Will this cause a fire?

Hey everyone, Hopefully I'm posting this in the right place. My home is around 80 years old and the wiring has been updated. I use one of the upstairs bedrooms as my office and have my computer, a television, a phone, speakers and couple of misc items plugged into a decent Monster-brand surge protector. I recently added a nice laser printer to the mix and had to plug it into the same wall outlet that the surge protector is in. When I did this, I noticed that the overhead room light starts to slightly flicker in cycles. So far, it hasn't tripped the breaker, but am I putting to much of a load on it? I don't want anything to catch fire. Could the problem be remedied plugging it into a different outlet in the same room? Not much of an electrician myself so any help / advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris wrote:

Assuming the wiring and breaker are up to code you are not risking fire damage, but that voltage drop you are seeing is not good for computer equipment. Best bet is a new circuit, or maybe a new printer with lower power demands.
--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Joseph Meehan wrote:

Think surge protector has breaker as well which will pop if load is excessive. Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Greetings,
Assuming you are using a standard 15 amp breaker: Using a different outlet probably won't help unless the plug is on a different circuit (breaker). If the breaker does not trip, you are not using more amps than the breaker allows. Breakers are sized to avoid dangerous overload conditions. Unless your house is miswired, you are not in danger of causing a fire.*
Hope this helps, William
*computer equipment can be affected by excessive voltage drop.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 13 Dec 2004 15:18:34 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@todraw.com (Chris) wrote:

Move the TV to another circuit to reduce the load. An electrician should take a look at this.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Some laser printers do this to warm up quickly. It is not an indication of an electrical problem though I would recommend a UPS for the computer in the same room on the same circuit. Don't hook the ups to the laser. They cannot handle laser printers.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris wrote: When I did this, I noticed that the overhead room light starts to

Lasers are notorious for this, and you're probably the 80,000,000th new laser owner to be somewhat alarmed by the effect.
So far, it hasn't tripped the breaker, but

Not unless you trip the breaker. You have relatively light duty loads on that outlet.
I don't want anything to catch

If it happens to be on a different circuit. Best bet is to put the computer on a UPS and relax.
Not much of an electrician myself so any help

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Chris,
No, you do not have a fire danger. It sounds like you're well within the limit of a 15 amp breaker also so if I'm right, there is no specific problem. By way of explanation: The slight light flicker is typical for most laser printers, especially the better ones. Periodically, the fuser in the printer turns "on" for a short period of time, keeping itself warm. That does a couple of things; it keeps the printer ready to print (short print-start delays), and allows the fuse wire to cool down a little, thus extending its life. IFF you don't mind the flickering, and IFF it's not causing any problems with your computer, then you could live with it if you wanted to. The electrical surges the printer is drawing can sometimes cause lockups, unexpected and "funny" problems with a computer, but usually everything will work fine. As one poster said, it would be better if you could power the printer from a different beaker if there is one within reach. However, if that other line also had lights on it, then THOSE lights will likely flicker. In my case, I have an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) for my computer/monitor/external peripherals, and the printers plug into the same outlet the UPS is on. The UPS does an excelleng job of keeping the surges from getting into my system. Also, I'm a cheap sob, so when I'm not using the printer, it's turned off, along with scanner, the big color printer, etc. and I have flourescent lighting so I don't see the spikes. ALL equipment is on power bars so that I only turn on what I need at any particular time. That way I know when I turn the power bar -off-, that things are actually OFF, not just asleep and still drawing just lower power. Someone mentioned it being the "warmup" phase of the printer, which I suppose is possible, but ... IMO you are probably seeing the flickering peridically all the time, not just when the printer comes on. Usually, the manual for printers mentions the flickering. Yours might, too.
HTH,
Pop
| Hey everyone, | Hopefully I'm posting this in the right place. My home is around 80 | years old and the wiring has been updated. I use one of the upstairs | bedrooms as my office and have my computer, a television, a phone, | speakers and couple of misc items plugged into a decent Monster-brand | surge protector. I recently added a nice laser printer to the mix and | had to plug it into the same wall outlet that the surge protector is | in. When I did this, I noticed that the overhead room light starts to | slightly flicker in cycles. So far, it hasn't tripped the breaker, but | am I putting to much of a load on it? I don't want anything to catch | fire. Could the problem be remedied plugging it into a different | outlet in the same room? Not much of an electrician myself so any help | / advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I mentioned the warm up phase. Most laser printers go to sleep when not used for a certain length of time. They will not cause flickering when in sleep mode.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
| > | Hey everyone, | > | Hopefully I'm posting this in the right place. My home is | > around 80 | > | years old and the wiring has been updated. I use one of the | > upstairs | > | bedrooms as my office and have my computer, a television, a | > phone, | > | speakers and couple of misc items plugged into a decent | > Monster-brand | > | surge protector. I recently added a nice laser printer to the | > mix and | > | had to plug it into the same wall outlet that the surge | > protector is | > | in. When I did this, I noticed that the overhead room light | > starts to | > | slightly flicker in cycles. So far, it hasn't tripped the | > breaker, but | > | am I putting to much of a load on it? I don't want anything to | > catch | > | fire. Could the problem be remedied plugging it into a | > different | > | outlet in the same room? Not much of an electrician myself so | > any help | > | / advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!!!! | > | > | |
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Speaking of all these home offices, my guess is thet it's only a matter of time now, that the NEC will require either 20a circuits in bedrooms, or that all bedrooms have receptacles on 2 different circuits.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
HaHaHa wrote:

Not likely with the advancement of technology, the power consumption of all digital stuffs are decreasing. Look at the LED Chiristmas lights for an example. Tony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Let's consider other examples, as I don't think the load in typical bedrooms has decreased any due to LED Christmas lights.
The code for bedrooms has remained pretty much unchanged, (other than added AFCI protection) at 3 watts per sq. ft. since the 60's. Since then, in typical bedrooms it has become commonplace to add many appliances which weren't common in the 60's. TV sets, a VCR/DVD player, a settop cable or dish network box, a stereo set, some kind of game system, computers and printers, and in many Northern homes w/o central a/c those 99.00 window shakers are becoming all the rage.
I was not suprised at all when the NEC changed the bathroom receptacle from being one of many sharing a 15a circuit, to having it's own dedicated 20a circuit. I think the same is in store for bedrooms. snipped-for-privacy@aol.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Temporarily move laser printer to another circuit with incandescent lights. Learn if printer does same on other circuits. It is possible that a wire in that 15 amp circuit is loose - not properly connected. In which case, you might have a potentially serious problem. But we don't know since we don't really know what is and is not a flicker - the numbers. Some flickers are serious. Others are irrelevant. Its all about how much. How much difference in light intensity would tell us how large or minor the voltage drop is. BTW, we are discussing brownouts - not surges. Those are two completely different problems.
That Monster protector only provides two functions - more receptacles and the 15 amp circuit breaker. Everything else is irrelevant to your problem and has grossly enriched them at your expense. A $3+ power strip from Walmart or Home Depot would have accomplished same - assuming it too has the all so important 15 amp circuit breaker.
As others have noted, other items on that 15 amp circuit are a minor load. Furthermore, it may not be advisable to move laser to another circuit - depending on how that laser connects to computer.
Chris wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
w_tom wrote:

Great advice everyone. Thanks. I am turning the printer off when not in use. When I say the lights "flicker" I mean they dim slightly every few seconds, which I guess is indicating a voltage drop. I don't notice it in the television or computer monitor. Anyway. Thanks everyone.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.