Frequently Asked Questions

Surge Protection Basics

Does my surge protector need to be UL approved?

NRTL certifications may not always be required; however, the primary purpose of surge protection devices is to protect your staff, equipment and facility from damaging power surges.  Because of the critical nature of this goal, it only makes sense to choose products that have been designed and tested to the highest national standards.  Learn more.

Does my SPD (Surge Protective Device) need to be grounded?

Yes. A low impedance ground is imperative to both surge protection designs and power quality.  An SPD is a passive device until there is a change in voltage (overvoltage). Then the SPD turns on and shorts the energy to ground and away from the protected circuit. When the fault has cleared, the SPD resets and is ready for the next event.  Learn more about the importance of grounding in our White Paper.

What can I do to prevent a power surge?

Power surges are impossible to predict or prevent, and can cause massive damage to any device on your power grid or IP network.  The best way to reduce your risk of damage and destruction caused by a power surge is to take proactive measures to protect your critical business equipment.  Read more about how being proactive when installing surge protection can help keep your business running in our blog post.

Why do we need surge protection when we are based in an area with very little lightning?

According to the Insurance Institute of Business and Home Safety, lightning strikes account for just two percent of all surge-related damage.  That means 98 percent of the damage is caused by the hundreds of smaller power surges that typically go unnoticed every day.  Learn more about power surges in our latest blog post.  Power Quality:  An Unlikely Culprit.

How will I know when it’s time to replace the surge protector?

Surge protective devices (SPDs) deliver a critical defensive function for electronic equipment and systems used to run businesses by ensuring that power surges do not damage or destroy them.  An SPD may survive to protect your business for years - or only for a few days - depending on its exposure to surges. Knowing when to replace it means Understanding the Possible Lifecycle of Your SPD.

Where does surge energy come from?

Surges come from utility supplied power, human error, mechanical equipment or natural and atmospheric events.  A common misconception about power surges is that devices are only at risk during extreme weather, but power surges can happen at any time without warning.  Learn more about where power surges come from and how to protect your electronics from them in our blog post.  READ MORE

AC Power Protection

Can I use wire nuts on all conductors?

You can use wire nuts on the Phase and neutral wire only, but not the ground wire.

Ground conductor needs a low impedance ground point for the device to reference for proper dissipation of surge.

Do I need an electrician to install these products?

In most cases, yes.  Any device that is hardwired to a meter, panel or circuit must be installed by a certified electrician.

Can your electrical SPDs be installed on the Mains of the electrical service panel?

As long as the SPD you are installing is listed for TYPE1, then you can use it at the Mains/Line side.

Type 1 listed SPDs can also be installed to the Load Side as well.

Ethernet and PoE Protection

Why do I need to protect both ends of a cable or wire run?

It is “best practice” to protect both ends of a cable or wire run because when overvoltage surge energy is applied to any metallic conductor it will travel in both directions trying to find the least resistive path to ground.  This is usually right through your equipment.  Learn more.

Will your surge protector slow down my network speed?

No, DITEK Ethernet and PoE surge protectors use state-of-the-art circuitry to provide the highest level of protection in the industry, and are compatible with network speeds up to 10GbE without signal degradation.  Learn more about all of our 10GbE Surge Protectors.

Fire Alarm Protection

Should I protect external loop-circuit wires at the point that they enter the building?

We recommend protecting loop circuit wires before they terminate at the Fire Alarm Control Panel. If the conductors are protected when they first enter the building, there is a risk of surge damage after the surge protective device.

Do I need to protect fire alarm circuits within the same building?

At minimum, we recommend protecting loop circuit wires when they breach an outside wall. For maximum protection, we recommend protecting ALL loop circuits.

Why do I need to install surge protection on my alarm systems cellular communicator?

Wireless communicators require an antenna kit to attain an acceptable signal strength.   Since antennas are external to the building, they become an avenue for damaging transient surges to enter your system through the coaxial antenna cable.  Learn more.

Low Voltage Protection

How long must the conductors be from the protected side of the SPD to the equipment being protected?

You must have no less than 3 feet wire lead length (minimum) for the SPD to be able to open the path to ground for proper response time.

What side of the SPD do I attach my field conductors to?

Field conductors should be installed on the side marked “IN” or unprotected, to where the “OUT” or protected side is wired to the equipment being protected.

Uninterruptible Power Supplies

What are the 3-different categories of UPS systems?

Where is DITEK UPS software located?

You can download software for your UPS by going here.

What are the benefits of UPS software?

Software for DITEK UPS's provide greater functionality, such as shutting down your computer or server when the UPS encounters a low battery event.

Do I need to load software?

Software is not required to operate DITEK UPS's.

Why do I need an UPS if I already have surge protection?

Poor power quality and short term power outages have the same effect on your sensitive electronic equipment as power surges, including missing or corrupt data as well as equipment degradation.  Learn how installing a reliable battery backup system can keep your systems running.