Any electricians here? (socket strip query)

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Foebane72, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    I recently ordered this item from Amazon:

    8 Way SURGE Protected 2m Extension Lead Switched NEON 8: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    And when I got it today, I spent the afternoon replacing the two old socket strips I had daisy chained to my seven electrical items, all leading to one mains socket. I figured it would be a more practical solution and gain me an extra spare socket as well.

    The thing is, I plug in the PC on two separate occasions ONLY into the socket I've chosen for it, and it sparks visibly as I do so. None of the other plugs did. But what puzzles me is that when the socket power is switched off with nothing connected, the light goes on and off instantly, even with different time delays between doing so. But when the PC is connected, the light will fade out more slowly when power is switched off.

    Is this something unique to PCs? That somehow the PSU can affect a mains socket this way? I think I ought to try a different socket to see if I get the same result? The thing is, I've been using this PC (right now as I type this in fact) for years, so I'm guessing it's a PSU/socket strip thing, but I don't like turning the PC on and off at the mains; I usually leave the PC on for MONTHS at a time.
     
  2. phillyd1981

    phillyd1981
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    Are you over loading the power socket I think you may be! newmp_electricalfiresafety1.jpg newmp_electricalfiresafety1.jpg
     
  3. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    How will I know if I'm overloading? The thing's been connected for hours now with no problem, and why so many sockets if they can't all be used?

    I'm not using anything that might be high-capacity anyway, except maybe the PC PSU - it's all things like monitors and set-top boxes and the odd adaptor. I have no idea about their ampage, but there's no heaters being used, that's for sure.
     
  4. Mr Noble

    Mr Noble
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    Read the plugs of each item if they all add up to more than 13amp then you really want to consider offloading some electricals to another mains socket
     
  5. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    This is basically what I've got - never mind the acronyms, they're mainly for monitors and set-top boxes:

    STB 2 = 0.6A (I), 2.0A (O)
    MON 2 = 1.0A (O)
    MON 1 = 1.5A (O)
    STB 1 = 18W
    SPK = 150mA (I) 1.6A (O)
    MODEM = 350mA (I) 1.5A (O)

    STB 2, SPK and MODEM are all adaptors.

    And because I'm not sure, here's my PC's PSU:
    Corsair Builder Series CX430 - 430 Watt 80 PLUS® Power Supply | CP-9020046-UK

    The STB 1 only mentioned watts, not amps, so assuming the input is AC and the voltage is 240, I can assume we can work it out from there?

    If someone could tell me if I'm exceeding the load, then I'd be grateful, but I don't think I am.

    Also, I tried the PC on another socket on this same strip and again the power light faded out slowly upon switchoff. I think the capacitors in the PSU are feeding the power light whilst they drain, or so I read in another thread on another board.
     
  6. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    The switched mode power supplies used in PCs work by first rectifying the incoming AC voltage into DC. They do this using a bridge rectifier and some fairly large capacitors. This presents a virtual short circuit as the capacitors initially charge - albeit only for a very short period of time. This produces the flash that you see.

    Try plugging the lead into the socket first and then plug the other end into the input on the PC. That way, you won't see the flash :)

    It is not dangerous and looking at the power requirements, I don't think you are overloading either. The values quoted are the maximum the equipment will pull, not the average load.

    FYI, fuses will take a 100% overload for a few seconds or more before blowing. You could therefore momentarily have 25A or more passing through the power strip without the fuse popping.
     
  7. Foebane72

    Foebane72
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    Thank you, Noiseboy!
     

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