Dyson Vacuum Power Draw affect iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Tucom, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Tucom macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    Jul 29, 2006
    #1
    Didn't know where to post this, but since this concerns an iMac specifically I thought I'd post it here. My Dyson vacuum causes the lights to flicker for a fraction of a second due to the 1200 watts it pulls from the wall, and this concerned me so I Googled, and I found that if one were to plug in such an appliance into the same power strip as a computer it could damage or fry the computer. Duh? I'm using a completely different socket in a different room of my apartment. But the lights still flicker/momentarily dim no matter what socket I try.

    Still, I called some local electricians and they told me "Such power sags and spikes caused by a vacuum could theoretically damage a computer" but I then brought up that "my fridge too dims the lights etc. worse than the vacuum, and I'm not going to shutdown my iMac whenever my fridge randomly starts its pump etc."



    So, is there really anything to worry about? Will the vacuum cause any damage at all? Do I really need to shutdown the iMac before I vacuum? This is a brand new 21.5 4K iMac, thus why I'm (overly?) concerned about it.
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #2
    You have a wiring issue that needs resolving. The new dyson digital hovers don't cause this in older properties.

    I would at a minimum plug the Mac into a surge protector. The iMacs power supply can handle a wide variety of power fluctuations but it dosnt like the spike after a dip.
     
  3. tyche macrumors 6502

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    #3
    The reason it doesn't matter which room is the wall sockets are all wired back to a common circuit at the panel. Some poorly wired houses you see things like turning on an old microwave while a computer was running would cause the breaker/fuse to pop. Sounds like you are renting an apartment and probably can't do anything about it like splitting your electrical paths a bit.

    I run all my big electronics (pc's, tv, etc) on UPS with surge protection. Good ones run about $100-150. I get enough power outages that not only does it save possible damage I can keep working or watching a movie when the power goes!
     
  4. wlossw macrumors 6502a

    wlossw

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    #4
  5. Tucom, Nov 12, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015

    Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #5
    It's an older building but I don't think there's any issues - everything else about it is much better than other places I've been; no arcs or sparks when plugging and unplugging electronics that I've seen with some other (even newer) buildings and wiring.

    Nearly everywhere else I've lived lights have always done this. The hoover is actually an older DC-33, nothing digital. I used to work on these back in the day as a side job/hobby (Dysons specifically, fun stuff, crazy engineering) and it's literally just a open circuit that turns on the motor once closed. Simple on/off.

    The Mac is plugged into a Belkin on-wall surge protector. The electricians I talked also mentioned there's spikes and dips coming into our area all the time from our service provider for power (Duke Energy?). If that's the case then how much worse could be turning on a vacuum every now and then?
     
  6. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #6

    Yep, renting. Nothing I can really do, unfortunately.

    I don't like the idea of having a huge acid battery beneath or next to my feet, and though that wouldn't be the end of the world, there's no way it would fit in my setup.

    I mean, again if the fridge is doing this all day (worse than the vacuum, just a fraction of a second longer of light flicker/dimming) then could the Dyson really make a difference?
     
  7. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #7
    Oh I know exactly how brutal older dysons are. The new digital models have a nice soft start digital motor with overload protection.

    Back to your power issue. Most computers can handle a dip in power. The issue is after a dip there is always a spike. It's that spike that can cause damage. You've got basic protection with the belkin. So that's good. The next step up as above is ups
     
  8. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #8

    Do they? Which ones? That'd be perfect, as I was thinking of selling my current one to get a Miele mainly due to the soft start they've employed for years. If I can stay with Dyson though, I will.

    Again, the fridge; it just popped on again a few times during this thread - if it's doing that all day, would a Dyson really make a negative difference?

    Just a theory, but this is the latest iMac and the i5 sips power in standby, so I imagine that would make it far less prone to being affected, no?

    And then there's the fact that almost everyone has a vacuum, many of which are in a building with wiring equal to or worse than mine with probably far more electronics powered on and you don't hear about them getting damaged what so ever. I really had to dig to find *one* thread on Quora about a vacuum causing any kind of damage to electronics.
     
  9. makrom, Nov 12, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015

    makrom macrumors regular

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    #9
    What you are describing sounds like a spiking voltage drop. Good/normal wiring can mitigate the effect somewhat, but while bad wiring can amplify it, it isn't the actual source. While a 1200W consumer should only draw like 10A on a 120V outlet, most electric devices spike when turned on, since their internals are electrically neutral before being turned on. Nonetheless, normally functioning devices shouldn't cause these problems. A common culprit are defective switches that short circuit during the short phase of being switched.

    If this only happens with this particular vacuum and not with other devices that draw (or are supposed to draw ) a similar amount of current (maybe you got like a 1200W microwave oven or something like that to test it?), I'd try to get the vacuum fixed.

    While I don't think that it actually will damage your iMac, I wouldn't be very surprised if it happens either. There's always the chance that a capacitor pops when getting discharged/recharged too unexpectedly. The AC/DC converter should be able to compensate it somewhat, but there's only so much it can do.
     
  10. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #10

    The Microwave does this to the extreme. And fridge, too. Vacuum is perfectly fine. In fact, I haven't used the microwave for months because of this very thing.

    Nothing I can do to change the wiring. Like I mentioned with the fridge, would the Dyson (or any vacuum) really make a difference in this situation?
     
  11. dwig macrumors 6502

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    #11
    No, the computer's low power need don't help. GET A UPS, period.
     
  12. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #12
    Not happening.. as I've already said. It wouldn't even integrate into my setup properly. Most people don't have one, nor even remotely need one. And I'm definitely not getting one just to run a vacuum.

    Appreciate the input, though..
     
  13. wlossw macrumors 6502a

    wlossw

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    #13
    not to rag on about the UPS but you need to realize that it doesn't just act as a battery backup, but conditions the voltage as well... the UPS i linked to above is basically the size of a big power bar anyway... so If you have room for a power bar in your setup you should really be considering that... and OSX has nice ups management built right in...
     
  14. desmond2046 macrumors regular

    desmond2046

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    #14
    My laser printer also causes a light flicker every time I start printing...
     
  15. Larry-K macrumors 68000

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    #15
    Everybody needs one, they just don't know it. Your computer is a lot more likely to be damaged by low voltage than high voltage, and it sounds pretty obvious you're not getting clean power out of the wall.
     
  16. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #16
    Dc40/50 and dc28c have the new motor for sure as I've used them. Not looked at the other motors. But the dc28c you could Hoover at 2am and your neighbours wouldn't know.
     
  17. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #17
    Thanks man I'm going to have to look into one. These Dysons are incredible machines. I think I'll donate mine to a family member who would really appreciate it.
     
  18. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #18

    Aren't PSUs in modern computers designed to handle relatively subtle fluctuations or slightly "dirty power" from the wall?Otherwise everybody really would have one for everything. Obviously they're not THAT necessary, but I guess it all depends on the situation.

    There's people who plug straight into the wall in houses where the grounding doesn't even work! We're talking nMP's or similar equipment. There was a video on YouTube of a guy who's setup is like this, been going strong for years.


    I'm not totally disagreeing and saying it's a bad idea, but before I invest in something I may not need, I'd like to get more information. It's definitely a consideration, however.
     
  19. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #19
    Yeah that's what I've heard. I've got a 'cable hammock' (IKEA) under my computer desk. What you linked could work then.

    How does OS X talk to the UPS? This is actually something I'm totally ignorant on.
     
  20. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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  21. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #21
    When an ups is connected (USB)you get extra options in the settings pane. Some require software installed a lot don't though.
     
  22. Larry-K macrumors 68000

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    #22
    Any power supply will buffer spikes to some extent, and grounding? it's nice but frankly it's not the end of the world if you don't have it, although to have power conditioning work properly, it's probably necessary.

    But low voltage? Not a good thing, you'd be surprised how low it can go at times without line conditioning. Ohm's law tells you what will happen as the voltage decreases, more current draw, hence more heat; will it be enough to damage anything? Hard to say, but some Macs run plenty hot as is. Of course you'd think in a major metropolitan area we could get close to 120 volts all the time, but especially this Summer, it was woefully low at times, brownouts are becoming the norm it seems.

    In all likelihood, the reactive load from your vacuum and fridge motors is just an inconvenience, but I know I've survived a lot of power outages with no data loss, thanks to backup power, and I haven't had any power related failures in over twenty years.
     
  23. bassjunky macrumors regular

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    Texas
    #23
    Dude, how does a UPS not integrate into any setup? Unplug your crap from the wall, plug everything into your UPS, then the UPS into the wall. Done. They hardly take up any more space than a typical surge protector, and they give you much better protection.

    Honestly, this is a much better solution than, what, replacing a vacuum? Not using the microwave? Lol...

    They're hardly that expensive and well worth the cost in protecting expensive electronics. I don't understand why anyone wouldn't have one.
     
  24. Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #24

    Cool, that's what I was trying to get at. I'm not worried at all about data loss; everything's in the cloud. As long as there's no damage happening to the electronics then great. Lightning strikes or catastrophic power surges happen too rarely to be paranoid about.

    Also the fridge has probably jumped on and off causing sags and spikes 400-500 times since owning the iMac, if "anything happened" - it's already done, and it's working perfectly fine thus far.
     
  25. Tucom, Nov 13, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015

    Tucom thread starter macrumors 65816

    Tucom

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    #25

    Are there small ones?

    I'm not going to jump through hoops just to have redundant "protection" and have a big *** battery drooping from my table. You own a Mac? You know how they're all elegant? I want to keep my setup that way, personally. I know it may sound kind of silly, but I don't want a massive brick underneath my setup. Nothing's on the ground.


    We'll see. I'll probably look some up on Amazon tonight TBH. The consensus seems to point to them being a worthy investment. I think my father had one actually, now that I think about it (way back in the day of like Windows 98 SE) APC? That hing was huge and laid on the ground underneath the table.


    There's also the fire hazard of them exploding etc. - kind of unsettling. But I guess it's risk/reward - risk them malfunction for the iMac being safer.


    UPDATE - So after a quick Amazon search, there's none that would match my space requirement. All of them seem to range from the size of two old school Xbox 360 power bricks to something the size of a big litter box. If anyone has suggestions for a top quality one that's compact, I'll look into it.
     

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