I have cheap utility flourescent lights in an area where I set up my PC and
laser printer. Whenever I use the printer the lights dim and flicker. I
assume the current draw drops the voltage to the lights which is what causes
them to dim but is there a fix? Perhaps more expensive flourescents that
might be less sensitive to voltage drops?
I suggest a new power line for the printer. Those power fluctuations
are not doing you computer any good either. A better fixture will not fix
the problem, better power will. You also may want to check to make sure all
the connections and wires are up to par and that you don't have any other
heavy uses coming from that circuit.
Well, I wasn't able to find much info on using a dedicated UPS to
provide the burst of power that a laser printer needs to warm up.
The normal recommendation is NOT to plug the laser into the UPS, but
this is under the assumption that the UPS is being used to power the
computer in case of a power outage, in which case the printer would run
down the UPS quickly. But this is irrelevant.
Most sources just mumble some vague justifcation, e.g. "plugging a laser
printer into a UPS is inadvisable for various technical reasons."
The one real reason sometimes stated is that UPS aren't designed to
supply the current that a laser printer can draw, and can damage the UPS.
It's too bad. It seems silly to install more electrical wiring just to
satisfy a device that peaks for a few seconds a few times per day. It
might be cheaper just to buy a better behaved printer.
That may be true, but it sounds a lot like that circuit it is on is
marginal even without the printer.
I don't know what a new line would cost John, situations are different
and I have always run my own and doing that would be cheaper then buying a
I keep my computer on it's own circuit and my printers are on the pre
Thanks to all who replied. The printer is an inexpensive Brother laser
printer which might be part of the problem. I do have the PC and printer on
the same circuit because when I ran the circuits, I ran each circuit to a
different area. I will try using an extension (short and heavy guage) to
put the PC on another circuit and leave the printer as the only device on
the circuit with the flourescents and see what happens. The circuits are 15
Amp short runs of 14 GA copper from a 200 Amp entry which should be
adequate, so if the printer still dims the lights, then I'll know that the
problem lies with the design of the printer and I will have to find a way to
isolate it to a circuit with no flourescents.
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