When you buy a surge suppressor and you see the warranty listed on the specification sheet or sales sheet it typically says something like one year, five years or ten years. But that does not usually mean the manufacturer will replace the unit for that length of time no matter what causes it to fail. You need to read the actual warranty statement to see what it really covers.
HOW IT WORKS
When you read the warranty statement you will find an overwhelming majority cover unit failures limited to the manufacturer’s defects in materials and workmanship. Most of the warranties do not cover failures of the unit due to lightning or surge activity caused by other Acts of God. A workmanship warranty covers only defects in labor in assembling the unit, and a materials warranty covers only defective parts. With surge suppression, those defects usually manifest themselves within a few hours or days of installation, and typically never more than thirty days. What this means is that although the warranty may read “Limited 10 Year Warranty,” it really means that the manufacturer will only cover defects in parts and labor (which will probably happen in the first thirty days after install), but will not cover failures of the unit due to lightning or other surge activity.
The better warranties, like those offered by TPD and TPS, specifically include unit failures due to lightning or other surge activity throughout the entire warranty period. That’s good! Stop and see us at Booth 868 at CEDIA 2014 in Denver and learn more about our products.
Also, beware of the down line connected equipment warranty. The marketing for this can be very misleading. The unit warranty may say 5 or 10 year limited warranty, but that does not mean the down line connected equipment warranty is the same length. After reading the connected equipment warranty statement you may not feel so confident that the user is going to get paid if anything were to happen. You will find that this part of the warranty has its own time period as well but only tells you this in this statement. Some down line equipment warranties will also exclude lightning damage. The statements will usually have a few ways for the maker to get out of paying any claims. This does not mean that they will never pay a claim; it simply means that legally they do not have to pay the claim.
Explaining surge suppression systems and the warranties to the owner of a large home are not always easy. Please see our TPD end user statements on Accepting or Declining a TPD surge suppression system.
END USER BENEFITS
Understanding what you are offering in terms of a warranty is important. Ultimately it is the customers responsibility to protect their equipment. Systems integrators want to offer the best products with the best warranties. Customers should actually receive the warranty they think they are getting, and not be stuck with a marketing based “smoke and mirrors” warranty.
Dealer Training Available – Go over your warranty with TPD!