Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Power question

Last response: in Components
Share
February 6, 2012 7:48:15 PM

I'm currently living in an apartment with somewhat shoddy power. When appliances are turned on I lose a volt or two, and the lights dim when I vacuum as the power sags from 120v down to 116v. Maintenance wont do anything since it's technically "within spec" for my utility company (or so they say, I'm not fighting them any more on it) and for the most part it is manageable as I simply don't run my electronics while I vacuum or the wife uses the blow-dryer.
However, out of curiosity, I hooked my multimeter up to the wall outlet my PC and monitor run off of during a 3dmark Vantage benchmark session and watched as the power from the outlet fluctuated up and down from 120v, to 119v, to 120v to 118v to 119v etc. with the changing load produced by my PC. So, my question is this: My power supply is rated to function as low as 115v, but I'm worried about damaging it or the capacitors/chokes of my other hardware (graphics cards, cpu, mobo) with low voltage or a constantly shifting voltage. I have barely used my PC at all since I moved in because of this, and while I've looked into a UPS system, I'm moving in a few months anyway and would honestly rather just not use the PC until then rather than pay $230 to do so. Basically I'd just like to know if my fears are justified and my hardware can be damaged, or if these fluctuations are nothing to worry about.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

More about : power question

a b ) Power supply
February 6, 2012 8:08:49 PM

hopefully you are using a surge protector just in case

and its a waste of time arguing with your utility company here in the uk as well--just had 2 power cuts and when they

turned the power back on the surge blew my cookers electronic ignition--spent all day phoning them and got fobbed

off with we are not responsible once it passes into your property etc --claim on your house insurance

but my pc has a quality surge protector on it so it was fine
m
0
l
a c 137 ) Power supply
February 6, 2012 8:18:13 PM

If your psu is a quality unit, it should be able to correct some of those fluctuations.

At the very least, your components should be protected.

That said, I recommend you use a minimal UPS. In addition to keeping the power regulated, it will give you time to save your work and shut down gracefully in the event of a power outage.

Look to APC for some of the best.
m
0
l
Related resources
February 6, 2012 8:51:43 PM

geofelt said:
If your psu is a quality unit, it should be able to correct some of those fluctuations.

At the very least, your components should be protected.

That said, I recommend you use a minimal UPS. In addition to keeping the power regulated, it will give you time to save your work and shut down gracefully in the event of a power outage.

Look to APC for some of the best.

Pardon my ignorance regarding UPS systems, but would a minimal ups, say a model rated for 500watts, clean up the power fluctuations to a stable 120v constant? Or would it just kick over to the UPS battery during a lower voltage situation and depleted the battery super fast as my system consumes significantly more power?

Also, my psu is kingwin mach 1, 1kw.
m
0
l
a c 137 ) Power supply
February 6, 2012 9:03:01 PM

kineticman said:
Pardon my ignorance regarding UPS systems, but would a minimal ups, say a model rated for 500watts, clean up the power fluctuations to a stable 120v constant? Or would it just kick over to the UPS battery during a lower voltage situation and depleted the battery super fast as my system consumes significantly more power?

Also, my psu is kingwin mach 1, 1kw.


How a ups is constructed differs. Some will always run off of the battery, whicl the battery is constantly recharged. That is more consistent, but more expensive. Others will not go to battery power until the input voltage drops below a setting, or rises above a setting.

Either way, you will keep running.
m
0
l
February 6, 2012 10:42:36 PM

geofelt said:
How a ups is constructed differs. Some will always run off of the battery, whicl the battery is constantly recharged. That is more consistent, but more expensive. Others will not go to battery power until the input voltage drops below a setting, or rises above a setting.

Either way, you will keep running.


I see. One more question, would a sinewave model be what I'm looking for in this situation?
m
0
l
a c 274 ) Power supply
February 6, 2012 11:10:31 PM

Those fluctuations are nothing to worry about.
Perfectly normal btw.
A fridge or furnace turns on in your house or next door and it will effect that.
I have a decent UPS( 1500VA / 900W )that monitors AC utility and i've seen it fluctuate from 115v to 120v.
Right now it's 118v.
My UPS is designed to kick in when AC drops below 90v or rises above 140v.
I have two friends that are master electricians and they said it's normal and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
And yes a pure sinewave model is better then a step model.
m
0
l
February 7, 2012 3:34:27 AM

davcon said:
Those fluctuations are nothing to worry about.
Perfectly normal btw.
A fridge or furnace turns on in your house or next door and it will effect that.
I have a decent UPS( 1500VA / 900W )that monitors AC utility and i've seen it fluctuate from 115v to 120v.
Right now it's 118v.
My UPS is designed to kick in when AC drops below 90v or rises above 140v.
I have two friends that are master electricians and they said it's normal and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
And yes a pure sinewave model is better then a step model.


I see. I guess I was just spoiled by the last place I lived at where the voltage rarely dipped below 120v, where as here I can manipulate the wall voltage by adjusting the graphics and Cpu load on my pc. Furmark or prime95 cause the voltage in the office to sag to 119v, or 118v if I run them together, until I stop the programs and my plug voltage pops back up to 120v.
If this is normal and doesn't damage my pc I guess I'll just live with it.
m
0
l
February 7, 2012 6:15:07 AM

kineticman said:
I see. One more question, would a sinewave model be what I'm looking for in this situation?

You can see on the main board have a battery
m
0
l

Best solution

a c 274 ) Power supply
February 7, 2012 12:50:25 PM

kineticman said:
I see. I guess I was just spoiled by the last place I lived at where the voltage rarely dipped below 120v, where as here I can manipulate the wall voltage by adjusting the graphics and Cpu load on my pc. Furmark or prime95 cause the voltage in the office to sag to 119v, or 118v if I run them together, until I stop the programs and my plug voltage pops back up to 120v.
If this is normal and doesn't damage my pc I guess I'll just live with it.

Yeah i don't think you have anything to worry about.
Today i'm only getting 116v and 117v steady.
I live in Ontario Canada which has a pretty good power infrastructure.
Like i said before my friends told me 120v is sent out by the utility down the street.
Everybody's stuff turning on and off on the street will effect that voltage.
A UPS is a really good idea though and i recommend them.
I have a Cyberpower =very good!
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/apc-smt1500-cyberpo...
Share
February 7, 2012 2:06:50 PM

davcon said:
Yeah i don't think you have anything to worry about.
Today i'm only getting 116v and 117v steady.
I live in Ontario Canada which has a pretty good power infrastructure.
Like i said before my friends told me 120v is sent out by the utility down the street.
Everybody's stuff turning on and off on the street will effect that voltage.
A UPS is a really good idea though and i recommend them.
I have a Cyberpower =very good!
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/apc-smt1500-cyberpo...


Ok, as the general consensus seems to be to get a UPS either way, I suppose I'll look into getting the CyberPower 1500VA I had been eyeing since I discovered all this.
Overall it wouldn't concern me as much if it were a steady 118v or 119v, but it jumping around nine or ten times in one benchmark is what concerned me.
m
0
l
February 7, 2012 8:12:44 PM

Best answer selected by kineticman.
m
0
l
!