OT: Computer's electrical outlet

Mikkel L. Ellertson mikkel at infinity-ltd.com
Thu Nov 15 18:37:06 UTC 2007

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.
First a minor correction - I am willing to bet it is a 10 amp, and
not a 10 watt fuse. Even the LCD monitor probably draws more then 10
watts. (AC watts = volts x amps x power factor)

> 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)
The popping sound may be because of the RF spike when the contacts
that turn on the heating element open or close. I have notices
amplified speakers with long leads to the speakers tend to be
sensitive to this. The things I would expect to cause problems are
the microwave and the refrigerator. They both tend to have fairly
high startup loads. This is known to cause a voltage drop. The
extent of the drop depends on the wiring. also, depending on the
type of fuse used, the spike may blow the fuse. Time delay fuses
handle it best, fast blow fuses handle it the worst. I suspect that
you have a time delay type fuse.


  Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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