Power Protection
Oct 27, 2008 at 8:53 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

alexpea

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Hello

There's alot of audio-knowledged people on these forums, and I'm seeking your advice.

I'm starting to get alot of gear plugged into the power-outlet in my little studio, and I'm worried that the power-lines won't take it. Well, I don't know exactly how things work with power, but I'm mainly concerned for my gear being broken due to massive power-usage in this room. These are plugged:
- PC
- External soundcard
- Mixer (small one)
- External DAC
- Headphone amp (tube)
- MIDI-keyboard
- External harddrive
- External usb-hub
- Printer
- Lights

So, I was thinking about getting hold of a power-conditioner, or something. Then I read some threads about power-protection-units, and I must admit I don't know much about either. I had a look at a Furman power conditioner, and I can't seem to figure out how to connect the devices to it? I mean, the Furman only has eurocable-inputs, which requires a power-cord on each device with a eurocable-end (to connect to the Furman) instead of regular Universal 2-pin connector (I live in Norway). Seems weird... Just look at the pictures (top right) on this site --> http://www.belco.no/nor/powerconditi...onditioner_10a

The bottom line is, I'm worried. Maybe I don't need any kind of power-unit at all, and the power-lines will handle it very well. I don't know. Please enlighten me :p

Alex.
 
Oct 27, 2008 at 9:17 PM Post #2 of 6

zx10guy

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If you're worried about power sages due to too much power draw on your circuit, no power conditioner is going to provide any viable/satisfactory fix for this issue. You have to get an electrician to come in and pull a new circuit. Also be aware that the sizing of the circuit doesn't mean you can use all the current the circuit is set up to handle. For instance, if you have a 15 A circuit, it doesn't mean you can put 15 A of draw on there. The accepted max draw you should have on that circuit is about 80% of the circuit's maximum capacity. Which equates to 12 A. Anymore, and you risk overloading the circuit and causing a fire hazard.

I have this very issue with a dedicated 15 A circuit I got installed to power my network and server equipment in my basement. I was pulling some additional network drops in that area when I happened to touch the 14/2 romex wiring for the dedicated power feed. The wire was real warm to the touch. Since then, I powered down some of the equipment and have purchased some 12/2 wiring and a 20 A breaker to redo that circuit.
 
Oct 28, 2008 at 7:37 AM Post #3 of 6

alexpea

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Thanx for the answer. So a power-conditioner is only helpful if the powerlines are bad and makes noise? I thought it also functioned in the same way as a power capacitor does to a car-audio-setup. (Saves up power and helps boost current on high demands). What exactly does a power protector do then?

My landlord is actually an electrician, and he's going to put more sockets into that room. But I doubt he's willing to pull a new circuit. My existing one is 16A (2x2,5mm wires). How can I check if my power-usage is near the 16A threshold? Or what you said, 12-13A.
 
Oct 28, 2008 at 3:04 PM Post #4 of 6

zx10guy

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Power conditioners or more specifically AVRs (automatic voltage regulators) can only compensate for a certain amount of power sag over a certain amount of time. If your power sag is such that it's a huge one over what your standard line voltage should be or it is over an extended period of time, then a AVR can only help so much. And remember the AVR is also putting a draw/drain on the circuit if you have it plugged into the same circuit with the issues. AVRs are typically used when the main power to your home is having fluctuation issues.

As far as figuring out what your current power draw is on that circuit, you need to get a clamp on amp meter like this one:

E609-0902.jpg


You need to have access to the service panel and be able to put the clamp portion around the hot side feed into the breaker. Typically this is the black wire here in the States. If you're uncomfortable with doing this or do not have access to the panel, you should ask your landlord to do the test.
 
Oct 28, 2008 at 6:05 PM Post #5 of 6

alexpea

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Wow, thanx for the informative answer!
 

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