Originally Posted by TexasA&M
Now I'm really confused... what kind of surge protector can be had from Lowes and Home Depot?
What anomaly are you trying to protect from? This is layman stuff. Your pedestal provides 120 VAC. That means that electronics works ideal perfect at any voltage from about 90 VAC to 130 VAC. That also means motorized appliances want voltages somewhere between 110 and 130.
Surge Guard is a switch. It cuts off power if voltage drops below (I don't have actual spec numbers - read them from specs that come with Surge Guard) maybe 100 volts or exceeds 132 volts for tens of seconds or hours. That is not a surge. That is minor voltage variation unacceptable from any utility. Surge Guard is to protect from a utility that does not carefully regulate voltage.
Surges are currents that (if something tries to stop it) create thousands of volts. That occur for microseconds. And that find a destructive path to earth via appliances. Completely different anomaly.
A power strip does nothing for the first anomaly since the strip may say it ignores anything below 330 volts. A power strip that tries to stop the second anomaly will simply create high voltages. Does not even claim to protect from destructive types of transients. Read its specs. Where is a number for protection from each type of surge? Does not exist.
Which is causing damage? Which problem must be solved? Surge Guard is only for the first event - tens of seconds or hours. Surge protector is for the second event - microseconds. A typical example is lightning. Which means it connects short to earth or does nothing.
All of this is layman stuff. But if new (and if you are like me), then multiple rereads are required. If unlearning popular myths, then grasping these simple concepts are even harder.
Surge Guard and surge protector are two completely different items for two completely different anomalies. First acts like a switch to 'disconnect' AC power. The second is useful only if 'connects' microsecond transients short to earth ground.