energy consumption when power plug is turned on but appliance off

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by richard.mac, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    51.50024, -0.12662
    #1
    my sister and i where having a lengthy discussion the other night about saving energy throughout the house and i asked whether it was true if appliances that are turned off (not on standby) consume power while plugged in and switched on. no one knew if this was true and we couldn't find the answer while googling. is this is true?

    im also very interested to know if anyone unplugs their appliances when not it use? i.e. TVs, microwaves, kettles, washing machine, dryer and computers (while asleep or shutdown) etc. obviously you shouldnt unplug you fridge so rule that one out.
     
  2. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #2
    Would have to say it does not draw any power if the device is physically switched off. this seems to say that they don't consume power I'll see if I can dig out my old multi-meter tomorrow and I'll try a few different things for you to find out.
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #3
    Not true. Your TV draws power even when switched off. Something has to power the IR sensor that sits patiently and waits for you to hit the button on the remote. In fact, anything waiting for remote commands will consume power in the off mode. Anything with a display uses power when off. Think microwaves, coffeemakers, ovens, etc.

    Anything that contains a DC converter is using power even when off. Feel your stuff. (No, not that stuff you kinky bastard). If it feels warm, it's drawing power.

    These "vamps" are a serious draw on our energy consumption, and are likely to be given a good look during the next round of energy star decision making.
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #4
    True. Basically, anything that doesn't have AC running directly into the back of it, will keep the transformer running even if the power switch on the unit is off. Put your wall wart and lump-in-line adaptors (for cell phone, scanner, whatever have you) onto a powerbar and then turn the switch off on the powerbar.
     
  5. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #5
    indeed there is a lot of 'leaking' energy as i call it from these devices. its a shame that they're not made to be a bit more energy efficient, but then we wouldn't have our instant gratification, would we? :p
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #6
    You can wire all the power bricks in a room to a single outlet, the entertainment system, and everything you can turn off when not home to a wireless switch that you can turn off as you leave.

    This will signal all the power wasting device outlets to shut down.

    Isn't a bad idea, if you don't mind a bunch of flashing 12:00 clocks.

    I think one example of a complete video entertainment system when fully turned off used 75% of the power it does while on ... definitely not energy star ratings there, but VCRs, digital recorders, cable boxes, and some tvs don't have that label anyhow.

    Edit: GreenSwitch for wireless solutions, and Vampire Power for the energy sucking devices.
     
  7. Phat Elvis macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Location:
    Phila, PA
    #7
    I was wondering about this. If you turn off a surge protector strip do you lose it's surge protection? Do you even need this protection if the device is off and the circuit is "closed?" Is it best just to unplug the strip?
     
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #8
    If you break the connection (ie turn off the switch) the electricity cannot surge through the circuit.

    Unless, of course, the current is so powerful it can jump across small gaps.

    The whole point of a surge protector is to break that circuit upon detection of a current surge, but prior to that surge going across the switch point.
     
  9. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #9
    Surely if it's powering the IR sensor then it is in standby and not physically turned off. I agree things on standby still draw power but if there is a physical power switch then that shuts down the power supply and it would not draw power.
     

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