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Power supply and computer protection

by ndhelp001 / October 12, 2007 11:29 PM PDT


I live in an old house, and I do not know how current the wiring is. The outlets are all three prong grounded. What I would appreciate knowing is, what should/can I do to protect my computer? I am already using a Dynex battery backup/uninterupted power supply. The outlets on the UPS that I am plugged into are marked "surge/battery." There are three additional ones for "surge" only. Will this setup be sufficient, or do I need something else?

Thank you,

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IMHO, I'll mention...
by Willy / October 12, 2007 11:46 PM PDT

Your setup is the most basic for your needs. I suggest you get at least a singular AC plug type surge protector for that UPS to plug into for yet another simple level of protection. The Dynex brand is a cheapie, so don't expect miracles other than simple protection. You can also have an AC line conditioner to better squelch AC irregualrites on top of the UPS.

If you like and can afford to, have a electrician check the line and if possible, place a elect. box circuital surge bkr. for that computer line(that room). Further, that the AC line is truly grounded as older homes can be iffy.

Visit the Tripplet and APC websites for details on wants/needs of systm protection.
tada -----Willy Happy

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Power supply and computer protection
by ndhelp001 / October 12, 2007 11:50 PM PDT
In reply to: IMHO, I'll mention...

Thanks Willy,

I will checkout the websites that you suggested, and I am glad to know that my setup is basic, and how to improve it.

Thanks again,

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Just a note
by PKsteven / October 13, 2007 3:59 PM PDT

I wouldn't assume it's actual 3 prong wired and have someone check into it. What some did was take an old wiring system and throw 3 prong outlets in which lack the ground. Best way to tell is if you take an outlet cover off and check for the black, white, and copper ground. In some old mobile homes they used aluminum for the ground and black\white and came loose eventually. Of course there are cases where parts of a home have newer wiring and other parts still have the old stuff. As well, there are cases where the ground isn't grounded and just runs through the walls into oblivion. If you want to be sure, have a licensed electrician look at it, wiring in a home should be "one" of the first priorities and taken seriously.
Then at least you know what you have. Some electricians do a cheap or free inspection depending on where you live.


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Checcking wiring
by bigduke / October 19, 2007 11:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Just a note

Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy a three prong ground checker. It is a bit more
than five bucks if I remember correctly. Use it on every outlet in your house to be safe.
The lights are explained on the device. It assures you that there is ground, and the
wires are correctly connected.

It is also useful for insuring that an outlet has really been turned off if you need
to make a repair like fixing a broken outlet. For switches you need to use the lamp to tell you
power is off for fixing a switch. If you are not sure of your skills DO
NOT attempt repairs, get skilled help.

Do you have a breaker box or fuses? Are all circuits labeled? It is
worth making a list of what outlets and or lights are on every circuit.


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by mwooge / October 22, 2007 1:15 AM PDT

Use an outlet checker, as mentioned in another post, to check for a proper ground. This is for safety. A bad ground won't bother the computer at all.

A battery-backup is overkill for simple protection. It's main purpose is to protect against a power outage. Most batery backups, as far as I know, don't isolate the computer from the power line. They switch to an isolated supply (the battery) when the outlet loses power.
Otherwise, power from the outlet goes through a filter, then to your computer, just like a surge-protected power strip.

"Surge" and "glitch" are misnomers. What you really need to wory about are lightening strikes sending very high voltage spikes into your house's wiring. Most spikes are brief and low-amplitude, and don't get through the computer's power supply. A lightning strike, however, can punch through the insulation of the power supply and then into the electronics.
A surge protector shorts out this high-voltage before it gets to your computer.

For most people, a 15$, surge-protected power strip is all you need. It's all I have, and I've never had any problems with a power spike since the early 80s, when an unprotected modem was destroyed by a lightning storm.

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