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BANGKOK 22 March 2019 17:35
KhunHeineken

Surge Protector. 3 pin plug to 2 pin plug.

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In many places in South east Asia, the electricity is unreliable. Many places have generators, so I am always concerned about a spike / surge.

My home country has 3 pin plugs and powerpoints.

Generally, Thailand appliances use 2 pin plugs and have 2 pin powerpoints.

I have been plugging the electonic devices I have bought with me into a 3 pin surge protector, and then plugging that into an adapter with 2 pins and then plugging the adapter into the powerpoint. A LED lights up showing the surge protector operating.

Is this a waste of time, or does this still give me some surge protection? I have received some conflicting opinions about it.

For my laptop, I am using a Belkin surge protector. See the link.

http://www.belkin.com/au/F5C791-C6/p/P-F5C791-C6/

The box it came in says it works "in any country." It comes in a 3 pin or 2 pin, depending on the laptop company and the charger they use.

I bought a 3 pin. Will this product still work "in any country" when Belkin would be aware there are many countries that only have 2 pin powerpoints?

I know it can't hurt to use the thing anyway, but thought I would consult members of the forum.

I am on the road a lot, so please don't mention a UPS, but I am open to any other suggestions that will ensure my electonic devices don't get fried. :)

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OK guys, a 3-pin arrestor plugged into a 2-pin outlet will provide some protection (L-N surges), better than nothing.

Things will of course work better if you have a 3-pin outlet or connect the ground pin to a grounded point.

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OK guys, a 3-pin arrestor plugged into a 2-pin outlet will provide some protection (L-N surges), better than nothing.

Things will of course work better if you have a 3-pin outlet or connect the ground pin to a grounded point.

Yes thats right. I just changed all the outlets in my house to 3 pin. The surge protector i linked is 3 pin with a 2 pin plug for the outlet and in the specs it lists the protection provided. But i guess gerry123 was too "dim" to read the specs.

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If the surge protector is not grounded, it shows a red light, a green one, if grounded.... (at least on mine, two types ... one is Belkin)

My way around this was to plug in a two pin line from source, to a three pin outlet, (electrical stores have) I ran a ground line from the three pin outlet, to a copper ground pipe out side...

It's not really difficult to do (as long as not in a highrise! )

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You say you brought 3 pin equipment from your home country, if that was the UK,

you should realize that the L -N poles are reversed here,a 3 pin socket here

has L on the left and N on the right.so a 3 pin plug with fuse will not be protected

as the fuse will be on the N side. I don't know which side is normal in the rest of

Europe or U.S..A.

regards worgeordie

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OK guys, a 3-pin arrestor plugged into a 2-pin outlet will provide some protection (L-N surges), better than nothing.

Things will of course work better if you have a 3-pin outlet or connect the ground pin to a grounded point.

In layman's terms, can you tell me what type of surge this would protect against, and what type of surge it offers no protection against?

I don't expect a small surge protector to protect against a lightening strike, but was hoping for some protection when the main power goes off, the generator kicks in, and then the main power comes back on, and the generator goes off.

Would a small surge protector, like the one in my link, offer protection in this case?

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If the surge protector is not grounded, it shows a red light, a green one, if grounded.... (at least on mine, two types ... one is Belkin)

My way around this was to plug in a two pin line from source, to a three pin outlet, (electrical stores have) I ran a ground line from the three pin outlet, to a copper ground pipe out side...

It's not really difficult to do (as long as not in a highrise! )

I know some surge protectors have 2 LED lights. A red and a green.

The one I maily use to charge phone, camera and music player just has one small red LED which lights up in a 3 pin powerpoint in my home country, and also in a 2 pin powerpoint in South East Asia.

My chargers still charge, but with no third pin here, is this offering me any protection?

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I think it really depends on the type of problems you're likely to experience.

Direct lightning strike to the power line?

Indirect lightning strike to the power line?

Increased voltage?

Voltage spikes?

Decreased voltage?

Brown-outs?

Drop-outs?

Out of spec current?

A surge protector is really only protective to large momentary voltage spikes. All the other issues that can impair or destroy your electronics ... not gonna do a thing.

Better to take a look at UPS and Power Conditioners.

And if your equipment is not only designed to 'clamp' high voltage, but also 'shunt' it to grount ... and the ground isn't there. Then that protection isn't going to be effective either.

I really liked to refer people to articles like the one at TheWireCutter.com that partially explains how surge protections work:

How surge protectors work

To understand the tests we did, you need to know a little about how surge protectors work. Fortunately, they’re simple.

Surge protectors rely mainly on devices called metal-oxide varistors, or MOVs. A MOV works sort of like a runaway truck ramp on a mountain pass. Just as the ramp routes the truck off the highway so it can’t do any harm, then slows the truck to a stop, an MOV routes surges and spikes off the main electrical line then dissipates their energy so it can’t harm whatever’s plugged into the surge protector.

A MOV is connected across two conductors of an AC line. Below a certain voltage, the MOV doesn’t conduct electricity. Above a certain voltage, it conducts, effectively “shorting out” the surge so it can’t damage the components connected to the surge protector. A voltage surge that exceeds the capacity of the MOV will cause it to short completely. Like a paper clip plugged across a wall outlet, the shorted MOV instantly blows open (think July 4th). To minimize the fireworks potential, there’s usually a fuse in series (in line) with the MOV. It is designed to blow before the fireworks begin. Unfortunately, when the fuse goes, the MOV is also removed from the circuit and you have no surge protection at all.

MOVs are rated in joules. The joule is a measure of quantity, not level. Where a volt is like the force behind a boxer’s punch, a joule is like the damage done to his opponent by the punch. It’s the total amount of delivered energy, whereas a volt is a momentary measure of energy intensity. Just like punches, the effects of joules add up. The rating of an MOV—or a surge protector with a joule rating—indicates the total energy it can absorb from electrical spikes and surges before failure. So 100 1-joule spikes will wear out an MOV the same as a single 100-joule spike.

If this is giving you the idea that surge protectors don’t last forever, you’re catching on. The more MOVs employed, and the higher the joule rating on the MOVs, the longer the surge protector will continue to function.

I don't expect a small and cheap device to protect my electronics from a seriously major overload like a lightening strike.

As I said in the other post, just when the main power goes off and a generator kicks in, and then when the main power comes back on, and the generator turns off.

I know a UPS is good, but I do not want to carry one of these around with me because I am on the road a lot.

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OK guys, a 3-pin arrestor plugged into a 2-pin outlet will provide some protection (L-N surges), better than nothing.

Things will of course work better if you have a 3-pin outlet or connect the ground pin to a grounded point.

In layman's terms, can you tell me what type of surge this would protect against, and what type of surge it offers no protection against?

I don't expect a small surge protector to protect against a lightening strike, but was hoping for some protection when the main power goes off, the generator kicks in, and then the main power comes back on, and the generator goes off.

Would a small surge protector, like the one in my link, offer protection in this case?

I am using one similar to the one i linked and so far (3 years ) no problems. Yes its not earthed. Dont charge your devises during storms.

We have a generator cut in 3 to 6 times every day.

Edited by stat088

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As mentioned above the Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV) is the primary protection device in surge protectors although some may have some other components also. But at the minimum, the MOV is the device providing the bulk of protection. If your surge protector has "one" MOV installed and it happens to be installed across Line to Ground, well, if it's plugged into a two hole outlet (i.e., no ground) you will have no protection because the Ground is not connected.. If the MOV was installed across the Line to Neutral then you have one line mode protection whether plug into a 3 or 2 hole outlet.

I have modified all the surge protector strips I've bought to include a MOV across the Line to Neutral, Line to Ground, and Neutral to Ground to provide protection in all three modes which surges can ride in on. Now when I took the strips apart to do my modification, I found some had their one each MOV installed from from Line to Ground and some Line to Neutral.

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