I decided to buy an electrical protector for the appliances in our kitchen. There are two options and I'm confused and cannot decide which one is better for me and which problems can harm devices more easily. As we are new in the neighborhood, I haven't had any electrical problems until now and this is just for prevention.

Our appliances are:

  • A 2100 W washing machine
  • A 810 W bread maker
  • A 650 W rice cooker
  • A 1000 W food processor

These are the options that I can buy:

  1. A multi-outlet solution with built-in surge protection. Most famous brands are of this type.
  2. A solution with voltage protection that disconnects the power when voltage becomes < 170 V or > 270 V.
  3. Buy both! and connect them in series and absolutely it's more expensive and I don't know if it's worth it.
  • Aren't questions what to buy out of topic for designing electronics? – Justme Jun 1 '19 at 0:02
  • I don't think so. Because I don't need suggestions about products. I need to know which protection is preferred for appliances. I changed the title to reflect this better – rostamiani Jun 1 '19 at 0:05
  • witch problems. I've had those... – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 1 '19 at 2:46
  • Actually I believe that your 170V-270V voltage protection is a more sophisticated surge protector that cuts off with a low voltage or phase loss as well as a high voltage spike. Check it out if it isn't I am sure you can get one with that protects you from surges also. – Retired Master Electrician Jun 1 '19 at 17:11

You should indicate at least how many sockets do you have in kitchen, and on what amperage circuit breakers are they connected to the switchboard? Which earthing system you use would also be helpful if known. So I'll try to answer generically.

So few hints:

  • do not use power strips if at all possible (that means: distribute the load over all the sockets you have in kitchen). If you must, use them only for lower power-rated devices, and absolutely check that maximum power usage is in worst case always less than one indicated on the strip. So if the strip says 1800W, you might connect your rice cooker and bread maker to it, but not your food processor and bread maker. And absolutely never connect one power strip to another power strip.
  • do not connect to one socket more than it's circuit breaker on switchboard is rated for. So, if your socket is connected to 10A circuit breaker, it is rated for 220V*10A=max 2200W. Stay below that always.
  • as Harper said, cheap surge protectors (especially in form of power strips with surge protection) are mostly worthless. The good ones go in switchboards and cost a lot. Do note that they might need replacing after lightning damages them, and that it might be cheaper to risk your devices. I would skip that unless I was in area prone to such issues caused by lightning, or I trusted the optional insurance some of them offer for protected equipment (then again, you could just go ahead and buy insurance on it's own for such failures)
  • you might get a under/overvoltage consumer protection if you want; it might protect electronic in your devices. Do note that if your are in area suspect to often brownouts, your kitchen devices will not work at all. I would probably not bother with them either, and you mostly care about overvoltage and it is in vast majority of cases caused by induction by lightning during storms, and this puny devices will not really help there (you need quality surge protection). But if you want, go ahead. Just follow the rules above (always connect less than rated power).
  • do you have RCD / GFCI / FID device on your switchboard (it looks like larger circuit breaker with additional button "test")? Press that test button and see if it disconnects power in kitchen. If you do not have one (depending on the country and building age), this would be by far your best investment. You would need electrician to install it to your switchboard (although, depending on the country, occasionally one can buy sockets with GFCI integrated in them). It will protect not just devices from certain faults, but also your lives in such cases. You might also consider AFCI if needed.
  • if you want a peace of mind, get one of "RCD tester" thingies on ebay for under $10 - it will test correct neutral and grounding, and well as RCD and shock danger on your kitchen sockets. Improper electrical installations are a thing, especially if it were touched after the building were made (or the building was made a long time ago).
  • you might want to ask your neighbors who've been there longer if they had electrical problems and which.

Multi-outlet surge suppressors are cheap junk. Go ahead and watch a BigClive teardown on any of them, they are nothing but wires with a handful of small MOVs tossed on so as not to be blatantly lying when claiming surge suppression. Not surprisingly, the "famous brands" are rented brand names stamped on cheap Cheese junk.

On the other hand, whole-house surge suppressors are made by names that are actually famous in electrical distribution equipment such as Eaton, General Electric, Siemens and Square D. Those items are Good Stuff.

Tell you a secret. Nothing requires you to put them on your "whole house". Suppose you have an outside air conditioner. Those can be sensitive, but far more alarming, they can make spikes like crazy, so you'd want to protect the rest of the house from the air conditioner. I would cheerfully install a "whole house" unit right at the air conditioner. That does not preclude putting another one elsewhere.

My concern with a circuit interruptor for undervoltage and overvoltage is that it won't act quickly enough. The spike will get through, and then you'll get a "nuisance trip" as it "saves" your PC by deleting all your work and killing your hardcore Diablo character.

  • I found some multi-outlet devices of AEG that seems to be good. are there useless too? Surge is a really high voltage like 1000v right? What about persistence low or high voltage? Are they harmful? something like 280v or 150v? – rostamiani Jun 1 '19 at 3:36
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    @rostamiani well, some companies make respectable ones... over here Tripp Lite comes to mind... but the cheap junk really sets expectations for what a fair price is, so it's a tough pill to swallow to actually pay genuine (non-Chinese) prices for a thing. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 1 '19 at 5:43
  • Dude. That last line is triggering. – chrylis -cautiouslyoptimistic- Jun 1 '19 at 19:05

This is a great question, but I would suggest there are 2 possible solutions the first is a whole house surge protector, this has protected my own home and many homes in the Pacific Northwest where saw Mills’s are on the same high voltage lines, where I had to have 100% power a device called a UPS or uninterruptible power supply is required. It depends on what you need. The home owners that called me wanted to keep the huge spikes from a local lumber company from killing computers , tv’s and other electronic equipment, the whole house surge protectors saved a couple of clients hundreds if not more a year, On top of whole house surge protection I suggested UPS or a device that converts line voltage to charge a battery(s) and if line voltage drops out everything keeps working until the batteries are depleted (all IT/ and critical systems use this method and have for several decades. UPS costs much more but is the best protection available, if you have power but large spikes a whole house protector is the cheaper and recommended path forward.

  • Thanks, but a whole house solution costs too much for me. I just need to protect these appliances. But what about high or low voltage? does a persistence low voltage may damage my devices? – rostamiani Jun 1 '19 at 3:33
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    To protect an appliance a ups would cost 10x the cost of a whole house surge protector, only a ups would protect for under voltage and from spikes but as the wattage increases so dose the cost, I had a very large ups for my rear projector tv it had 4 deep cycle batteries and would provide enough time to fix bush watching a movie and cool the lamp it cost over 2500$ but the tv cost 7k so it was worth it, I also had a whole house surge protector it cost ~180$ Now that size is closer to 300 today with solid state TV’s I no longer use a ups but have a whole house surge protector in my main panel. – Ed Beal Jun 1 '19 at 18:12

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