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Turning PC on makes ground light go off on surge protector? (Resolved)


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#1
glh92

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I'm looking for some advice on something I've been dealing with for the last few years. I purchased a gaming PC back in late 2012 and have always had it hooked up to a pretty good surge protector. We live in a house built in 1960 that (appears) to have modern outlets. I say appears because I've used one of those outlet testers to see if they were all properly grounded and many of them are either open ground, or in the case of the one I'm plugging my PC into through the surge protector, somewhat in the middle.

 

What I mean is, when I plug my PC into the surge protector, the light that indicates grounding is dim. But when I actually turn the PC on, the light goes from dim to off. I'm assuming this is a wiring issue of some kind, but could it also be an issue with the PC itself? Or maybe the surge protector?

 

I had to replace the PSU about a year into the life of the PC and so far the current PSU is doing okay, but I'm wondering if maybe that had to do with the house wiring itself and not the original PSU.

 

I guess my first clue should of been the fact that when you unplug something in the room next to mine the fan in my room goes off. I am concerned that the life of the PC itself might be reduced by this issue, so any advice would be helpful. Since we rent here, I'm not sure fixing all the outlets would be possible.

 

I can provide information about the PC itself if needed.


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#2
phillpower2

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:welcome:   glh92,

 

Unfortunately the only assistance that we offer here is computer related but what I would personally advise is that due to the health and safety implications involved you get the owner of the property to get the electrical installation checked out by a suitably qualified company or individual electrician.

 

Regarding the computer and surge protector, do you have a friend or family member that you could ask to test the computer and surge protector in one of their wall sockets.

 

You say that you have always used a pretty good surge protector, what is the brand and model name or number so that we can take a look, additionally, I would strongly suggest that you invest in a UPS with built in surge protector such as the example here

 

Please provide information about your computer, this includes is it a notebook or desktop, is it a custom build or brand name such as Dell or HP, if it is a brand name provide the model name or series number (not serial) if a custom build post the brand and model name or number for the MB, add on video card if one is used and the PSU (power supply unit) providing these details will enable us to better assist you.

 

NB: So that I can confirm that you have received notification of my reply to your topic please click on the Follow this topic tab at the upper right corner of the page. 


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#3
Plastic Nev

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As a now retired though once qualified electrician, for your safety in using any electrical appliance, I urge you to get the wiring of your property, rented or owned by you, checked out as soon as possible, with obvious earth faults the place could be a major accident waiting to happen. Remember electricity kills.

 

Nev.


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#4
glh92

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Thanks for the replies! And the welcome!

 

I know someone that I could ask to test the surge protector over at their home, yes. I will definitely do that.

 

I hope I'm judging surge protection right, because this is my current surge protector: http://www.officedep...USB-Port-Surge/

 

The PC itself is a custom configuration I purchased on newegg back in 2012. The specs are in the link below;

 

http://www.newegg.co...9-331-_-Product

 

And thank you for the advice, Nev. I'm going to see what the landlord can do. The thing is, the homeowner is trying to sell the house next year, and we've decided to stop renting and purchase a home in the same timeframe. The wiring will definitely be something we check before purchasing a home going forward.


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#5
phillpower2

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That is a good quality surge protector as is the computer spec itself with the exception of the PSU which we cannot comment on  due to not knowing the brand name.

 

I suggest that you take off the side of the case and check the PSU details for yourself, make a note of them and post them with your next reply for us, I will be offline shortly but Nev may still be around.

 

While it may be an inconvenience you would need to check the surge protector and the computer on a different electrical circuit, this because it could be your computer that is highlighting the issue due to the power draw, have you tried plugging a bed side lamp into the surge protector and same wall socket to see if the issue is the same. 

 

You are welcome btw  :)


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#6
glh92

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Luckily I still had the PSU box! :)

 

It's an EVGA 600 B 600 W PSU, which I installed after the one that came with the PC failed.

 

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16817438014

 

And as far as noticing power draw from the PC, the ground light is actually ON (albeit dim) before I turn the PC on. If I'm just plugging in a lamp and even the router and phone base, the light stays dim but doesn't go off.

 

And as far as I can tell, the same is true for all the outlets in my room.


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#7
phillpower2

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That was helpful keeping the box (I can't get the car into the garage for computer hardware boxes  :D ).

 

Good quality brand PSU and I will go as far to say that the original one may not have been and that is why it failed, note that the EVGA PSU has a 3 year warranty but the computer when purchased from Newegg only had a 1 year warranty.

 

Nev is the qualified electrician here and he has echoed my thoughts regarding having the electrical installation professionally checked, cannot add anything to this other than to say that I hope that the owner of the property is concerned enough about this to have it checked out.

 

For convenience, start by initially only testing the surge protector on another electrical circuit and let us know how that goes, before you head off and do this I suggest that we check that your computer is getting a stable power supply from the wall socket etc;

 

Download Speedfan and install it.  Once it's installed, run the program and post here the information it shows.  The information I want you to post is the stuff that is circled in the example picture I have attached.

If you are running on a vista machine, please go to where you installed the program and run the program as administrator.

 

speedfan.png

 (this is a screenshot from a vista machine)

 

 Download then run HWMonitor and post a screenshot so that we have a comparison to the Speedfan results, details from here

 

To capture and post a screenshot;

 

Click on the ALT key + PRT SCR key..its on the top row..right hand side..now click on start...all programs...accessories...paint....left click in the white area ...press CTRL + V...click on file...click on save...save it to your desktop...name it something related to the screen your capturing... BE SURE TO SAVE IT AS A .JPG ...otherwise it may be to big to upload... then after typing in any response you have... click on browse...desktop...find the screenshot..select it and click on the upload button...then on the lower left...after it says upload successful...click on add reply like you normally would.

 

Screenshot instructions are provided to assist those that may read this topic but are not yet aware of the “how to”.


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#8
Plastic Nev

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My concern is actually regarding other appliances used elsewhere in the property. An ordinary toaster for example, they are notorious for developing earth faults meaning the case can become live if there isn't a good earth connection.

You only need to be touching the case, then reach over to turn the tap on and mains voltage will go straight through you across the heart. That is one of the most usual causes of electrical shock deaths. I cannot impress upon you enough that the whole properties wiring must be checked as a matter of urgency.

 

Nev.


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#9
glh92

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I'll be contacting our homeowner as soon as possible about this. The reason I think he might not be willing to do anything about it is because there are also several hot wires in the home itself that haven't been fixed.

 

And you raised a point about the toaster, and about eight months ago I was shocked pretty badly by the microwave. I felt the current go up my arm and I was able to let go before it got serious. In retrospect, that I DIDN'T mention this to the homeowner was incredibly stupid on my part.

 

Thank you for your expertise, Nev. Hopefully he'll listen and get something done about it.

 

The screenshots are in the post!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • results.JPG
  • image2.JPG

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#10
phillpower2

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HWMonitor reports no temp or voltage issues which is good news, Speedfan unfortunately has not provided such a comprehensive report but it does show that the temps are good which would not be the case if the voltages were too high for example.

 

One reading that has not been detected and reported is the +5V rail, you can check this for yourself in the BIOS when you next restart the computer, I have attached a PSU tolerance table so that you can check for reference;

Attached Thumbnails

  • PSU tolerance table..jpg

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#11
glh92

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All I could see in the BIOS, (which is GIGABYTE, I believe) was the 3 and 12 volt ranges. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place?


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#12
phillpower2

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You have looked in the correct place and so it is obviously not reported, everything else looks fine  :thumbsup:


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#13
glh92

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Good to hear! :) Thank you guys for the valuable advice and help.


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#14
phillpower2

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You are most welcome and good luck with getting the electrics checked out  :thumbsup:


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