Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

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LifeIsGood
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Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by LifeIsGood » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:18 am

I've got a new, expensive electrical device and unplug it after every use. I'm concerned about damage from a lightning strike or power surge. I've seen surge protectors that offer a $150,000 connected equipment protection policy but wonder if there are lots of "gotchas" that are used to avoid payout.
Has anyone every successfully collected on equipment damages due to a surge protector failure? Brand name and model ??

GmanJeff
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by GmanJeff » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:48 am

I have a number of such devices,used mostly to protect home theater equipment, computers, and musical instrument amplifiers, powered speakers, and mixers. None have ever been damaged by a power surge, but I cannot tell whether that's because such surges have not occurred, or because the protective devices have functioned as intended, preventing damage. Regardless, unplugging equipment only protects it while unplugged. If you want to protect it while in operation, connect it to a surge protector. Keep in mind that voltage regulation and line noise filtration may also be needed for some types of equipment which are sensitive to voltage fluctuations. And, surge protectors alone won't protect against potential damage from an unexpected complete power outage, which can damage some electronics which need to shut down gracefully. For that you'll need an uninterruptible power supply.

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NavyIC3
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by NavyIC3 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:01 am

I have a whole surge protector. It is connected to the electric service panel. I believe that it only is good for one time use. If it trips, the protector has to be replaced.

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rustymutt
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by rustymutt » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:19 am

I was a systems technician for a career at a major company. I wouldn't install any equipment without surge protection, and battery backup, with built in protections. Electric grids can and do spike, depending on the load demands. Surge protectors are the common person's best protection plan for electronics in my trained profession. Spikes kill. :moneybag
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rustymutt
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by rustymutt » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:27 am

NavyIC3 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:01 am
I have a whole surge protector. It is connected to the electric service panel. I believe that it only is good for one time use. If it trips, the protector has to be replaced.
Depending on how old it is. Carbon fuses are one time use, while gas goes back to the original conducting state, when the spike dissipates. I use gas type surge protection, for repeated safe use. Never had damage to my digital equipment. I've seen equipment smoking on my job from huge current surges. Starting up a motor, or generator creates spikes. Just imagine the spike when a beef processing plant goes off line and them fires back up. Current demand will fry digital equipment not even connected to the power circuit, through induction inside the power cables. So your never going to be 100% safe, a simply surge protector, and making sure your outlet is grounded correctly first. Many older homes didn't have the third wire ground going to all outlets. These are critical details in protecting anything electric.
I'm amazed at the wealth of Knowledge others gather, and share over a lifetime of learning. The mind is truly unique. It's nice when we use it!

gtd98765
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by gtd98765 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:27 pm

I also have a whole-house surge protector installed in my electrical panel by an electrician. It cost about $400 for parts and labor, but I live in a VHCOL area. The green light is still on after a year, so I guess it is still working.

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LifeIsGood
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by LifeIsGood » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:52 am

Thanks everyone for the replies. I love the level of expertise from most of the forum members. Great resource and I always learn a lot. I know a power surge can fry electronics but my greater fear is a lightning strike. My understanding is that given the right circumstances with lightning, there is no consumer type protector that will keep electronics safe. Living in the SE US makes that a concern. That's where the "warranty" would kick in however the warranty is only as good as the company offering it. That is the crux of my post. So far, it appears no one has any experience filing a claim.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:02 am

LifeIsGood wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:52 am
Thanks everyone for the replies. I love the level of expertise from most of the forum members. Great resource and I always learn a lot. I know a power surge can fry electronics but my greater fear is a lightning strike. My understanding is that given the right circumstances with lightning, there is no consumer type protector that will keep electronics safe. Living in the SE US makes that a concern. That's where the "warranty" would kick in however the warranty is only as good as the company offering it. That is the crux of my post. So far, it appears no one has any experience filing a claim.
Have you read any manufacturer's terms? Easily found online. After losing a refrigerator's main board during a spike (and paying for it), we installed surge's on every outlet that had anything plugged in (already had them on computer equipment). Most are Dynex, and they do NOT require registration (see UPC below).

To the poster who said "the lights are on, must still be working", you should pull your manual and make sure you understand what the lights mean.

Many don't realize that surge protectors wear out. We found that out at the same time as the refrigerator incident. Bought a bunch of new ones, helped by the fact that our son worked at the time for Best Buy and got them at cost... https://energytoday.biz/blog/do-surge-p ... s-wear-out

Here's what I found from APC, https://www.apc.com/us/en/tools/epp/, I have highlighted some specific things. Note that you must register the product within 10 days, and make your claim within 10 days of the loss, and you will either repair the product, or receive the fair market value (i.e. after depreciation):



THIS POLICY IS NOT A WARRANTY. REFER TO THE APC LIMITED WARRANTY FOR INFORMATION CONCERNING THE WARRANTY FOR YOUR APC PRODUCT. THE LIMITATIONS AND CONDITIONS IN THIS POLICY DO NOT AFFECT THE TERMS OF THE WARRANTY.

"Equipment Protection Policy"
'In the 50 U.S. States, Canada, Bermuda and/or Puerto Rico for 120V products only.'

If your electronic equipment is damaged by power line transients on an AC power line (120 volt) while directly and properly connected to a standard APC 120 volt product covered by the Equipment Protection Policy ("connected equipment"), and if all of the remaining conditions specified below are met, APC will, at APC's sole option, during the period specified below, replace the APC product and either (a) pay for the repair of the equipment or (b) reimburse you for the fair market value, as determined by the then current price list of the Orion Blue Book (or equivalent), of the connected equipment, in an amount not to exceed the dollar limits stated below, if APC determines that the damage was caused by the failure of the APC product to protect against power line transients, (telephone line, network, or CATV transients, if applicable). Power line transients that APC products have been designed to protect against, as recognized by industry standards, include spikes and surges on AC power lines (not designed as protection against swells as defined by IEEE 1100-1992). Protection from telephone line transients applies only to APC products which offer telephone line protection, and in cases in which such protection is available, telephone service equipment must include a properly installed and operating "primary protection" device at the service entrance (such devices are normally added during telephone installation) in order to be covered for telephone line transients. Protection of CATV (Cable Television) connected equipment from transients applies only to APC products which offer such protection, and in such cases, the CATV service must be properly grounded according to the codes set forth in the National Electric Code (NEC) in order to be covered for CATV transients. Protection from network line transients applies only to APC products which offer network line protection.

This APC policy applies to APC ProtectNet products if the power line to the equipment it is protecting is using only APC products, with an applicable Equipment Protection Policy, to protect against power line transients. The coverage of the ProtectNet product will then be covered under the APC power protection product Equipment Protection Policy. This policy does not apply to APC ProtectNet products if used individually without APC AC power protection products.

APC reserves the right to determine whether the damage to the connected equipment is due to APC product failure by requesting that damaged equipment be sent to APC for inspection. THIS POLICY DOES NOT COVER DAMAGES CAUSED BY USE OF NON-APC BATTERIES OR NON-APC ACCESSORIES WITH ANY APC PRODUCT OR ANY MISUSE, NEGLIGENCE, IMPROPER INSTALLATION OR TESTING, UNAUTHORIZED ATTEMPTS TO REPAIR OR MODIFY, OR ANY OTHER CAUSE BEYOND THE RANGE OF THE INTENDED USE, OR BY ACCIDENT, FIRE OR OTHER HAZARD. This policy is in excess of, and applies only to the extent necessary beyond any coverage for the connected equipment provided by other sources, including, but not limited to, any manufacturer's warranty, and any extended warranty coverage.

Equipment Protection Policy Dollar Limits
For customers that meet the qualifications and conditions set forth in this policy, APC will provide reimbursement (cost of repair or fair market value) up to the dollar limits stated as follows:


To view a specific family, please select one: Note - I eliminated the product list for brevity:


Eligibility for coverage under the Equipment Protection Policy:
You must register the product by returning to APC the warranty card provided with the product within 10 days of purchase.
All information must be filled in, and you should retain a copy for your records. The warranty card must clearly identify the types of electronic equipment that will be plugged into the APC product for which protection under this policy is claimed. All connected equipment must be UL or CSA approved.
The APC product must be plugged into properly wired and grounded outlets; no extension cords, adapters, other ground wires, or electrical connections may be used, with the sole exception of other standard APC 120 volt products. The installation must not include power protection products made by any manufacturer other than APC. The installation must comply with all applicable electrical and safety codes set forth pursuant to the National Electrical Code (NEC).
Any claim under the Equipment Protection Policy must be made within 10 days of the date of alleged damage to the connected equipment.
The Equipment Protection Policy covers only standard APC 120V products used in the 50 U.S. states, Canada, Bermuda* and/or Puerto Rico*.
*Only Back-UPS, Smart-UPS and SurgeArrest product families are covered by the APC Equipment Protection Policy for Puerto Rico and Bermuda. The Equipment Protection Policy is effective for qualified units purchased after May 2003, with the exception of purchases associated with BestCo where all purchase dates will be accepted.


What is not covered under the Product Policy:
Restoration of lost data and reinstallation of software are not covered.
This policy does not cover damage from a cause other than AC power line transients, except for damage due to telephone line, network or CATV transients, which is covered only if the APC product offers such protection.

In addition, the following are expressly excluded from coverage:
Damage caused by failure to provide a suitable installation environment for the product (including, but not limited to, lack of a good electrical ground).
Damage caused by the use of the APC product for purposes other than those for which it was designed.
Damage caused by accidents, or disasters such as fire, flood, or wind.
Damage caused by abuse, misuse, alteration, modification, or negligence.
This policy is null and void if, in APC's view, the APC product has been tampered with or altered in any way.
EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY PROVIDED IN THIS POLICY, IN NO CASE SHALL APC BE LIABLE UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS POLICY FOR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR MULTIPLE DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF THE APC PRODUCT OR DAMAGE TO THE CONNECTED EQUIPMENT, REGARDLESS OF THE LEGAL THEORY ON WHICH SUCH CLAIM IS BASED, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE. SUCH DAMAGES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO, LOSS OF PROFITS, LOSS OF SAVINGS OR REVENUE, LOSS OF USE OF THE APC PRODUCT OR THE CONNECTED EQUIPMENT OR ANY ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT, LOSS OF SOFTWARE, COST OF CAPITAL, COST OF ANY SUBSTITUTE EQUIPMENT, FACILITIES OR SERVICES, LABOR, DOWNTIME, THE CLAIMS OF THIRD PARTIES, INCLUDING CUSTOMERS, AND INJURY TO PROPERTY.

Submitting an Equipment Protection Policy Claim:
If all of the conditions for coverage are satisfied, call the APC customer service department at (800) 800-4APC and obtain an EPP RMA (Equipment Protection Policy Returned Material Authorization) number. APC will forward to you an Equipment Protection Policy claim form, which must be completed and filed within 30 days.
Mail the completed claim forms to: American Power Conversion, Attention: Claims Department, 132 Fairgrounds Road, PO Box 278, West Kingston, RI 02892
Mark the Equipment Protection Policy RMA number on the APC product you are returning.
Pack the APC product in its original packaging (or request packing materials from APC if the packaging has been discarded). 4. Mark the EPP RMA number clearly on the outside of box.
Ship the product (one way shipping charges paid by you) to: 132 Fairgrounds Rd,West Kingston, RI 02892
APC will evaluate the product to determine its level of functionality, and will examine the product for evidence of damage from AC power line transients (telephone line, network and CATV transients, if applicable). (A) If APC's evaluation provides no evidence of damage from power line transients (telephone line, network or CATV transients, if applicable), APC will send to the customer (I) a report summarizing the tests performed and (ii) a rejection of claim notice. (B) If the APC product shows evidence of damage from power line transients (telephone line, network or CATV transients, if applicable), APC will request that all connected equipment for which an Equipment Protection Policy claim has been submitted, be sent for evaluation to either APC or an authorized service center. If it is determined that the connected equipment has been damaged from AC power line transients (telephone line, network or CATV transients, if applicable), APC will, in its discretion, either authorize you to have the equipment repaired or reimburse you for the fair market value of the damaged equipment, up to the dollar limits stated above. Please save the damaged connected equipment or all damaged parts.
If you are authorized by APC to have the connected equipment repaired, the repair must be performed at a service center that is authorized by the manufacturer of the connected equipment. APC reserves the right to contact the authorized service center directly to discuss repair costs and repair diagnosis, and damage to the connected equipment to determine if it was caused by AC power line transients (telephone line, network or CATV transients, if applicable) and the right to request that the service center forward the connected equipment or components of the connected equipment to APC for inspection.
APC will, after determining that the damage was caused by the failure of the APC product to protect against AC power line transients (telephone line, network or CATV transients, if applicable), issue payment to you, in its sole discretion, for either costs of repair or the fair market value of the connected equipment, up to the dollar limits stated above. APC reserves the right to require you to transfer title and deliver the connected equipment to APC if it chooses to reimburse you for the fair market value of the connected equipment.
Unless modified in a writing signed by APC and you, the terms of this policy are understood to be the complete and exclusive agreement between the parties, superseding all prior agreements, oral and written, and all other communications between the parties relating to the subject matter of this agreement. No employee of APC or any other party is authorized to make any representations beyond those made in this agreement concerning the Equipment Protection Policy.

Data Recovery Policy
If data is lost from the hard drive in the protected computer due to a malfunction of a properly connected APC product, APC will, at its sole discretion, provide data recovery services from Ontrack® data recovery labs. This warranty will be offered to customers to the extent commercially reasonable, as determined by APC at its sole discretion. Ontrack will make every commercially reasonable effort to retrieve customer data, however, due to the nature of data loss, recovery is not guaranteed. The data recovery warranty is available on all APC products mentioned in the chart that follows with the exception of APC's Basic and Personal SurgeArrest® models. Data recovery is limited to physical hard drives within protected computing equipment. Expressly excluded from this warranty are any type of external storage devices.

APC reserves the right to determine whether the damage to the connected equipment is due to APC product failure by requesting that damaged equipment be sent to APC for inspection. This policy is in excess of, and applies only to the extent necessary beyond, any coverage for the connected equipment provided by other sources, including, but not limited to, any manufacturer's warranty, extended warranty coverage and home owner's insurance

Note: The Data Recovery Policy does not apply to all products (Contact your local APC Representative for more information).
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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HomeStretch
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:06 am

I have lightening rods on roof, proper grounding, whole house surge protector, multiple outlet plug-in surge protectors you and UPS for extensive electronics. We are in a heavily treed area.

I wouldn’t count on any of it to 100% protect your home and contents from lightening. My experience with lightening strikes (have had several) is that they caused so much damage to my extensive electronics and other areas that I have twice had 5-figure homeowners’ claims. I didn’t make a claim to the manufacturer of the outlet surge protectors.

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Rob5TCP
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by Rob5TCP » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:15 am

Years ago a client paid me to buy "the best" surge protection and battery backup.
Most (99%) of surge protectors are sacrificial. These have MOV's (metal oxide varistors) which
degrade from one or more intense spikes or frequent smaller spikes.

The problem is knowing when to replace them (how often/how do you tell they are no longer working).
The indicator lights frequently show they are working, when they are no longer functioning properly.

After reading several white papers I bought zero surge units which are serial and literally last forever.
The downside they were/are $180-$400 EACH. I did find several on sale and bought a bunch for him
and 3 for myself. They do not protect against electrical fluctuations only surges.

For the rest of the protection I bought an APC battery for each unit (the size depending on the units
connected).

I will never know if the ZeroSurge really does protect since he has not had any losses since purchasing
'the units/

www.zerosurge.com (free plug).

iamlucky13
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by iamlucky13 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:21 am

Read some online reviews of popular brands like APC or Tripplite.

You will find that denied claims are pretty common.

But I hope it is obvious that this is not a reason not to use a surge suppressor.

mervinj7
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by mervinj7 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:40 pm

iamlucky13 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:21 am
Read some online reviews of popular brands like APC or Tripplite.

You will find that denied claims are pretty common.

But I hope it is obvious that this is not a reason not to use a surge suppressor.
+1. Even if there were no claim protection, I would still highly recommend using a surge protector or UPS. Check out Wirecutter for reviews.

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-surge-protector/

Personally, I've been switching over to APC UPS for any electronics. $30-$40 during good sales. Keeps my internet and security cameras running during power outages.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:10 pm

rustymutt wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:19 am
I was a systems technician for a career at a major company. I wouldn't install any equipment without surge protection, and battery backup, with built in protections. Electric grids can and do spike, depending on the load demands. Surge protectors are the common person's best protection plan for electronics in my trained profession. Spikes kill. :moneybag
Do laptops need surge protectors too? Or is there a built in protection in their power cables which usually work with a wide range of global voltages?

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Warranty Claims and Surge Protectors

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:05 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:10 pm
rustymutt wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:19 am
I was a systems technician for a career at a major company. I wouldn't install any equipment without surge protection, and battery backup, with built in protections. Electric grids can and do spike, depending on the load demands. Surge protectors are the common person's best protection plan for electronics in my trained profession. Spikes kill. :moneybag
Do laptops need surge protectors too? Or is there a built in protection in their power cables which usually work with a wide range of global voltages?
Yes, they need to surge protection also. If the transformer is on the cord (usual), it may only be damaged and not the laptop.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

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