Electrical Wiring in the Home/circuit protection
I have a nice Panasonic plasma plugged into a surge protector along with some other home theater components. Just recently, the tv has been shutting off (it apparently probably has some circuit shutdown protection in it). I unplugged the tv and plugged it directly into the wall (I know, this is not recommeded by any means). No more of it shutting off. I have a lot of things plugged into an adjacent circuit on another wall where the computer is plugged into. I have a surge protector there with all 8 outlets taken, along with the 4 outlets on the wall filled. Maybe this overloaded the circuit and caused the tv to shut off randomly. I did't even think they were connected to the same circuit as the circuit breaker panel doesn't show this. On the wall where the computer is it shows 20amp circuit breaker, and the wall where the tv is it shows a 15amp circuit breaker. None of the circuit breakers ever tripped though. How would I be able to tell if these outlets are on the same circuit, and if so, how much power is allowed to the circuit?
My other guess was that the surge protector is bad, but the lights on it are well lit. It is about 10-15 years old. Since this was a scary scenario with the tv, I was thinking about getting a power conditioner for it , instead of a good surge protector. Would this be better? I see many power conditioners don't list the Joules rating, which in surge protector's can be pretty high. I thought this was a critical feature to have. Someone on one sight said power conditioners are nothing more than glorified surge protectors. Thanks.
I numbered the questions it gets detailed but the problem is detailed
[1.] YOU need to find a way to add outlets or circuits,First you must identify the circuits
[2.] If the circuit was overloaded, the breaker should trip so this is curious, what probably happened is that in the multiple plug strip either the plug was not tight or the mass of THINGS that were plugged in either caused a slight voltage drop or the TV had a very sensitive spike trip internally that everytime you turned something else on it spiked SO TO SPEAK and that caused the trip It is hard to say because the TV was plugged into two different outlets and just the outlet itself could be the problem or rather the individual socket was looser on the strip than the wall
[3.]what is IT?
[4.] As I explained use a proven lamp, and that is a good visual while you have a helper switch off the breaker then mark the outlet with a red marker for the red dot you put on the breaker and then another color for the other outlets then you will have at least a visual of what is on what there are easier ways to do it but that involves meters and the know how to use them correctly
[5.]A fifteen 15 year old power strip surge protector is probably not only not effective but also a source of ghost or hidden power use for no good reason the problem is what to replace them with and that depends on how you start out, if you start out with the whole house surge protector then you can go a bit easier on the individual protection, but again it is a complex issue by the way joules are watts over time, joules it just another symbol for power but these cheapo protectors often have asterisks by the joule rating and often it is only for a short period of time for example it says 100 joules that might only mean 100 joules for 5 seconds or 1 second you have to research individual protection by the device it protects one size fits all is rare
[6.] A good power conditioner is a good option but you need to research by your budget what brand and style, I have a link to below would be much better than a junk strip, that is overpriced and useless
7.] What is wrong with a glorified surge protector? Is that NOT THE GOAL ?
When you dig into this use my personal email You will have questions so just note in the subject line from allexperts and I will walk you through this Item by item but there is a ton of information below if you choose to take the time to absorb it
I have a nice Panasonic plasma plugged into a surge protector along with some other home theater components. Just recently, the tv has been shutting off (it apparently probably has some circuit shutdown protection in it). I unplugged the tv and plugged it directly into the wall (I know, this is not recommeded by any means). No more of it shutting off. [1.] I have a lot of things plugged into an adjacent circuit on another wall where the computer is plugged into. I have a surge protector there with all 8 outlets taken, along with the 4 outlets on the wall filled.[2.] Maybe this overloaded the circuit and caused the tv to shut off randomly. I did't even think they were connected to the same circuit as the circuit breaker panel doesn't show this. On the wall where the computer is[3.] it shows 20amp circuit breaker, and the wall where the tv is it shows a 15amp circuit breaker. None of the circuit breakers ever tripped though. [4.] How would I be able to tell if these outlets are on the same circuit, and if so, how much power is allowed to the circuit?
[5.] My other guess was that the surge protector is bad, but the lights on it are well lit. It is about 10-15 years old. Since this was a scary scenario with the tv, I was thinking about getting a power conditioner for it , instead of a good surge protector.[6.] Would this be better? I see many power conditioners don't list the Joules rating, which in surge protector's can be pretty high. I thought this was a critical feature to have.[7.] Someone on one sight said power conditioners are nothing more than glorified surge protectors. Thanks.
You need to start here:
[1.] "I have a lot of things plugged into an adjacent circuit on another wall where the computer is plugged into." See above ecmweb link. Also a commonly overlooked and very simple PROBLEM is the clamping torque of the OUTLET itself, loose fitting outlet receptacles are very common, industrial type outlets can be installed and the cost is very low relative to the potential issues, when electrical loads are effected by the actual power cord, changing resistance in the outlet itself, it creates INTERNAL SURGES A whole house protector cannot deal with internally create surges, this requires a multilevel approach to power issues,
While some opinions of whole house protection are negative, [stating MOST whole units only dampen or remove 20% of potential external surges, this is overstated as it is a very technical subject, that the common home owner or equipment owner is not going to understand]
The best I can explain it, in simple terms, is the 20% that the whole house protector diverts, is the 20% of events that will cause damage. Whole house protectors are not enough for everything, but it is often compared to whole house air filters, which are often not enough [whole house filters such as electronic cleaners on a furnace blower] unless the structure is air tight, make up air has to come from somewhere, so why not knock down the majority of air contaminates, at one point, then deal with individual issues as required?
Same with power, line to ground diversion in most devices can become another problem, that is where line to neutral diversion is effective, if the neutral is open, it will open the entire circuit, and no power will be delivered, but a ground wire can be incorrectly isolated very easily, with a simple three prong to two prong adapter available at most any hardware store or electrical section of retail stores,
In addition an acceptable ground for the entire house is often overlooked, when the whole house protector is installed by a competent installer, they will measure and advise any necessary repairs to the existing ground path, be it a ground rod or grid, an adequate ground is absolutely needed,
The two paragraphs above are confusing, while one issue seems to be pro neutral diversion, the other seems to be pro ground . To simplify BOTH must be dealt with, but individual issues need to be dealt with as individual issues, modern technology has created this entire mess, while home electronics need a neutral diversion, look for L-N in the specs of conditioners and UPS systems,
Often UPS [uninterruptible power supply] is a very good solution, and you will find that isolation transformers are another solution, a UPS is often an isolation transformer, but the terminology is again confusing
The uninterruptible function [the U IN UPS] is dependent on a secondary and often temporary source of power ie; often a battery]
Now new issues have to be considered, one issue, the POWER CAPACITY of the battery, which brings on more issues, such as maintenance, hazards created by having a battery[s] in the home, space, ergonomics , decor, logistics this is why you see different sizes in most residential UPS systems, while a fairly small UPS "BOX" is often not a big deal for one computer, imagine the mass needed for 5 computers, 2 xboxes, twenty chargers for various iphones and tablets, it boggles the mind,
in commercial buildings and high end homes, a backup generator is used, that can still be and often is temporary, if the backup generator is gasoline driven, the generator needs to be fed fuel, diesel, needs fuel,
then huge storage tanks are buried to store large amounts of fuel, then that becomes an environmental issue, or there is natural gas, a fairly efficient way of going about supplying power, but then comes the call before digging issue the call before digging issue is advertised all the time, but it has been going on for decades, so obviously there is not 100% compliance with call before digging
Bottom line, with SO MUCH technology invading most homes, a power use investigation [Power Audit] is often worthwhile
2"Maybe this overloaded the circuit and caused the tv to shut off randomly."
YOU CAN OWN one of these devices for about 20 bucks $20.00 There were two models one you had to read while plugged in,[ a real pain to save 10 bucks] the more advanced model has some memory so you can unplug and read the results, NOTE safety is always number 1 do not force the device between an appliance and outlet
NOTE use common sense electrical safety procedures:
READ THE INSTRUCTIONS this device can be left plugged into a specific spot for days, and you need to leave it for at least a day on the smaller devices two days or more on larger load devices [appliances]
AND you need to map the plan out on a planner the plan is to measure all the outlets in the home, but power can change by the hour, time of day, time of year, my home voltage monitor reads out on a large digital display, Voltage changes occur most everywhere heavy air conditioning loads in the summer, for example so gathering the data actual voltage present then the power consumed [in kilowatt hours KWH]
That is how you are charged for power, by the KWH or thousands of watts used per hour, http://www.energylens.com/articles/kw-and-kwh
If you want you notice I said power not electricity, the above link explains all that
I would buy one of these kill o watt units if not two because it takes a plotted plan to get through all devices in your home,
I like these simple meters versus a complex power meter unless you have a licensed electrician or energy auditor to use it,
Here is what I find with these meters, old fridges put in the garage when buying a new energy saving fridge, it does no good to buy an energy saving fridge and put a 20 year old fridge in the garage on all year at the safest temp possible can cost $500 to over $1000 dollars per year in electrical costs many use the old fridge for over load parties so on but fail to unplug when not in use better idea use coolers and ice or in winter use the deck or porch with a plastic cabinet or other storage device be sure to put one of those fridge protector devices in it that will melt of send a signal to you if the temps of the food reach dangerous levels
3 4 5 SEE ABOVE
Dave, you have valid, and very good questions, but a lot there, I will have to get back to you, but for now, a 15 year old surge protector is probably a lot of ghost power being used, and little to no protection, first thing you need to do, is call your utility and find out what they get for a whole house surge protector, then from there we can break out circuits and talk about conditioners, but I can tell you I have a rack mount conditioner by my home theater stuff, the other day we had horrible lightning storm off on off on off on, ATT dont like their crap C R A P crap plugged into anything if it is not a $199.00 waste of money.
Few understand any of this stuff, but every rock group in the world has voltage conditioners, some have pull out lights to see the other components on the rack,
When ATT installed their crap in here, they looked at the conditioner and said it was a glorified surge protector, and would not protect shit, probably cause problems,
MY 3D 60 inch TV, my Denon 7.1, my Blue Ray, my Polks Klips, and 6 other components never bleeped
Conditoners might be glorified, but if you want your shit to last, find a good one, most are rack mount but you can figure a way to sit them with no problem, I know what my voltage is at 10 am and midnight and in the summer and in the winter, and it is always different, where the surge came from I dont know, I have a whole house protector but that is going to only deal with switching transients, from substation switching, cars into poles, and strikes by lighting down their rope,,
Lightning will come and go where it feels like it, even the best protectors provided by utilities have disclaimers, a single box is not going to protect anything except from a surge that attempts to enter the house that way, if it enters any other way, and you don't have protection it is bad news,
I will reread your issues gotta run for now, but get a whole house unit, and talk to your utility first they normally rent them but will also tell you you need protection from other things now if you are somewhere where lignting is a rare problem you might be done, when you get the whole house, but if you have lightning like us in the midwest you need some conditioners, and even some of those are just not cost effective to catch a super high bolt, it would look like a substation in your house,
So start comparing whole house units that takes care of 90% of it then we can go through the rest, to check a breaker you need a small load box, you can rent them at like electronic supply stores sometimes, that is one way, some electrical contractors will come and do a study they will have load boxes with them, and hopefully some old guy who has common sense and can break up circuits to suit you.
As far as which witch is which witch, get a plain old corded lamp with a new bulb verify it works before every test or use a VOM volt meter whatever lamps are easy to see, plug in the lamp, and start tripping breakers then you will know, what is on what, it is the best down and dirty time consuming thing to do, but you KNOW when you are done, then a load box when we 100000 amp breakers, we use a giant load box
weighs a half ton and on wheels it creates a load so we can trip the breaker, at whatever over rating is needed you need a little one, see if it trips your breaker, remember breakers do not protect devices DO NOT PROTECT DEVICES, they are too slow, they protect the wire so the hidden wire behind sheet rock doesnt burn your house down, if you want to protect devices you need fuses, or in most cases a voltage conditioner is fast enough, its not really the joules it is the speed,
But we will clear all that up, after you talk to the utility about their whole house some contractor will have one to sell so pick the one that suits you, the utility is regulated so they cannot get away with too many monkey shines, and a goood good contractor is not going to want to fool with junk he has to go chasing after so either way you are probably good but compare so you know, for now you are ok, dont be buying a bunch of stuff, unless you are having a bunch of brown outs and trips but you said breakers dont trip so it is in the protector you had,
I suppose they are better than nothing for now, but the whole house will do unless it is a storm, then all bets are off, now it is individual device protection, from slow blow fuse holders to whatever the device is worth,
Later you can use my personal email for questions about the whole house, units back to you tonight I hope