Electronics + motor on sa

Blake:
BP> I have just finished a basement room that has 3 outlets fed by one BP> line from the breaker in the fuse box. I have a sump pump plugged BP> into one of the outlets and the rest will be computer hardware. All
Darn: you finished the room and then asked the question! <g>
BP> computer hardware will be on fairly high quality APC surge protectors. BP> When the sump pump kicks on for its few seconds, I can detect a BP> slight dimming of the lights - but then there is a light dimming when BP> the heat or AC kicks on, and its on a separate breaker...
Re: dimming -- normal (or at least the same thing occurs here plus the others haven't commented on it).
As a couple of the other responders noted, the surge protectors are not going to protect you from the lowered voltage. Surge = high voltage; you are concerned with a low voltage issue. OTOH when the sump pump kicks in there may be some spikes in the line so the surge protection isn't totally unwarranted.
Personally I'd go with a decent UPS. Check around for a model with decent surge surpression and a switch to shut of the alarm: I have the feeling that low-voltage alarm will be kicking in a lot! Also, it is probably not a good idea to put the surge surpression device on the UPS, either before or after; check your manual. (This was why I suggested getting a UPS with decent surge ratings.) Also, you generally don't want/need to put a printer on a UPS, especially a laser (though I have the two impact and one inkjet on a "spare" UPS).
BP> And as a side note - I have 6-7 lights in the room (lots of light!) BP> using lots of low-wattage (40 watt maybe) bulbs - do they draw much BP> power as far as going towards tripping the breaker for the room?
Umm, yeah! 7 bulbs x 40 watts is 280 watts, approximately 2 amps. FWIW I don't like computing (or watching TV) in the dark so I have some room lighting also. ...As a side note I have my computer desk light on the UPS -- if the power goes out I am not in the dark.
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
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The common denominator. Other circuits cause same dimming problem. Start at the common factor. First check that a neutral wire connection inside breaker box is properly tightened. Often this is an aluminum wire that sometimes requires a second tightening sometime after service was installed.
Computers typically are not bothered by drooping line voltage. For example, Intel specs demand that a fully loaded computer power supply work just fine, even from startup, when voltage is so low that incandescent lamps are at less than 40% intensity! A voltage that low is unacceptable to the building and maybe due to household or utility wiring failure.
Fix the problem; not the symptom. A UPS would only cure symptoms. Surge protector does absolutely nothing (as specs for that surge protector should make obvious). Discover why lights dim also on other circuits. Start where the problem has a common factor - breaker box.
As others have properly noted, that surge protector does nothing for your problem. It also forgot to mention that it is only as effective as its earth ground. Being more than 10 foot from any earth ground means it can even contribute to damage of a powered off computer. For about same money, or about $1 per protected appliance; 'whole house' surge protector would do something effective. Whoever checks out the breaker box can also install effective protection.
barry martin wrote:

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Y'know, I wouldn't worry about the computers, I'd worry about the sump pump. Say some cold rainy day you plug a heater into the same circuit and walk away, and then the pump kicks in and trips the breaker; you could come back to an inch of water on the floor. For this reason, most people recommend dedicated circuits for sump pumps (and experts are divided on whether to use GFCIs, since a nuisance trip can be costly).
At the very least, keep your computer and UPS off the floor!
Chip C Toronto

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