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Power conditioner question.

  1. Aug 24, 2009 #1
    I am looking into purchasing the APC H15 power conditioner. I've tried to read on websites to get an answer to my question before coming here, but I don't know much about the technical aspects of it. It seems like you all are very knowledgeable on the subject, and I was hoping you could elaborate in laymen's terms.

    My question is this: Most of my house has grounded outlets, however, my bedroom does not. I was hoping the APC H15 unit(http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=H15) could be my solution to this problem, without paying an electrician to come out and ground the outlet. Any time I've tried to use a computer on this outlet, I've had it get fried within months of use. In the rest of my house, where the outlets are grounded, some computers have lasted me years. If I get the H15, will that correct whatever is going wrong for certain... even if my outlet is not grounded?

    I would just get the outlet grounded, but for some reason... the electricians say they will have to tear apart the basement ceiling in order to do this. Which I'm not comfortable with, not only because of the ceiling being ripped out, but because of the high, high cost. If this power conditioner will not do the job, do you guys know of any alternatives?

    I appreciate any sort of insight on the topic at all, even if it's minimal. Thanks very much in advance.

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2009 #2


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    Without knowing much more information about what's happening electrically, I'm going to have to say, "no." Clearly, what's going on is more than a simple missing ground (which the APC unit will not provide, anyway). There's the possibilityof a loose or corroded neutral connection or some other latent fault condition; you really need to get the electrician out to analyze your wiring and determine what the problem is before merely slapping a band-aid solution on it--which may not even work. Sorry.
  4. Aug 24, 2009 #3
    Hello LZ,

    Off hand, I'm gonna say the outlet protector isn't neccessarily a good thing. If your having difficulty with storms and your computer, it's likely that your power lines are conveying transients to the power lines of your computer and then on your internet connection - or any other "grounded path."

    I'm not a fan of "surge protectors" in general, because most connect the transient to the power ground which is also the protective ground of your computer's case. While this would seem to be a good thing (transient dissipated to ground), it's actually terrible.

    It would be wonderful if the transient dissipated to ground where it enters your house. Then, nothing in your house would see what went on back at the power meter.

    Instead, surge protectors develop large voltages between various points in your grounding system as large, quickly fluctuating currents in the surge protector go into one outlet, and seek a point of return.

    If I were you, I'd be tempted to go to the Home Depot, purchase a copper grounding post, and hammer at it down near the ungrounded portion of your house. Then, drill some holes through the wall and route 12Ga wire from some new (grounded) outlets to the pole. Be sure of getting a serously good connection/connections to ground your leads to the pole.

    If this isn't an option, power everything associated with the computer (monitor, printer, etc..) off of a common power strip. Then, disconnect your internet connection and run it through a wireless router. With this scheme, there's no "ground path" for a transeint to return through.

    And just as a basic rule - I always disconnect TVs, stereos, and computers when a storm comes through. If it's really bad, I'll even pull the breaker for the A/C.

    Best Luck,

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