Do Surge Protectors Wear Out?

Can surge protectors go bad? Many people wonder if it’s their surge protector or the outlet when they can’t get something to work after plugging it into the surge protector. Unfortunately, it could be the surge protector, which can go wrong even if you’ve only had it for a few years. Keep reading to learn about when and why your surge protector might fail and what to do if it does.

How Long Does a Surge Protector Last?

Age is the most likely sign that you need a new surge protector.

Surge protectors generally last three to five years, though some can burn out in as little as two years. It may still supply electricity, functioning as a power strip, but it will no longer offer the protection you want from power surges.

Signs Your Surge Protectors Are Damaged

  • Going over capacity can burn out a surge protector. Most units can handle a fixed number of joules but will stop functioning correctly if you surpass that point. So if your device handles 1,000 joules, it will stop working after those have been tapped out.
  • A blinking light on the device usually indicates you need a new one.
  • Overloading a surge protector with too many devices.

You can watch for a massive overload that could tax your surge protector and act preemptively to replace it. You can also have them replaced proactively as part of your home electrical safety inspection.

How to Test a Surge Protector

Testing your surge protectors could theoretically save you a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately, for most surge protectors, there’s no way to test them. They have a limited lifespan, so keeping track of when you purchased the surge protector is probably the most efficient way to track whether it works or not.

Some devices are loaded with LED notifications. The device will conduct internal detection of a fault in the surge protection mechanism and set off an LED message or even an audio alarm alerting the user to the compromised surge protection.

What Happens When a Surge Protector Goes Bad?

When a surge protector goes bad, it no longer offers the protection your devices need to withstand surges in electricity that can damage electronics. For instance, computers can be hurt by a surge of electricity that arrives with a lightning strike.

Surge protectors often continue to function as an electricity source even when their surge protection powers wane. It makes it difficult to tell if the surge protector is no longer working because you can still plug things into it, and it will work. Replacing them frequently is the only way to guard against long-term issues with your surge protectors.

Look for surge protectors with LED lights that can alert you when the surge protection powers have decreased. Keep in mind, though, that even the LED indicator lights are not foolproof.

Do you have surge protector problems? We offer surge protection installation in Raleigh. We have been in business since 1990, and we emphasize electrical safety, whether we are upgrading electrical service panels or installing new electrical sockets. Contact us today to learn more about our services and make an appointment.