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Is it safe to unplug electronics before turning them off?

  1. Sep 7, 2007 #1
    There are 4 or 5 items plugged into the power strip, and it would be more convenient for the people I live with to simply unplug the power strip rather than turn off each eletronic item one at a time.

    So, my question is, will I damage my electronic equipment (including an lcd monitor) if I were to disconnect the power strip from the wall outlet BEFORE pressing the off switch on the said electronic items?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2007 #2

    Danger

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    I can't say for sure about all types of devices, but I do it frequently. The designs must take that possibility into account, since they have to survive mains failures. The only bad thing that I can think of would be some data loss if you improperly shut down a computer.
     
  4. Sep 7, 2007 #3
    Thanks Danger. This will make my life so much easier now :)
     
  5. Sep 7, 2007 #4

    berkeman

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    I agree with Danger, it's fine as long as there are no data integrity issues with computer-based devices that are plugged in. Since you mention an LCD monitor, that usually accompanies a computer, no? Are you shutting that computer down from the keyboard first?
     
  6. Sep 7, 2007 #5

    DaveC426913

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    Tell my wife that.

    She gets mad when I unplug the iron without turning it off first.
     
  7. Sep 7, 2007 #6
    Yes, the LCD does indeed plug into a computer, but it isn't plugged into the same power strip that I wish to unplug, so I'm not worried about any type of data loss.
     
  8. Sep 7, 2007 #7

    berkeman

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    Ahah! Good point. That's something that we overlooked in saying it's okay to unplug stuff without turning them off first. Quiz question -- Why is Dave's wife actually right in this case?!!! :blushing:
     
  9. Sep 7, 2007 #8

    AlephZero

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    You could get a nasty surprise when you plug it in again, if you didn't realize it was going to get hot BEFORE you switched it on.

    A clever design would have a latching switch that unlatched itself when the power was lost - but I doubt most irons are that sophisticated.
     
  10. Sep 7, 2007 #9

    DaveC426913

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    I doubt a lot of people plug in their iron and then wait five minutes before turning it on....


    But I suppose you could get a shock when either plugging it in or unplugging it. (Though countless is the number of appliances I have where the plug is the only on/off switch).
     
  11. Sep 7, 2007 #10

    berkeman

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    AlephZero's answer was what I thought of. There is a class of devices that you might unplug when they are turned on, but that have an unexpected behavior when you plug them in and their on/off switch had been left on. The iron is one of them, but there are probably others, like a hot plate maybe.
     
  12. Sep 8, 2007 #11
    I have seen a computer been unpluged and the operating system failure when you try to turn it back on. I think it may have been when he was having errors or something.
     
  13. Sep 8, 2007 #12

    Danger

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    Because she's his wife. I managed to remain single for 49 years, and for the last 2 years I've been wrong on topics that W doesn't even know exist.

    Must have been a Windows-burner. Real computers don't have that problem.

    Call me old-fashioned, but any iron that I've ever had didn't have an 'on/off' switch. I plugged it in to turn it on, and unplugged it to turn it off.

    This is not for a second to indicate that I've ever used an iron. I just happen to own a couple.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2007
  14. Sep 8, 2007 #13

    DaveC426913

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    Heart-lung machine.
    Flying aircraft.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2007
  15. Sep 8, 2007 #14

    berkeman

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    LOL. Did you ever see that classic cartoon of a scientist who is about to plug in the power cord to this big, mean, angry looking robot? I don't remember if it was a Far Side cartoon, or just a generic one, but it was posted up on the wall in the Hardware Lab for the longest time. The caption was something like, "Some people just don't think ahead...".
     
  16. Sep 9, 2007 #15

    Danger

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    Just how long an extension cord are we talking about here?
     
  17. Sep 9, 2007 #16

    AlephZero

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    See the recent Trent Jet Engine thread about "more electric engines". Shucks. I KNEW there must be something we forgot about with that idea...
     
  18. Sep 9, 2007 #17

    DaveC426913

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    Hey, if they can have wire-guided missiles...
     
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