I’ll admit, I didn’t start out looking for a surge protector for my garage door opener. Most times I don’t even think about it unless it’s not working.
I recently needed to look for an adapter to add an additional outlet up there.
When my house was built, they added a single receptacle outlet. That essentially makes it so my garage door opener is on a dedicated circuit.
I thought this would be a great time to look at some single-receptacle surge protectors. Especially some that were specifically designed to work with your garage door.
Since you all seemed to really like my roundup of the best garage surge protectors, I decided to do the same sort of test with a few of the most popular garage door opener surge protectors.
Here’s what I found out.
Best Surge Protector for Garage Door Opener
In doing my research. these three surge protectors were very highly rated, both on Amazon and by garage door opener installers.
Only the LiftMaster\Chamberlain unit is specifically designed for your garage door opener. However, each one of these would be something I’d consider.
Best Overall: Tripp-Lite ISOBLOK2
My favorite overall, and the surge protector that’s connected to my garage door opener right now is the Tripp-Lite ISOBLOK2.
I’ve been a fan of Tripp-Lite surge protectors for a long time. In fact, they were one of the winners of my garage surge protector article. They’ve always had some really good technology in their products.
The ISOBLOK2 is made from a metal housing which makes it extremely durable.
Unfortunately, it also increases the weight considerably. In fact, they needed to include an additional bracket to secure the surge protector to your outlet.
Tripp-Lite makes similar looking two-receptacle surge protectors: the ISOBLOK2, which I purchased, and the ULTRABLOK. The slightly more expensive ULTRABLOK adds an integrated 15 amp circuit breaker and a black metal housing.
Both surge protectors have an incredibly high 1410 joule rating and a low 140 volt clamping voltage. Both are easily the best by far in this comparison.
The ISOBLOK has three warning lights that quickly give you a status update. There’s a green “Line OK’ light that goes out if the power is cut.
The “Protection Present” indicator will be green when the surge protector is working. It switches to the red “Fault” light when the surge protector needs to be replaced.
As a bonus, the Tripp-Lite ISOBLOK2 was cheaper on Amazon than the LiftmMaster 990LM, which was the runner up. With the combination of it’s durability and performance, this one is a no-brainer.
Best Alternate: Chamberlain CLSS1 / LiftMaster 990LM
The LiftMaster 990LM and Chamberlain CLSS1 are the same device, just branded specifically for each company.
Both LiftMaster and Chamberlain are owned by the same parent company and share almost everything between the two brands.
The LiftMaster 990LM is unique because it allows you to plug the wires for your garage door sensors into the surge protector to cover them as well.
One one hand, I see the point of making sure that all parts of the circuit are protected. However, adding new wiring for all of my sensors was more effort than I wanted, so I skipped that part.
So we’ll just be looking at the single receptacle part of this surge protector.
The LiftMaster 990LM is only rated to protect against a surge of 761 joules, which is around half of the Tripp-Lite’s capacity. What’s worse, they don’t list their clamping voltage anywhere that I can see.
There’s a single greet LED to show the status. Assuming everything is functioning normally, the green LED will be lit up. Although the light is easy to see in the dark, I found it can get lost in a well-lit garage.
The casing is made of plastic, but doesn’t feel cheap at all. I like that it’s very low profile, only being about an inch higher than the outlet itself.
The LiftMaster 990LM doesn’t offer as much protection at the Tripp-Lite and isn’t as durable as the Tripp-Lite. That cost it points in my comparison.
Still, if you want to protect your garage door opener’s sensors, or just need a single receptacle surge protector that doesn’t take up a lot of space, then this is a good option.
Skip this one: Nippon Protect-RF
The least expensive option that I found was the Nippon Protect-RF, and it’s the only one that I can’t recommend.
To be fair, it’s a single receptacle surge protector that’s designed for your appliances, not your garage door opener.
With an anemic 175 joules of protection, it’s not much better than the internal surge protection in your garage door opener.
It does have some decent protection against voltage fluctuations. It’ll automatically shut off if it senses higher than 140 volts or lower than 90 volts, which is nice.
When you first plug in the Protect-RF, it goes through a four-minute cycle to get a baseline of your AC power. During that time you won’t be able to use whatever’s plugged into it.
Of course, because I didn’t read the instructions, that led to a few minutes of me wondering if I did something wrong.
Once the safety cycle is complete, the yellow “Safety Cycle” light goes out and the green “Power On” button lights up.
The Nippon Protect-RF was the cheapest surge protector that I tested, and it showed. It didn’t offer the same level of protection as either of the other units. In my opinion, you’re better off spending more and getting one of the other two surge protectors on this list.
Surge Protector Basics
To help understand the comparison, it’s important to get a basic understanding of surge protectors.
Don’t worry. I’ll make this as painless as possible. :)
The two most important things to look for when buying a surge protector are the joule rating and the clamping voltage.
The joule rating is how much of a surge the surge protector can take without it melting. How big a joule rating you need depends on what you’re plugging into it. A floor lamp would be fine on a surge protector with 600 joules of protection. However a corded power drill would need something closer to the 1800 joule range.
A garage door opener has an electric motor driving a belt or chain. Whatever surge protector you buy should fall somewhere in between those values.
The joule rating is what’s heavily advertised on the packaging. However I’ve always thought that the clamping voltage was more important.
This is how quickly the surge protector can realize that the surge has occurred and shut things down.
You want this to be as close to 110 volts in the U.S. and Canada, and as close to 230 volts in the U.K. as possible.
The more it varies from what our normal power supply is, the more likely that a surge will slip through and damage whatever is plugged into it.
Outlet vs Receptacle
There’s one other distinction we need to make, and that’s outlet vs receptacle. A receptacle is the individual plug that you plug something into. An outlet will usually have two receptacles in it.
Take a look at one of the wall outlets in the room you’re in right now. You would plug your light into one receptacle and your phone charger into the other. Both receptacles together are called the outlet.
When you’re shopping for a surge protector for your garage door opener, you’re looking for a single-receptacle surge protector.
Can You Plug a Garage Door Opener Into a Surge Protector
Most garage door openers have at least some level of built-in surge protection. That leads to the obvious question of whether you can (or should) plug a garage door opener into a surge protector.
The short answer is that the built-in surge protection is extremely small. They’re only rated to handle the normal daily fluctuations that happen. Any larger surges would usually be too much for it to handle.
So LiftMaster\Chamberlain makes a surge protector specifically for your garage door opener. Several companies make single-receptacle surge protector.
Most single receptacle surge protectors will work great for your garage door opener. At a cost between $15 and $35, they’re an inexpensive way to keep it protected.
If you liked this article, be sure to check out my roundup article where I compare five popular garage surge protectors to see which one is the best.