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Windows 7: Electrical problems with wiring

05 Dec 2014   #1
ZombieKiller

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Electrical problems with wiring

Hey! Think this is the right place for this. So the wiring is my house, not my PC, it's an old house with ancient wiring, no grounds and the power fluctuates and lights flicker at times. So for almost the past year I've had a $5,000 PC sitting gathering dust because I don't want to plug it in the the horrid electrical. Though I had an idea, there is 1 (yes one (1)) outlet that was redone a few years ago and has new wiring with a ground, so my idea is I run an extension cord from this outlet to my desk where I'll have it plugged into a (1350W) UPS that I'll have my PC plugged into. The UPS would protect against power fluctuations, flickering (same thing?), and brown outs right? So does this idea sound like it'd work??? I'm crazy excited! My PC has been gathering dust for almost a year (11 months!!!) and if this idea works I'd be so happy!

This is the UPS CyberPower PR2200LCDRT2U UPS - Newegg.com


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Dec 2014   #2
Shimshom

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

If that outlet is properly grounded as well as having a UPS it will work just fine so go ahead and connect it. Just use a heavy duty extension chord and you'll be right. Oh yeah don't forget to clean that dust
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2014   #3
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

A UPS is basically a device to allow safe shut-down of critical systems when the power is unexpectedly removed, It is not really designed to negate the need for an adequate supply - they are normally specified to supply enough power to all connected devices for just long enough to allow the system to shut down safely.

Of course most add some extras that will help with a generally fluctuating supply and with some brownout protection, the amount of this protection will depend on the actual range of the fluctuation and the amount of control built into the UPS.

I would strongly advise that you consult professional help in specifying what is the best protection for your needs and most cost effective method of providing this
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05 Dec 2014   #4
ZombieKiller

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I've contacted electricians and they all seem to want me to redo the entire house ($10,000+ at least), so I've been trying to find a cheaper way. I don't know if you know much on UPSs but I haven't purchased one yet and this is the one I'm thinking of, would you recommend a different/better one?

CyberPower PR2200LCDRT2U UPS - Newegg.com
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2014   #5
Shimshom

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Try to run some other appliance from the outlet that's not as expensive and cheap to replace like a DVD player or similar
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05 Dec 2014   #6
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

Looking at the spec that UPS looks fine and should do the job designed for.

Where I see a possible issue is with the brownout situation. what reduction of the supply voltage will trigger the UPS into shut-down mode, rather that the UPS augmenting the lower supply? if the UPS is set to trigger a shut-down on a 10% voltage drop and you get regular drops of 11% then you system could well be safe but not practical to use.

This is not a matter for a general electrician, but one for someone who can monitor your actual chosen outlet and specify and or set up the UPS to suit. If you go ahead with what is a quite significant purchase you could end up with a different but equally unusable set-up where the PC keeps shutting down during use or in an unlikely worst case could actually be damaged due to insufficient voltage or power supplies.

It could well be that you buy the listed UPS and everything is fine, but I would personally do a little more research before proceeding
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2014   #7
ZombieKiller

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I am, running a 250W HTPC on it. If your curious what the results are, before I was running it on a three prong outlet with NO ground, there was blue screens, freezes, crashes, you name it. Until I plugged it into the mentioned outlet with a ground, they still occasionally happen but WAY less. I have also been running two blue ray players, 32" HDTV and a cheap sound system as well on the new outlet, though they've never shown any noticeable problems (all two prong cords).
That kinda what you were wondering?
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05 Dec 2014   #8
Barman58

Windows 10 Pro x64 x2 Windows 10 Enterprise x64, Ubuntu
 
 

Looking at the rating and assuming that you would want to run a 250W PC plus a HDTV the specs state the UPS will give 700w for 18 Minutes I would expect this to be suitable in a brownout situation as long as the brownout once it triggered the UPS did not last for longer that about 15 minutes.

I would check that the control software gives sufficient control to supply the PC and TV for a period before actually shutting down the PC, (and TV), this is normal way of working so should not be an issue you could suffer, (the UPS normally would power the devices until it's own power fell below that needed to safely power down)

I don't know the recharge cycle time after an incident, which is needed to workout how often you could suffer a brownout before the system would have to shut down due to insufficient power store, [ EG if you suffer a brownout that triggers the UPS twice daily but the UPS has time to recharge then this would never be an issue, but two 10 minute events in a short time where the UPS could not recharge sufficiently would cause a shut-down event.

Transient spikes and voltage fluctuations should be controlled by the smoothing circuitry without any issues as long as these are within the capabilities of the UPS.

I spent a number of years (20+), dealing with IT systems in industry where power fluctuations were a fact of life and have to admit that the specifications for UPS were something that took a lot more thought than you would initially think so I I'm naturally a little over cautious

Without actual test results from your particular situation I cannot state categorically that the particular UPS is suitable or not, but in all likelihood it would be fine.
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05 Dec 2014   #9
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ZombieKiller View Post
Hey! Think this is the right place for this. So the wiring is my house, not my PC, it's an old house with ancient wiring, no grounds and the power fluctuates and lights flicker at times.
The electrical supply in your house, regardless of age or type, should not flicker. This is an indication of loose wiring (most often one or more "loose neutrals") and loose wiring can cause arcing - the most common cause of electrical house fires. This condition should be addressed soon - PC or not.

There is a possibility that the problem is on the utility side. Your electrical utility company "owns" the wiring on the street and right up to the connection on the building (unless it is underground). There is a possibility that the dirty power is due to loose wiring on the "street side" of the equation. It could also be a bad transformer.

So your first step should be a complaint to the utility. They will send a technician out to check things out. They will check the power on their side of things but if you explain what is happening you might get them to come inside to "see the problem". This way you can find out what your actual power problems may be.
Tip: Shut up and let the tech talk! If you show interest and curiosity you will be amazed at how much you can get these guys to talk. They are trying to impress you with their vast knowledge. Let them!

If you find that the power from the street is clean then you could hire an electrician to wire a single 20A grounded outlet directly from the fuse/breaker box to your PC location. Of course they want to re-wire the whole house (and they might be right too), but you just say "I'm not interested in that" and ask for a quote on what you want to have done. Should be $300 - $800 depending on where you live and the length of the run.

You might also want to contact your insurance company if you own the house. They sometimes have incentive programs to upgrade these old systems - for obvious reasons.
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08 Dec 2014   #10
ZombieKiller

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I had someone come look at the electrical, I now know what's wrong. I was wrong about brownouts, it's just power fluctuations and outages. The cause seems to be the connections and wiring on my electric panel are loose and coming undone. So I'm having that fixed. Then I should be fine as long as I run my PC off of my outlet with a ground.

Thanks for taking the time to help me out guys! I really appreciate it!

BTW, my PC I'd be using isn't 250W (that's a different PC) it's a 1200W, so that other idea probably wouldn't have worked. lol
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 Electrical problems with wiring




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