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Peripherals Electric question about surge protectors

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by silk186, 21 Apr 2020.

  1. silk186

    silk186 Derp

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    My lovely rented flat does not have many electrical outlets. Only 2 in each room. 2 in the smallest bedroom and 2 in the living room. That means I need a 5m cable to plug my computer in. As a result, I'm using one of these:
    [​IMG]

    I know, excellent build quality from a brand everyone knows and loves ... Pro elect. I just moved in, money was tight and it was the only one I could find that would match my needs. I plugged in my computer, monitor, speakers, battery charger, external HDD ... and another extension lead to power a MacBook pro and lamp on the table. Normally I've been good with a 1m lead. My first was a high spec model from a large hardware store for shops and later a "monster power" surge protector with a staff discount. My last two have been Philips but they can't reach.

    After watching this I remembered how crap my cable is:


    I've also been wanting to clean up the wiring. This has me thinking. Could the cheap surge bar be giving my computer stability issues when gaming and is it safe? Would I be better off with a high gauge extension wire and another one of these? I was looking for a heavy-duty extension lead and they don't provide much info. The Belkin doesn't even list what gauge the wire is or how much load it can handle. Even a trade-rated lead on Screwfix only lists 13A.
    [​IMG]

    What do you guys think? Good idea or a waste of time?
     
  2. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

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    Mains wire size is mainly problem for USA/Canada/Japan/Etc (110V scrubs). For the rest (especially UK that comes to the higher end of 230V spectrum), even 1mm2 cable should be enough for most PCs and by the time you see instability problems due to voltage drop, the cables will be melted/on fire. So unless you have sparking/excessive cable heating - it will be a waste of time.
     
  3. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    13A is a limitation of the UK plug sockets. Everything you buy will have a fuse no greater than 13A, so having an extension specified (which it should be for it's own length) over that is pointless. It's a case of it being enough is important, not more is better. A PC won't draw close to the 13A anyway (13A at over 230V = over 3000W.

    As I recall the was a surge protection works means that assuming it is functioning correctly the nature/quality of it doesn't effect the circuit except in fault conditions.

    So no, unless there are any other evident faults with mains power stability, I'd be looking and spending money elsewhere.

    (btw, taking anything more than "it's a bit of fun" away from that video would be a mistake)
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2020
  4. silk186

    silk186 Derp

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    It's good to know that I don't need to worry about these issues as much in the UK with 230v spectrum and a fuse in every plug.

    That's good to know. It did get me thinking because of a few things. None of the big names make surge bars with 3-5m leads. I am connected a lot of electronics to no-brand no-warranty surge bar. I'm connecting another cheap surge bar to the first with another expensive computer on it.
    That had me thinking. Would I be better off connecting the Belkin 8-Gang surge bar to a beefy extension lead? I don't think the warranty would cover me if anything went wrong with that configuration.
     
  5. BA_13

    BA_13 Active Member

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    Only point to note that I can think to add is that the majority of surge protectors require an earthed neutral line and not a "live" neutral (3 phase supplies between 2 phases gives 220-240V), highly unlikely to encounter a live neutral unless on a ship / offshore installation or in a large house with a 3 phase supply, which has been wired by a poor electrician (like here in my place when we moved in). The reason I mention it is that when I worked for an oil major as an engineer there were a few minor fires started by surge protectors that couldn't handle the way ships are wired.
     
  6. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    I wouldn't daisy chain unless you are confident in the sorts of loads vs the specifications of your gear. That is the only time you can run into issues with overloaded wires, as you are effectively extending the length of the extension beyond their individual specification.

    If you want a name brand you recognise I'd consider Masterplug or Belkin to be absolutely fine, but you find Pro-Elect for sale on CPC who are generally coincided to be a trusted source from a compliance POV: https://cpc.farnell.com/c/electrica...s-cable-reels/surge-protected-extension-leads (it's also a good place to search for specific specifications effectively).
     
  7. silk186

    silk186 Derp

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    I would not normally daisy chain either. Sadly my room has two plugs, and only one that I can use without running the lead through the middle of the room.

    Computer - 350-400w
    Monitor - Dell S2719DC - 27w
    MacBook pro - 61w
    phone charger - 30w

    I should probably stick with my current setup for a while. 8-gange surge bar with 5m lead = few options.
    If I owned the flat I would get an electrician in here ASAP to rewire the flat and add additional sockets.
    It would save money on blown lights.
     

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