How Long is Surge Protector Lifespan? The Answer May Shock You!
Most people are mistaken of the fact that their surge protector lifespan is the same as any power strips they have at home. Well, there is really no direct answer to how long your surge protection device at home will last. It really depends on a few factors as listed below.
Factors Affecting Surge Protector Lifespan
Environment – The environment we live in plays a huge role in determining how long our surge protection device can last. If you happen to stay in a lightning-prone area like Florida, it is very likely that you will need to replace your surge suppressor device every summer which is usually the peak season for lightning strikes.
Frequency of Getting Hit – Every power surge that gets absorbed by the surge protection device will shorten its capability to protect against future over-voltage spikes. Therefore it is imperative that you replace the surge protection device if it frequently gets hit by power spikes.
Joule Rating – The higher the joule rating of a surge protection device, it generally (barring other unforeseen factors) means the longer it is able to protect all the electronics plugged into it. Joule ratings would be something you would want to take note of the next time you shop for a new surge suppressor. Getting surge protectors with high joules ratings does not mean it is invincible against all types of power surges.
Local Power Grid – If the area you live in is prone to a “dirty” power grid that comes with frequent power surges and dips, it is very likely that your surge protector lifespan will get affected and will require frequent replacement like once a year.
LED Notifications – These days, most surge protectors come with LED notification to warn you when it is no longer able to protect your connected devices against power spikes. Some even come with audible buzzing noise to warn you when their protection capability is gone.
Age – Surge protector lifespan really has very little to do with age. Most surge suppressors are ‘dead’ before a year or two, all thanks to frequent power spikes, lightning bolts, electrical storms etc.
So How Long can Surge Protectors Last?
Even if nothing happens to your surge protection device, on average you should consider replacing them every 2 to 3 years. Again, the duration will vary across different states/areas you live in, different brands and models, joules ratings, frequency of power surges, etc.
If you want your surge protection device to last longer, it is always recommended to find one that is the right fit for the environment you live in and the budget you have in mind. Getting a good surge suppressor will protect all your prized electronic devices and home appliances for a long time.
Few things to note
*Never get cheap surge protection brands as they will continue to provide power to all connected devices even when their surge protection capability is long gone. While it is not easy to choose a good and reliable surge protector for your appliances at home, you must at least get one that provides LED notifications. With that, you will at least get to know when it is time to replace it.
**No surge protectors (Type 3) will be able to withstand the power surge from a direct lightning strike that hit the power line that is connected to your home. It is very likely that all your connected devices are fried, including the surge protection device itself.
To protect against lightning bolt type of surges, the only option is to at least have a type 1 or 2 surge protection device for the whole house installed at your house.