Ordinary vs.
Zero Surge Protection

Understanding the difference.

Ordinary Surge Suppressor

chevronMode 2 Operation

Ordinary surge protectors (and UPSs) simply divert harmful surge current from the hot line to the neutral and ground wires, in a process usually described as “all three modes of protection.” Any surge suppressor which diverts surges to the ground wire is a Mode 2 suppressor.

The hot line is the only source of dangerous external surges since neutral and ground are bonded together and fastened to an earth rod at every service entrance.

ordinary surge suppressor

Unfortunately, this “three mode protection” process diverts high energy powerline surges directly into delicate low voltage audio, video and computer datalines, because these lines use the powerline ground wire circuit for their reference voltage.

Computers with modems or datalines to other equipment, such as LANs and shared printers, should never use Mode 2 surge protectors which divert surges to the powerline ground, because this will increase the likelihood of damage.

A surge which is not diverted by a surge “protector” will hit the computer’s power supply, which is considerably more surge tolerant than the delicate dataline circuitry that Mode 2 suppressors endanger.

Zero Surge Suppressor

chevronMode 1 Operation

The current limiter (choke) restricts the amount of current it will allow through. Residual current that does pass through current limiter encounters a split path or fork at the voltage limiter (bridge). Here the MAJORITY of the current will flow into the bridge, because it offers a far easier path to the surge than the path through the computer (like a fork in a river, most water will flow in the widest/deepest channel). Within this bridge, residual voltage is captured and stored, then slowly released onto the neutral wire, like a flood tank with a hole in it. Since ground wire diversion is not used, this is Mode 1 suppression.

zero surge suppressor

Patented Zero Surge circuits reduce the intensity of the surge and spread it over time, like a tennis net converts the high speed energy of a tennis ball into a harmless low grade energy, no matter how hard the ball is hit.

Ordinary surge protectors merely divert the surge current without altering its nature. Surges diverted this way are still dangerous and will seek other paths to ground. With interconnected electronics, they will find such a path through video, audio and data cables which use the ground as an integral part of their circuitry.

The laws of energy conservation must be obeyed. Unless the energy is reduced, the diverted energy will simply go elsewhere to cause its damage.

In the case of networked computers (or modems), that path will be through the delicate dataline circuitry, which is considerably more vulnerable and less surge tolerant than the power supply that the undeflected surge would have hit in the first place.