Surge protector, power strip, plug bar, outlet strip; all are terms used for the multi-outlet block that's attached to an extension cord. You typically use this to plug in your home theater electronics. Chances are you haven’t given yours much thought. You should. You likely have thousands of dollars worth of components plugged in to a $15.00 power strip. OK, you might have paid $25.00. How much confidence do you really have that your inexpensive power strip is going to protect your high end home theater components in the event of a power surge? Continue reading to see why you may want to think on it a little longer.
What’s The Difference?
A joule is a measurement of work done by electricity. One Joule equals the work required to pass an electric current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm for one second. For the purposes of determining protection capability, surge protectors are rated in joules of energy that they can absorb. A higher joule rating reflects better surge protection. A higher joule rating also, arguably, indicates a higher quality surge protector
The 2-pack of inexpensive power strips pictured above only has a surge protection rating of 150 joules. While the packaging says “surge protector” and “Home Electronics”, is this the kind of protection you want for your home theater components?
By spending a few extra dollars you can buy a surge protector that lives up to the name. $42.97 is all I spent for the Belkin surge protector pictured below. This surge protector has a 4120 joule rating and has provisions for protecting the coax coming in to the cable box and also has 2 protected USB charging ports. Belkin isn’t the only choice for affordable surge protectors. Shop around. There are offerings from many different manufacturers available at your local home improvement, or electronics store. Just be sure to check the joule rating before purchasing.
A high quality (and more expensive) surge protector may seem like overkill for a house that rarely sees lightning, but it only takes one careless driver knocking a power pole down to get a nasty surge through the wires, and California certainly has it’s share of careless drivers! I wouldn’t dream of driving my vehicle without insurance, A quality surge protector offers the same comforting insurance for my home theater system. I'm pretty sure you'll agree with me that your home theater deserves the same protection.
About Brian Hill
Brian Hill is a home theater enthusiast who has an extensive background in sales. His interests include music & movies, F1 & NASCAR auto racing, hot rods (he has a '56 Nomad) and hockey — Go Sharks!
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