OT: Computer's electrical outlet

Chris G cl at isbd.net
Thu Nov 15 17:07:17 UTC 2007

On Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 10:38:48AM -0600, Thomas Cameron wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-11-15 at 18:27 +0200, Dotan Cohen wrote:
> > Not strictly a Fedora question, but where else will I find a willing
> > audience of brains?
> > 
> > A fried lives in the university dorms. She has two electrical outlets
> > in her part of the room, both on the same fuse. One has a splitter
> > which powers her computer, LCD monitor, printer, cellphone charger,
> > speakers, and maybe something else. The other powers the room's
> > refrigerator, electric kettle, microwave, and maybe something else.
> > Not everything is in use at the same time (the computer is always on)
> > and somehow the 10 watt (220 volt) fuse handles it all and even a
> > small electric heater to boot.
> > 
> > Here's the question: is there any disadvantage to plugging the heater
> > into the computer's electrical outlet splitter, as opposed to the
> > other one? As mentioned, they are on the same fuse. I noticed that
> > when the heater is started and stopped the speakers make a popping
> > sound. Is this harmful to the computer? (fire hazard notwithstanding)
> It's always been my understanding that plugging a computer into the same
> circuit as anything that suddenly draws a lot of power (like a laser
> printer when it fires up the fuser or a space heater) is a no-no.  
> Those devices cause momentary power dips and spikes as the go on and
> off, and that can absolutely kill your system.
> If you have any way to condition your power (I believe that some UPSs do
> line conditioning as well) you probably should.
Although a heater is much less likely to cause problems than some
other loads as it is just about a purely resistive load and won't
cause spikes, just dips according to how good the wiring is.  The real
nasties are things like vacuum cleaners with bigg[ish] electric
motors, I'm always very ware of using them in close [electrical]
prximity to computers and such.

Chris Green

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