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Windows 7: Does a power flux effect a computer when it's on?

11 Aug 2013   #1
Goji73

Windows 7 64bit
 
 
Does a power flux effect a computer when it's on?

Hopefully the title doesn't confuse too many people...

Because it's hot enough to run an Air Conditioner in my area, I usually run it to keep my room cold. However I notice that whenever I turn it on, the lights in my room dimmer for a split second whenever I turn it on due to some sort of power flux I assume. (My neighborhood was hit by a big flood 2 years ago, and since then due to nobody coming back to it, my area has had weird electricity) Since I run my Windows 7 computer most of the day, would turning my A/C on while my PC is on cause any negative feedback on my computer due to this power jumble that happens whenever I turn on the A/C or should I be fine?


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11 Aug 2013   #2
indianacarnie

 

Are you plugged into a power strip/surge protector or the wall outlet? If power strip/surge protector you should be o.k..
Due to the nature of my business I use predominately power from portable generators most of the year. (HUGE generators to be sure but generators all the same.) "My" power fluctuates some (I can see the lights dim and brighten slightly sometimes) but between my surge protector and some paranoia my machine is fine and dandy.
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11 Aug 2013   #3
MeOnMine

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 OEM
 
 

a power strip/surge protector does not stop voltage sag or dip.
When your A/C starts up it pulls the most current from your loop of power.
This creates a sag or dip in available power on your loop.
This can damage your power supply in your computer (Laptop excluded).
This needs to be quite severe, it will more than likely be a sag caused by your power provider that will be dangerous.
The best way is to use a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) this will do its best to protect both ways, surge and sag.
Lightning however will kill all things so always unplug from the wall power and cable or phone lines.
Lightning will jump the air gap in a switch like it was not even there so turning it off at the wall is a waste of your time.
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12 Aug 2013   #4
madcratebuilder

Win8/8.1,Win7-U64, Vista U64, uncounted Linux distor's
 
 

The power drop from a major appliance starting should not be a problem. The PSU should be able to compensate and provide a consistent voltage to the computer. Concider a Universal Power Supply, UPS's are dirt cheap, you don't need a monster sized one, just enough to allow a smooth shut down when you have a failure of the power grid.
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12 Aug 2013   #5
indianacarnie

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MeOnMine View Post
a power strip/surge protector does not stop voltage sag or dip.
When your A/C starts up it pulls the most current from your loop of power.
This creates a sag or dip in available power on your loop.
This can damage your power supply in your computer (Laptop excluded).
This needs to be quite severe, it will more than likely be a sag caused by your power provider that will be dangerous.
The best way is to use a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) this will do its best to protect both ways, surge and sag.
Lightning however will kill all things so always unplug from the wall power and cable or phone lines.
Lightning will jump the air gap in a switch like it was not even there so turning it off at the wall is a waste of your time.
I stand corrected! Was speaking from experience as I've had absolutely no problems with my variable power supply. But I exclusively use a laptop. Haven't even owned a desktop in ........ gosh .......8 years?, something like that. Thank you for your insight.
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12 Aug 2013   #6
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

There are UPS that "condition" the power as well as providing it to fill in gaps during a power dip. They tend to be much more expensive that the ordinary UPS. If you search for a UPS to purchase, compare results with and without the "conditioning" search term. The ones that don't are likely 1/3 the cost of those that do(if not even a more drastic price difference.)

If you're on a tight budget I'd at least get the ordinary UPS. It will keep your drive contents from getting corrupted durint those fraction of a second power outs.

edit all of the above assumes you have a desktop PC with no UPS currently(pardon the pun.)
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13 Aug 2013   #7
westom

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Goji73 View Post
Since I run my Windows 7 computer most of the day, would turning my A/C on while my PC is on cause any negative feedback on my computer due to this power jumble that happens whenever I turn on the A/C or should I be fine?
Useful answers also provide numbers. Normal voltage for all computers is even when incandescent bulbs dim to 40% intensity. Numbers that define voltages that low were even in Intel ATX standards for the first Pentium. Low voltage is not harmful to electronic hardware. However, low voltage is potentially harmful to motorized appliances including the air conditioner and refrigerator.

Proper wiring means lights should not dim significantly. Often this problem is found in simple wiring mistakes. For example, receptacles are sometimes wired using the back stab holes. Good enough for safety codes. Insufficient for heavier appliances like air conditioners. Wires should be fully wrapped around screws on the side of each receptacle. Otherwise lights will dim as voltage drops significantly below 120 volts.

In rare cases, dimming lights indicated a serious human safety threat. Lights should never dim. In most cases, it is not a human safety problem. In rare cases, the problem continued to get worse causing serious appliance damage or other threats that even included fire.

Dimming (low voltage) is never solved by a protector (that ignored voltages below 330 volts). A UPS is an expensive 'symptom solver'. And cannot be used on motorized appliances (because its output power is so 'dirty'). Instead, solve the problem; not symptoms. Find and fix a loose or not fully attached wire.
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13 Aug 2013   #8
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I would do it the old fashion way. Read the specs of your air conditioner and have a qualified person check the buildings circuit and see if it designed for such a load. You may need a designated circuit for the air conditioner.
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13 Aug 2013   #9
madcratebuilder

Win8/8.1,Win7-U64, Vista U64, uncounted Linux distor's
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
I would do it the old fashion way. Read the specs of your air conditioner and have a qualified person check the buildings circuit and see if it designed for such a load. You may need a designated circuit for the air conditioner.
+10

Most likely the A/C is installed on a circuit that has minimum requirements for amperage and wire gauge.

You can buy discontinued models of UPS's off evil bay for pennies on the dollar, $40-$50 buys a adequate unit.
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14 Aug 2013   #10
westom

 
 

[QUOTE=madcratebuilder;2497563]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Most likely the A/C is installed on a circuit that has minimum requirements for amperage and wire gauge.
Its AC plug defines wires. If the AC plug (typically NEMA 15) can attach to that wall socket, then amperage and wire gauge is sufficient. If an air conditioner requires more amperage (a heavier gauge wire), then the AC receptacle will not accept that completely different air conditioner plug.
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