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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    vacuum cleaner and computer

    A friend is taking a class (beginner) and the instructor said to NEVER start a vacuum cleaner in the same room as the computer. It is OK to run the vacuum but not start it. Anyone ever hear of anything like this???

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: vacuum cleaner and computer

    That makes perfect sense, but instead of same room, it would be more accurate to say "Same Circuit."

    When you turn on your Vacuum Cleaner, there is tremendous drain from the electrical circuit, when power is restored to it's full capacity, the current 'spikes' over normal. This spike can cause serious harm to computer equipment which is not properly protected. It's like a wave in water. Just before the wave hits, the water level decreases, then rises with the wave. When the wave passes, the water level returns to normal. Electricity works in much the same way.

    Hope that helps!
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  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: vacuum cleaner and computer

    An electric motor can create a lot of electric noise on the power lines and this possibly could cause a problem with the computer (not very likely on modern computers with good power supplies). It would be more likely to cause a problem on an external modem that plugs into the power circuit. If you use a surge supressor, and don't plug the vacuum into the surge supressor, there should be no problems.
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    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: vacuum cleaner and computer

    When I did my PC Hardware class in 1998 I was told the same thing. I just made(make) sure I never have the vacuum plugged into any outlet anywhere near my pc and certainly never plugged into the same power source (bar).[/b] I've had some techie acquaintances say it's nonsense but I'd rather not risk it.

  5. #5
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    Re: vacuum cleaner and computer

    you may well get some RFI interference but you shouldn't get any spikes or voltage variancies, if you did the Vac manufacturer wouldn't get the unit past the testing authorities i suspect. almost all power supplies now are auto sensing and adapt to the the input voltage and frequency, this also makes them much more tolerant to input changes and less likely to fail, lightning is a different matter but more of a problem to modems than PSU's.

  6. #6
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    Re: vacuum cleaner and computer

    I agree totally - but unfortunately there may well be some old cleaners and drills out there. I would suggest a surge suppressor at the same outlet point as an absolute minimum, regardless of your domestic cleaning habits. Lightning can induce massive spikes in telephone lines - unfortunately the manufacturers seem to omit simple suppression on their products, presumably because of cost.

    I would have thought your standard UPS would include sufficient protection for most eventualities - some include circuits for routing network/modem connections. (And listening to the news, I can't image anyone in California surviving these days without a UPS or their own generator.)

    I still remember the days when my old Mum would start up her Sunbeam food-mixer and all radio and TV reception was wiped out for about a 1/2 mile radius <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

  7. #7
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    Re: vacuum cleaner and computer

    A ups would definitely be the best option in most cases, over and under voltage, spike and power loss protection. The supressed trailing sockets are pretty good but can be expensive for what you get. I live right under the power lines and our mains voltage is a little variable, especially in stormy weather so I use a UPS. The problem with lightning protectors is they tend to be of the fuse variety, when I worked in digital CCTV we fitted them to all units (cameras tend to be on high metal poles or outside buildings)and they had to come back for new ones when they got "hit". I have seen units for telephone lines to protect the modem and PC but they dont seem to be widely available.

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