protector that you want and still mount your TV close to the wall.

http://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=1 ... 1&format=2
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Luke Duke »

I also installed one of these a couple of months ago. It probably took me more time to gather my tools than it did to install it. My panel is surface mounted and very accessible. If you have a recessed panel, installation will be more involved.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AQAKRSS/
Raven2
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Raven2 »

by t3chiman
+1
A sine wave UPS protecting the TV and Audio System
High joule surge protectors for all other electronic devices

Learned my lesson years ago when power surges fried my old TV. Even short electrical outages can cause a momentary spike in voltage when power returns.

Have had several surge protectors die while protecting the equipment which was not damaged. Both companies, Tripp lite and APC replaced the surge protectors at no charge. For the OP, check out wall outlet surge protectors on Amazon.com
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Power surge protector for tv, soundbar??

Post by Epsilon Delta »

Raven2 wrote:
by t3chiman
+1
A sine wave UPS protecting the TV and Audio System
Sine wave UPS work and in many cases are the most practicable approach, but they are in a sense silly.
Most electronic power supplies are quite happy running on straight DC over a fairly wide voltage range, probably happier running off of DC than AC. Converting the battery DC to AC then having the TV convert the AC back to DC is a tad Rube Goldberg (and potentially a source of noise)
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