Karl W. SwartzComputer Notebook — AC Outlets

1.  Computers should be plugged into a dedicated circuit. Nothing should be plugged into this circuit which can cause electrical disturbances to disrupt or damage the computer electronics. The following appliances all generate unacceptable voltage fluctuations or static that can interfere with computer operation, and should never be in the same circuit:

Electronic devices such as radios and tape players may safely share the same circuit with the computers.

2.  Surge Protectors are STRONGLY recommended. The devices should preferably provide protection for all three lines (hot or line, neutral, and ground), and provide EMI (electrical-magnetic interference) and RFI (radio-frequency interference) protection as well. The higher the rating (measured in joules) the better the protection.

None of the devices excluded above should EVER be plugged into the surge protector! The surge protector is to protect the computer FROM these devices; if you plug them into the protector you are bypassing any protection it may provide. It is like putting the fox in the henhouse!

Note also, mamy multi-outlet strips are NOT surge protectors! Even if they contain a circuit breaker, this is designed only to prevent overloading the circuit and provides NO protection from electrical disturbances. If the strip contains surge protection, it will be so labeled.

3.  Multiple extension cords (one plugged into another) are not permitted by fire codes. Grounding adapters (3-prong to 2-prong) must never be used unless the outlet accepts only 2-prong plugs. In that case, an adapter must be used, with its grounding connection secured to the receptacle box through the center screw on the faceplate. Never break off the grounding connector of a 3-prong plug to make if fit an old outlet; you are circumventing protection for both yourself and the device!

4.  Electrical problems are a significant source of computer crashes and burnt-out components, and can largely be avoided with some awareness and care.

Copyright © 2004 Karl W. Swartz — http://KarlSwartz.com
You may freely reproduce and share this text, only if it is not altered and includes this notice.