It's Time To Replace Your Surge Protectors

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If you’re using surge protectors in your home, you might want to consider replacing them, especially if you can’t remember when you bought the ones currently in use.

As it turns out, your average surge protector isn’t good for eternity. Each one has a shelf life of sorts after which it will lose its protective powers and instead just be functioning as a standard power strip. That’s fine if you’re just trying to plug a bunch of stuff in, but if you actually want that surge protection then you may want to consider swapping out your older surge protectors for newer models.

How to Geek wrote an article on this topic a few years ago that spawned a Reddit thread this week.

How to Geek suggests that when your surge protector prevents a surge to your devices all that extra energy is trapped inside the surge protector where it degrades the metal oxide varistor (MOV) that typically stops that surge.

The Reddit thread questions that logic. Several electricians have chimed in to say that repeated spikes and surges would degrade that part, but they aren’t sure about the claim that extra energy stays inside your surge protector.

Still, everyone agrees that you should swap those surge protectors out on a periodic basis. In general, the average lifespan of a surge protector is 3-5 years.

If you have a bunch of older ones around the house now, then now might be a good time to start replacing them. Doing stuff like this toward the beginning of the year is always a great idea in terms of actually remembering to do it.

For instance, if you kick 2020 off with new surge protectors around your house, you can set yourself a reminder to do the same when 2023 rolls around.

The beginning of the year, at least for me, is always the easiest time to remember to replace filters and other periodic maintenance things around the house without being forced to remember what month I did something last time.


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