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A power surge?

Postby Ing » Sun Jun 15, 2008 4:22 pm

Hi everyone

I wonder if someone can answer this: For no apparent reason, a few plugs at work are coming out of their sockets.

I work in a fairly small office with five computers and a server. Apart from sabotage, plugs are found 'sitting' half in the sockets in the multi-way mains extension. It is impossible to trip over the mains cable or snag them and the cleaner doesn't use (or touch) the sockets for his vacuum cleaner.

What would you think is causing this as it is mystifying everyone. This has happened about four times in three months.

My boyfriend is sitting here laughing at me cos he thinks this is hilarious, but what's even funnier is that he is an electrician! :roll:
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Postby ericmark » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:03 am

Maybe they are getting caught up in the current????

But on a more serous note you may have seen bowl feeders where vibrations send items around a bowl and into some conveyor etc. There the vibration is intentionally used to move items but the same can happen unintentionally try placing them on a sponge and see if that helps.

All best Eric

Postby Technical Tim » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:08 am

Very interesting problem!!!
From what you say it sounds like your in a small office, but maybe several staff all using office equipment. It's quite likely that your office is fed by a 'Series Main' and not a 'Ring Main' that you would have at home. The max current load on a Series Main is only 20 Amps, not 32 Amps you would have at home.

So if you have say, a Server, four desk computers, kettle, fridge, desk lamps etc, it is possible that you are using near the max current load or at times even slightly overloading the supply. It is possible then that the multiway mains extension leads are overheating causing the brass contacts in the extensions to expand when being used, then contract when all switched off at night or weekends, thereby pushing the plugs out of their sockets.

You could post a list of the equipment being used in your office and then the load you are using can be calculated from that, or get an electrican on site to check it out.

Whatever the cause, please let us all know the outcome.

Regards Tim
Technical Tim
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Postby Ing » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:16 pm

Hi Eric

Thank you for your interesting reply. I doubt very much that the office people will allow me to put sponges under the extensions!

I don't really understand what you are saying about bowl feeders, you must be very expert in your field. However, if this happens again I shall remember your advice.

Hi Techie Tim

I reckon we, in our office, ARE slightly overloading the supply. There's too much equipment for such a small space. It will happen again, I guarantee it, but the curious thing is it only happens every few weeks. Still, nobody in the office are very much intersted in this kind of thing - they just want the computers etc. to do their work. So thanks for taking the time to answer.

I'll be back
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