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FAQ

  1. Whether it’s a home, school, office, hospital, stadium, hotel, casino, a police station, 911 center etc., we all rely on sophisticated electronics running at peak performance to deliver the most efficient and reliable products and services. See what the Risk Control Services Department of Glatfelter Insurance Group has to say about protecting your electronic equipment from potential downtime and damage.

    Read more >> What Does Your Insurance Company Say About Surge Protection?
  2. Cable and data lines are relatively easy to run to video and network equipment. However, correctly surge protecting and grounding these lines require a systems integrator’s understanding of how to coordinate a Transient Protection Design (TPD) surge protection system. When multiple breaker panels or structures are involved these systems become more complex to surge protect and ground. An unprotected or incorrectly grounded cable or data wire in one system can allow ground potentials to migrate to other cable and data systems producing large scale damage system wide during a lightning strike. Tens of thousands of dollars in damage can happen with one lightning strike and 90% of the time it is due to an unprotected or incorrectly grounded data wire.

    Read more >> Surge Protect Cable and Data Systems
  3. Just because your HDTV, computer, lights, and network switch turns on and seems to work does not mean it has not been damaged and degraded by transient surges. Everyone knows that a single lightning strike or large surge event can cause immediate destruction of electronics and their circuit boards. However, some surges and transients, may not be large enough to destroy an electronic device or individual circuit board, but the effects of this surge energy overtime will cause lockups, glitches and premature failure at some point in the future. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) explains it like this: “For example, a single larger surge or several repetitive exposures to lower magnitude surges often cause a gradual performance deterioration, which may finally be associated with intermittent equipment operation as opposed to immediate catastrophic failure of the semiconductor device. In such cases where the semiconductor itself has had its performance marginalized, it is often difficult to differentiate between software-and hardware-induced errors.”

    Read more >> Electronic Failures, Lock-Ups and Glitches – What are They? What Causes Them? And How Do I Prevent Them?
  4. Power is just like the water coming into your home. If a water pipe leaks, it’s your responsibility to fix it. Once power gets into the home it’s your responsibility to deal with it. It is not the utilities responsibility.

    Read more >> Ten Things We Should All Know About Whole House Surge Protection
  5. The use of a plug in surge suppressor or rack mount Surge Protective Device (SPD) is a standard part of most AV installations today. Millions of plug in type surge protectors are sold each year to protect the power to computers, printers, stereos, TVs, and other consumer electronics. What is typically missed is the coordination of surge protection at the breaker panel protection. Also missed are protection and proper grounding for incoming and outgoing phone, data, cable and satellite lines, etc.

    Read more >> Why Use More Than Just Plug In Type Surge Protectors?
  6. Phone, cable and satellite companies as well as systems integrators are all paying liability claims due to lightning damaging home electronics. Even one copper pathway allowing lightning to enter the structure can lead to tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. If you are concerned about liability use Transient Protection Design surge suppression products on all incoming and outgoing data and power wires going between buildings or to outside equipment in order to limit your potential liability. Between improperly or poorly grounded phone, cable and satellite installations your job as a systems integrator has become much more complex in recent years. To be able to diagnose, pin point and explain what or whom is responsible for electronic damage or malfunction in an enormous spiders web of interconnected equipment can be overwhelming. Chasing phantom errors or ghosts in any system is not uncommon.

    Read more >> Incoming and Outgoing Data Wires Mean Liability
  7. Less service calls equals better client satisfaction which equals more referrals and more jobs! *See technical note from Lutron recommending Transient Protection Design* surge suppression as part of that solution.

    Read more >> Lutron Recommends Transient Protection Design Surge Suppression - Are you?
  8. Are you resetting customer equipment late at night? Are some homes worse than others for nuisance issues, and why is that? Systems Integration is a customer service driven marketplace. For a majority of your clients, glitches, lockups, and unexplained failures may not be an issue. For a few others it can be a nightmare. If you don’t answer your phone late at night, on the weekend or over the holiday you might not get another call. Most systems integrators want to answer that phone and be as service oriented as possible, but dealing with and explaining why electronics lockup, glitch and are damaged was costly and very time consuming until now. Read on to learn how to reduce systems integration service calls.

    Read more >> Storm Clouds Are Coming - Reduce Systems Integration Service Calls
  9. Once power from the utility gets into the home it’s the homeowner’s responsibly to deal with it. Customers are not happy paying to diagnose, uninstall & reinstall electronic equipment when it does not work properly. If power were always perfect and all electronics were kept cool and dry there would be no need for extended warranties, and there would be greatly reduced service calls under maintenance contracts. With “perfect power” once your electronics were programmed properly they could probably stay that way forever without any servicing. In theory with “perfect power” there would be no lockups, glitches, memory loss or damage to integrated circuits. The reality is that power is far from perfect in our homes, so how do we explain this to the end user?

    Read more >> Electronic Performance and Product Warranties
  10. In a commercial facility probably all electronic systems were specified by electrical engineers working with architects. Lockups, glitches, handshakes in a commercial automation system are not something the building’s electrician wants to trouble shoot. In a commercial facility the electrical person may not be able to properly fix an automation related issue. At the same time the systems integrator may fix or replace damaged equipment but does not want to get involved with the power system and with recommending three phase surge protection. Consequently, often no one wants to leave his or her comfort zone and step up to the plate and recommend a coordinated surge protection system for the entire commercial building (AC power panels, phone, network/data, security systems, cable, etc.).

    Read more >> Surge Protection for Commercial Buildings
  11. 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.

    Read more >> Understanding Surge Suppression Warranties
  12. Without proper power quality training that can be a tough question to answer. The words “Power Conditioner” or “Power Conditioning” sound great but it does not explain exactly what the product does. It’s a great sales tool but knowing the basics of power quality goes a long way in understanding what each unit is designed to do. Many systems integrators feel they are doing all they can because they are selling and installing the most expensive units available for in the rack. Just because the equipment in the rack is of high cost does not mean that adding many features into one “power conditioning” unit for one 15 or 20 amp circuit helps all the other equipment in the facility (such as the lighting system, building automation system, HVAC system, appliances, etc.). A more complete package including a Transient Protection Design system is going to give the owner a bigger bang for their buck! Please contact Tim@tpdsurge.com[mailto:tim@tpdsurge.com?subject=Dealer%20Training%20via%20August%208th%202014%20Blog] to schedule a training session. Training available Monday thru Friday (EST).

    Read more >> You sold me a “Power Conditioner” but what does it really do?
  13. Lightning is in the area and you are losing dimming modules in your lighting system. This usually means there are unprotected 24V, 120V or 240 volt pathways coming into your dimming modules from outside the structure. If these lightning surges get to the dimming modules they can ultimately spread thruoughout the home damaging lighting and home automation systems on the way to ground. The fix is easy! Please see the TPD design drawing for lighting system.

    Read more >> How to Protect Crestron & Lutron Dimming Modules from Lightning!
  14. Are multiple components failing in your system and no one can figure out why? As the distance increases between your equipment, along with the communications wires connecting them, the chance of damage from differences in ground potential also increases. Add in multiple panels feeding the equipment, and the potential for damage can increase dramatically without lines ever leaving the building. This is more common in very large homes, large offices, and custom barns where panels can be on opposite sides of the building and on multiple floors feeding interconnected equipment. Add in multiple buildings, which means multiple grounds, and the problems will continue to increase. See info on our Ground loop surge filter.

    Read more >> How do Ground Currents Damage Phone, Cable, Satellite, Security & Networks Systems?
  15. Given the nature of the healthcare industry, reliable operation of medical equipment is not just an economic issue. While hospitals, laboratories, clinics, doctors’ offices, dentists’ offices, and other medical facilities may appear to be electrically benign environments, they actually represent the electronic equivalent of a war zone. Elevators, air handlers, imaging equipment, compressors, motors, printers, emergency generators, and many other types of equipment in the facility all create large numbers of transients. In fact, medical equipment is impacted by literally millions of transients during its operating life causing lockups, glitches, damage, degradation, and excessive maintenance costs. Not only are there higher than necessary medical equipment maintenance expenses caused by dirty power, but the quality of patient care also is reduced. Downtime causes disruption of schedules for both patients and medical personnel. Reducing medical equipment lockups, glitches, and failure is important to all of us and to the bottom line of the facility and heathcare system!

    Read more >> How Can Properly Applied Surge Suppression & Power Filtering Benefit Our HealthCare Systems?
  16. Signs have come a long way in technology. However, if the signs are illuminated, they still have the same problems as they did in the past. They are prone to surge damage, and fixing a damaged sign costs money! If your sign has a few lights outs or has erratic operation/glitches, the sign is not going to look good to the customer. If a digital sign is damaged it can be discolored or maybe even not turn on, which is even worse than a single light out in an older sign. Either way, both signs will require a service call. They may even need to use a bucket truck or high lift. Service and maintenance on signage are typically much more expensive than other equipment because of the height, size, and location. Add in more technology, more LED’s and drivers, and more digital signs and the electronic maintenance of these systems start to add up quickly.

    Read more >> How Do I Protect Digital & Lighted Signs and Reduce Their Electrical Maintenance Costs?
  17. If a slot machine or any other video/electronic based gaming equipment fails or glitches it’s a big problem. Security and network equipment are also critical to the operation of a casino, and reliance solely on plug in type surge suppressors is not the best way to assure maximum performance and uptime. Generators and UPS equipment give the casino backup power which is critical for many reasons, however, if something fails or glitches because of a transient surge that backup power will not help. Lighting and climate control are also a very intricate part of the casinos inner workings. A casino needs to maintain maximum uptime on all equipment. Without a properly coordinated Transient Protection Designed surge suppression system a Casino will not work to peak performance.

    Read more >> What Are the Benefits of a TPS Surge Suppression System in a Casino?
  18. It’s Memorial Day Weekend! The kickoff of the summer and your clients are going to start using their electronic devices indoors and outdoors. Vacation properties that often are not in use half the year are getting turned on and powered up once again for the summer season. Sometimes equipment will not turn on and electronics will not work, and the question that will be asked is, “What happened? Why do these things not work when we want them too?”

    Read more >> Why Should Integrators & Electricians Recommend Surge Suppression On Service Calls?
  19. “Everyone out of the water” is the lifeguard call we hear at the first sign of an approaching storm. Everyone knows that lightning can kill, so everyone needs to get out of the pool for life safety. And, it’s not only a direct lighting strike we worry about. Electromagnetic energy from a nearby lighting strike as far as a quarter mile or more away can travel through the air and be induced into a pools structure and nearby copper wiring. We all know not to be in the pool when lighting hits, but let’s not forget this energy has the ability to damage pool controls and other equipment when electromagnetically coupled onto data and power lines. If lightning is in the area it is eventually going to find your pool controls and your home’s electronics unless quality surge suppression is installed on the exposed pathways.

    Read more >> How Do Systems Integrators Surge Protect Pool Controls & Pumps from Lightning?
  20. Just because the signal is passing to your equipment does not always mean that an aging data line surge suppressor is still protecting your equipment. Quality commercial/industrial data line surge suppressors are designed to disrupt signal in some way when the suppressor is destroyed or severely damaged. When applying surge suppression on a job or application it is best to know how the data line surge suppressor is going to perform when it sees a surge. Is it just going to fail? If it does fail how do I know and what does that mean?

    Read more >> How Do You Know If Your Data Line Surge Suppressor Is Still Protecting Your Equipment?