Author Topic: Surge protector designed to die after date of expiration is reached  (Read 3211 times)

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Offline indigoboy

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First of all - a big HI to everybody, I'm brand new here.

The question is - has anyone heard of this? I believe that might be the cause of failure of my Belkin Conserve Switch.
https://www.belkin.com/conserve/switch/

This surge protector has 2 always-on outlets, and 6 outlets controlled by a remote. I have it for a few years now, and recently the remote controlled outlets stopped working. I decided to take a peek inside and I found that one of the two thermal fuses was blown. While looking for a replacement on the internet, I've stumbled upon a brochure for Belkin surge protectors:

http://www.belkin.com/sg/pressroom/brochures/uploads/sg/Your%20Guide%20to%20Surge%20Protection.pdf

First page, on the left, it says:

Safety Shutdown Technology
Uses thermal fuses to power off your system, which saves all connected devices in the event of a severe occurrence, or when surge protection expires.


So, thermal fuses are designed to break after reaching expiration date? I haven't found much info on this while googling around. What do you think?
I would like to still use this device, even if not for it's surge protection, then at least for the remote controlled outlets.

By the way, how can I find a proper replacement for the blown fuse? I can't find any info about it, here's some photos of it:


 

Offline krivx

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Re: Surge protector designed to die after date of expiration is reached
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 03:38:41 pm »
I think they are using "expires" to mean "die" or "fail", not necessarily that these are timebomb components. How could they even reliably achieve that?
 

Offline Seekonk

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Re: Surge protector designed to die after date of expiration is reached
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2015, 04:09:30 pm »
Even food is still good way after the expiration date1    You are being far too paranoid.   You can put just about any fuse in it as long as it is the same current, at least the same voltage and will fit in.  UL requires fuses because these items may short out from a large enough surge.  These ca last for ever if they are not stressed.
 

Offline max666

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Re: Surge protector designed to die after date of expiration is reached
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2015, 04:31:48 pm »
...
By the way, how can I find a proper replacement for the blown fuse? I can't find any info about it, here's some photos of it:



Welcome to the forum

But this is not a fuse. It's a Gas Filled Surge Arrester http://www.vetco.net/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=2189
 

Offline ciccio

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Re: Surge protector designed to die after date of expiration is reached
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2015, 04:53:35 pm »


Welcome to the forum

But this is not a fuse. It's a Gas Filled Surge Arrester http://www.vetco.net/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=2189
[/quote]
True, and if you solder a fuse in place of it, it will short line or neutral to protective earth, so it will blow in milliseconds (if connected to line). Real danger...
Best regards
Ciccio

Strenua Nos Exercet Inertia
 

Offline indigoboy

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Re: Surge protector designed to die after date of expiration is reached
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2015, 05:28:34 pm »
:o :palm: Thank you guys for very quick replies. I guess I still have a lot to learn before I fix this... Cheers!
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Surge protector designed to die after date of expiration is reached
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2015, 06:00:50 pm »
The remote outputs not working is probably a failed capacitive dropper power supply. Photos, decent quality and resolution, of top and bottom of the remote board would help to show you what is likely faulty.
 

Online Richard Crowley

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Re: Surge protector designed to die after date of expiration is reached
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2015, 06:20:20 pm »
"Surge protection" is mostly marketing hype. They can take a $2 power strip, add a couple of 50-cent marginally-specified devices, and charge $15.  As others have said, that flat round ceramic thing is a gas-filled "spark-gap" kind of device which theoretically "shorts" severe over-voltage to ground.  They don't have "expiration dates" or "life-cycle periods". But many (most?) kinds used in cheap power strips are the kind that take the hit once, and then are finished. They offer no additional protection. Of course, you don't know when they die, either because there are typically no external symptoms.  You are just left "unprotected".  But you weren't really "protected" before in any meaningful way, so you aren't really at any significantly increased risk. But knowing that you over-paid for a cheap plastic power strip gave you some (imaginary) peace of mind.
 

Offline indigoboy

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Re: Surge protector designed to die after date of expiration is reached
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2015, 08:28:21 pm »
The remote outputs not working is probably a failed capacitive dropper power supply. Photos, decent quality and resolution, of top and bottom of the remote board would help to show you what is likely faulty.

I've uploaded some photos here:
http://expirebox.com/download/f13397e5a8c49042c2429c5b87699923.html
(link expires in 48h)

« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 10:21:09 pm by indigoboy »
 

Offline macboy

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Re: Surge protector designed to die after date of expiration is reached
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2015, 02:09:02 pm »
The surge protection devices employed are usually MOVs. These will conduct when the voltage across their terminals exceeds some rated voltage. This effectively shorts out the spike before it appears at the equipment. MOVs have a limited life, not in terms of months or years, but in terms of the amount of energy that they can absorb over their lifetime. You can independently research all about how they work and why they have limited life, but I'll just point out that as they die, their conducting voltage becomes less and less, until finally, they begin to conduct at line voltage. Not fully conduct, not enough to trip a circuit breaker, but just a little and plenty enough to get hot enough to start a fire. You can imagine how bad that would be if there was not a thermal fuse in there to break the circuit and keep your house from burning down.
 


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