Electrical Outlet Wiring

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On Fri, 19 Oct 2007 06:21:40 -0500, alvinamorey wrote:

It's an older laser printer. When I had it on a 15 amp circuit in an older home, occasionally I did see some fluctuation.
The point of my post is that isolating the computer from any other type of interference or possible disruption might be a better choice than trying to tie it in to an existing circuit. It's not clear from the original post what else might be on the circuit. It could also be an older home with outdated and cobbled together wiring.
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wrote:

Obviously you've never used a laser printer.

Correction: ink-jet printers are low power users. Laser and dye-sublimation printers are major power hogs.
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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On Fri, 19 Oct 2007 12:55:56 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Actually, I only use a laser printer. I refuse to pay the outrageous prices for ink. I have a canon 465. An older small laser printer. It never dims the lights. I do have an (almost) dedicated circuit for computer stuff. The only other things on it is a tv, stereo, and lamp on my desk. I normally dont use them all at once anyhow. Maybe my printer being smaller, dont draw as much power.
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On Fri, 19 Oct 2007 08:39:43 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@notmail.com wrote:

I remember reading about that (laser printers have lower per-use cost). How good are they for photos now?

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67 days until the winter solstice celebration

Mark Lloyd
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franz frippl wrote:

I agree completely - in the book I posted a link to, it shows you how to install a separately grounded, dedicated computer circuit. It's very easy.
a
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The easiest thing to do is just eliminate the switch. Remove the two wires from the switch and splice them together. Put a blank cover over the switch box.
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Once you open up the boxes and look it will be obvious how to do what you want to do. Look, draw, think, wire. Preferably in that order.
As others have pointed out that doesn't make it the best solution or to code.
Aren't you going to end up with lighting and branch circuits on the same breaker? Pretty sure that's against code, you ought to look it up. For that matter, your extension cord across the ceiling is probably wrong. You really ought to run a new circuit from the panel to your computer area, and this is not that hard or expensive to do.
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It certainly works better than this order:
complain, wire, scream, call insurance company
:-)
[snip]
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Once you open up the boxes and look it will be obvious how to do what you want to do. Look, draw, think, wire. Preferably in that order.
As others have pointed out that doesn't make it the best solution or to code.
Aren't you going to end up with lighting and branch circuits on the same breaker? Pretty sure that's against code, you ought to look it up. For that matter, your extension cord across the ceiling is probably wrong. You really ought to run a new circuit from the panel to your computer area, and this is not that hard or expensive to do.
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TimR wrote:

Tim:
What do you mean, branch and lighting? Lighting circuits /are/ branch circuits. You can't have lighting on your /small appliance branches/, but this sounds like a general lighting branch, and that can have receptacles as well as light fixtures.
I definitely agree that the first thing to do is find out what's there...look, draw, think, wire. I'd add a few more thinks, too, at the beginning, especially.
Proch wrote:

P:
There are numerous things that could be in that box, and so you need to find out just what is going on before starting to wire.
-You could have one 2-wire cable feeding the box, one 2-wire cable leaving, unswitched, and one 2-wire cable hooked up as a switch loop - out to the switch and back. In this case you'd most likely have just the one cable in the switch box.
-You could have one three-wire cable feeding the box, wired to a single branch circuit, with one hot switched and one not, and two 2-wire cables leaving the box, at least one unswitched. In this case, you'd have one 2-wire feed to the switch and one 3-wire from the switch to the ceiling box. In this case, the 3-wire cable woudl have 0v from one hot to the other, 120v from either to the neutral, when the switch was on.
Be cautious, however, because with the exact same cables and connections...
-You might have one 2-wire cable feeding the box, with one unswitched 2-wire cable leaving the box, and a 3-wire cable running to the switch, acting both as a feed for unswitched outlets downstream, and as a switch loop (the switch would be connected as above, from one hot of the three- wire cable to the other).
-You might have a 3-wire Edison circuit feeding the box; two branches with a common neutral, derived from opposite buses at the panel. In this case, you'd have 120v from each hot to neutral, and 240v across both hots. Two cables leave the box to go to other loads.
-You might have a kludged version of any of these 3-wire examples, in which two 2-wire cables were used improperly instead of one 3-wire, and the extra wire was ignored or worse.
This is why it is necessary to know just what is going on in that box, what is feeding it, and where the power is going, before starting to alter things. If you don't do that, you can set yourself up for problems. For example, somebody I know once hooked up "all black to black, all white to white" in a box. Unfortunately, there was an informal switch loop involved, and he ended up with a bolted short, and all of a sudden the breaker wouldn't stay on.
He didn't hurt himself or burn anything, fortunately, but he did learn a valuable lesson. There's just no such thing as excessive understanding when it comes to working on an old electrical circuit. You just never know what to expect.
I suggest starting out with a good book. PRACTICAL ELECTRICAL WIRING is a favorite.
G P
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GP-
Thank you for taking the time to put that together - this is exactly what I was hoping for... I will open the box tonight or tomorrow and figure everything out before proceeding. Now... would you open the box without cutting the power? Or is this considered dangerous...

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Proch wrote:

<smacks hand to forehead> Oh, for the love of...
a
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Um... in an earlier post you state you "were an EE in college". Did you actually *pass* the course?
First 3 words in the instructions for *any* wiring project: "TURN OFF POWER...".

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Yeah, I don't see how I could make contact by simply removing the face plate.

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Well that's true but you're probably not going to see anything useful either.
Most boxes are such a rat's nest that it's hard to see what's going on even with the switch/outlet pulled out!
Eric

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wrote:

Then, make SURE it's off. I normally plug in a small light (could use a plug-in receptacle tester), make sure it's on, turn off the breaker, then make sure the light went out.

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67 days until the winter solstice celebration

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Proch wrote:

P:
I always start by turning the power off, then check with my neon voltage tester to make sure it actually is off. (Actually, I usually check before turning the power off, too, to make sure the switch is on. Otherwise you can get a false safe reading, and then somebody comes by and flips the switch ON...). If possible, I check before opening a box (by checking across a socket or receptacle), but in any case I always check after opening the box. Even if I have turned off the breaker or removed the fuse, I assume the wiring could be live, until I have verified that it isn't by checking it. You never know what you are going to find in an old system.
Generally, I check from hot to neutral, then from all wires to a known good ground, after turning off the power. Preferably, I check at exposed terminals. If that's not possible, I unscrew wirenuts. This needs some caution, since wires aren't always twisted together and may spring apart when the nut is removed.
After I am sure the box is dead, I see what is going on in the box. /ALWAYS leaving the wires connected/, I unwind the rat's nest and spread the connected wires apart, and then write down how everything is arranged, what is connected to what, etc. I may tag the wires with pieces of tape. Only after writing down what I start with do I start disconnecting wires.
Once everything is disconnected and safely spaced out, if I don't already know which wires are the feed, and I can't find out by visual tracing or continuity-testing the circuit, I may turn the power back on briefly to check for voltage at the various wires. Be careful when doing this, because you are checking a live circuit, and don't want to be part of it, of course. As soon as the tests are done, shut off the power again, and check to verify it's off. This is one of the few cases in which I will allow power to an opened box. If possible, I try to avoid it, but even in some cases when I think I know just what is going on, I'll double-check this way, just to be safe.
The most important thing is to know what you are doing, and I really can't guarantee that across here. I can only explain how I do it. It's up to you to be sure that the job is done safely, and if you aren't sure you can do that, you shouldn't do it. Usenet just isn't enough.
G P
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On Sat, 20 Oct 2007 10:06:59 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gannon.edu wrote:

You also might want to be sure anyone else who's around knows what you're doing, and won't turn that breaker back on.

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66 days until the winter solstice celebration

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True, true.
But if you have insulated tools the only times you mgith actually have contact is when you are doing "preliminary" wire twisting or are handling things like switches our outlets.
You can strip and bend and twist wires without touching them directly.
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wrote:

And try to never touch more than one at a time. Of course perfection doesn't exist and there's no way you can guarantee no mistakes.
BTW, I once touched a hot (120VAC) wire while replacing a switch, and felt nothing at all.
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