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Power Supplies, Major Applicances, and UPS's

Last response: in Components
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August 15, 2011 9:00:25 PM

Hello all. Life has recently forced me to move back in with my parents after quite a few years :(  . The only place they have for me is in the basement. Aside from the pain of being the living cliche at my age, I also have the misfortune of needing to put my computer in the same room and electrical circuit as an air conditioner, mini-fridge, and large freezer.

I haven't done the math on the voltage yet, but I feel I have a grasp on that (even though, admittedly, I am a novice at things like this, so feel free to pre-emptively warn me about this area too, if anything stands out).

What I am worried about (because having bad things on the same circuit on my pc has caused damage to several components before - different house though) is if the appliances and their constant sporadic activation might wreck havoc with my power supply?

My power supply is the newest part of my machine (the last one conked out on me 4 months ago, but it was flimsy and came with the case), and this time I didn't skimp on it. Still, I'd hate to risk it. Perhaps a UPS is in order?

Thanks.
a b ) Power supply
August 16, 2011 1:46:09 AM

There are two types of problems here. One is what has you worried - that voltage surges caused by starts and stops of larger motor loads in the appliances will damage your computer. Yes, a UPS could help reduce those substantially IF it is the right kind with good surge suppression. But for the cost of that, maybe you could have an electrician install a dedicated second circuit for your computer from the breaker panel.

The other problem is that that one circuit already feeding into the room is awfully close to overload right now. Any two of freezer, mini-fridge and air conditioner is close to the 15 amp limit of most circuits. In fact, if two of them just happen to start up at the same time, I would expect the breaker to trip off, unless it is a REALLY slow-acting one. If you add 5 to 10 amps' load with your computer system, I fully expect breaker trips ALL the time! Again, solution is s new separate circuit for computer.
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