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Could my houses wiring be ruinng my equipment?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm renting a very old house and a year ago started having buzzing noises in both speakers that I have hooked up to an outlet (power strip in between). I've tried other outlets and get the same buzzing sound no matter if the speakers are hooked up to a sound source or not, and doesn't matter if the strip is in between any outlet. When hooked up to a sound source, moving the volume knob doesn't change the sound level or frequency at all.

 

It could have been random that they both went faulty and something inside like the caps went bad, or I'm wondering if it could be the houses wiring as well? The thing I'm confused by is that I have connected two power strips to different sides of the same double outlet, one power strip's lights indicate grounded but not protected, the other indicates protected but not grounded. Is this something that could have caused the buzzing speakers?

 

 I just bought some new replacements, but I'm not sure I should even plug them in until I can figure out why each power strips lights are saying something different? Probably should head to Radioshack and get a voltage testing kit as well? I'm a newb with electrical stuff. Please discuss

 

edit:


To add to this, I've only used one of the outlets on that double outlet and have mostly left the other side empty. Except during the winter, once in a while I'll connect a space heater to the other outlet and if I turn the heater anything stronger than low it blows the fuse. It's my understanding that if electronics are supplied with less volts than they need (which sounds like this fuse is not providing enough of) that they'll just start acting funny, but not be ruined. Correct?

 


Edited by bounc3 - 11/8/13 at 3:39pm
post #2 of 4

First if you live in the US, get one of those 'Kill-a-Watt' meters and measure the voltage at several receptacles in your house. Including both receptacles at the outlets that you use for the hi-fi. Note the line voltages at different times of the day.

 

The next step is to turn off all the breakers/fuses in the house except for the one to the hi-fi and see what happens.

 

Fuses don't provide anything, they limit current flow.  Most appliances draw less current at low line voltage than at high line voltage.  The exceptions are motors and air-conditioners.

post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post

First if you live in the US, get one of those 'Kill-a-Watt' meters and measure the voltage at several receptacles in your house. Including both receptacles at the outlets that you use for the hi-fi. Note the line voltages at different times of the day.

The next step is to turn off all the breakers/fuses in the house except for the one to the hi-fi and see what happens.

Fuses don't provide anything, they limit current flow.  Most appliances draw less current at low line voltage than at high line voltage.  The exceptions are motors and air-conditioners.

+1

These are good suggestions. I used to live in an old apartment that had bad wiring. Ended up using an inexpensive power conditioner with my computer and stereo.
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by bounc3 View Post
 

The thing I'm confused by is that I have connected two power strips to different sides of the same double outlet, one power strip's lights indicate grounded but not protected, the other indicates protected but not grounded. Is this something that could have caused the buzzing speakers?

 

Not being protected should mean that you've had a power surge and the power strip has sacrificed itself to protect your equipment. You should not continue using that power strip. (if it still works)

 

If the other socket is not grounded (swapping the power strips over should report the same thing) then it is not wired up properly. This should not cause any harm to your equipment, but means that if you connect up something which has been damaged or failed in a dangerous way, your own safety could be at risk.

 

That said, if you have equipment which is connected together, powered by the different sockets, with one grounded and the other not, the buzzing could be a ground loop or something similar?

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