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Buying a surge protector remains hard

Michael Horowitz | Dec. 7, 2015
First, you need to have some understanding of the technology, then you need to find unbiased reviews from a qualified reviewer. Good luck with that.

The home page for the TLP1008TEL says that it features a "Failsafe shutdown mode". Exactly what this means, it doesn't say. Many other Tripp Lite surge protectors do not have this feature. For example, the User Guide to the much more expensive ISOBAR6DBS says it features "an internal protection that will disconnect the surge-protective component at the end of its useful life but will maintain power to the load - now unprotected." 

A Surge Protector Buying Guide from Tripp Lite says nothing about failsafe shutdowns. Perhaps they discontinued the feature?

The Owners Manual for the TLP1008TEL says this about the PROTECTED LED:

Indicates the surge suppression components are intact and providing complete protection against surges. If this LED does not illuminate, some of the surge suppression components are not functioning, and the unit should be replaced.

Nothing about a failsafe shutdown. On the other hand, the manual dates back to 2010 and notes that "Specifications are subject to change without notice."

I contacted Tripp Lite, but whose to say, if I even get a response, that it doesn't come from someone just repeating what's in the 5-year old manual?

As I said up-front, buying a surge protector is hard.

Also disappointing about the Wirecutter article is that, by and large, it only covers low end models. Almost all were under $40, and the three recommended models sell for $20-$27. Certainly corners have to be cut in this price range and a comparison to more expensive models might illuminate what they are. 

I paid $80 for my last surge protector and would love to see tests on models in that price range. Maybe next time, Brent and Mark? 


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