Did I do something wrong?

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Old 09-29-08, 06:25 AM
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Did I do something wrong?

Hey everyone. It is kinda a long post, but I have to explain with detail what happened to me.

Yesterday I had a somewhat electrial problem (I think).
See, I have an entertainment center (which includes a LCD HDTV, DVD player, Xbox 360, receiver, and also the modem for the wireless connection).

Well, because both the receiver and the Xbox 360 were producing a lot of heat (and both are in cabinets, so no much room at the back for breathing) I decided to create a cooling system for the entertainment center.
So, I built something like this: LINK.

The problem is, I only have 2 power outlets (with 6 pair of sockets overall), meaning I can plug in 6 devices directly to the wall.
Instead, I decided to use two power surge protectors, in which I plugged the TV, the DVD and the Receiver in one, and the modem and the adapter for both fans (intake and exhaust) directly to the other power surge. The xbox directly to the wall (since I heard that the Xbox is supposed to be plugged like that, according to websites like Microsoft's).

So, apparently, it was all working all right, until yesterday. I was playing some 360 in the morning (with everything On, except the DVD), and about half an hour after starting, the power surge that had the fans' adapter (with the modem) started to make some hell of a noise; like cracking from inside out (I thought that the sound came from a cracking window or something like that, because the sound was so damn hard).

At first I did not know that the surge was making that noise, I thought it was something else because of how intense the sound was.
Then, it started to sound again during intervals of like 15 minutes, so I eventually started to worry. However, the power surge did not look bad (no burns, no anything), so I was clueless.

Until, about one hour or so after the initial sounds, my XBOX died (red ring of death), all my speakers started to sound really weird (like with a lot of interference), the adapter of my modem started to sound like cracking too.
Everything collapsed (except my TV, thank god; and the DVD which was not on).
After that, I realized that the power surge was making all the noise because it did not work anymore, and when I picked it up from the floor, it made one (last) cracking sound again, and not even one of the sockets worked anymore.

So, I don't know what happened!!! I am pretty sure that the fans' adapter had something to do with it, since it was the last device I started to use, and the power surge on which it was plugged, was the one that failed.

What should I do now??? More power outlets? do not use the fans anymore? MOVE OUT FROM MY HOUSE?

I hope you can help me!!! THANKS A LOT!!!

P.S. Just in case, the specs of the fans' adapter is DC 1000 mAmp (1 amp), and 12V. Both fans use 0.45Amp
 
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Old 09-29-08, 09:44 AM
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You do probably need to run a new circuit and install more receptacles but my guess is the surge protector did it's job. A sacrificial element in the surge detector finally failed. That was the crackling noise. The question is why did the power surge last so long. You may have a loose neutral at the panel, meter, or pole. You might first want to have the power company check everything on their side to begin with.

If you really overloaded the circuit the breaker should have tripped. What is your make of breaker box?
 
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Old 09-29-08, 11:30 AM
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Hello Ray.

I don't know in depth about electrical issues, however I understood that somthing "inside the walls" may be the problem. Is that right?

But I tried every power socket in both receptacle, and they all work fine. The only thing damaged was the power surge protector (besides the devices). Or it has nothing to do, and perhaps the whole circuit is messed up?

If everything is working properly, and the damage may occurred because I plugged the fans' adapter to the surge protector; you think that the solution could be just plugging the adapter directly to the wall? or that can be worse?

You think that maybe adding two more receptacles (four in total), and distributing properly the devices' connection (just one or two per receptacle), without extensions or power surges (at least for the adapter) is a long term solution?

Thanks !!
 
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Old 09-29-08, 04:54 PM
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From what little I can tell from the picture of your fan box that you posted, I doubt that was the cause of your surges/spikes that did all the damage. Afterall, you used a commercial "wall wart" power supply, so even if you did wire something wrong, you'd possibly burn out the transformer, but it really shouldn't affect anything else.

As was stated, the MOVs in the surge protectors blew, as they are supposed to do that should protect all the equipment attached.

I don't know why others have recommended plugging the XBox directly into the wall, personally, I'd always use a high quality surge protector to protect anything over about $100.

Some more questions to maybe get to the bottom of your problem:
- How old is your house? Is the wiring the same age as the house?
- Have you noticed any other devices in your house acting strangely? (light bulbs blown, flickering lights, etc)
- How expensive was your surge protector? (there's a big difference between the $8 ones and the $40 ones)
- Were you running any larger appliances at the time? Clothes dryer or oven?
 
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Old 09-29-08, 05:45 PM
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From an old electronics guy.

Thats kinda what I was thinking. If you didn't see or have any other problems elsewhere, maybe the Surge Protector (not "power surge", as you kept using in your post) just crapped out.

Even high quality componants just fail for no apparent reason.
Go get a couple of good suppressors, (APC is good in my experience).

Could be issues with too much current draw, depending on all the items plugged in and on, on that circuit.

Map out your outlets and see whats plugged in and operating.
 
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Old 09-29-08, 06:51 PM
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Thanks for the help Zorfdt. I have not turned nothing on since everything happened (just the modem, but in a different room) GI2.

Hmmm, let's see.
1. My house is pretty old. The original foundations were built around 40 years ago. It's pretty big and strong tho, built in the old fashion way. However, there've been a lot of renovations, including an extension of the second story.

2. There's only one lamp that keeps doing it. I'm not sure if it is the lamp or the connection, since I haven't changed the bulb yet (because the glass that covers it is screwed to the roof).

3. Hummm you got me there. My brother bought the surge protector (no more 'power surge' protector ) but it was nothing extraordinary. I'd say about $10, maybe 15, but that's it.

4. Nope, I was playing Sunday morning, while everyone else was sleeping. I even think that not even light bulbs were on, just the entertainment center.

Thanks Gunguy. So you think that I should just plug and use the TV, DVD etc again? I hope that's true, that the surge protector was the faulty one in this story.
But you think that if I buy a $40-$50 surge protector, and plug everything again (well, after the 360 is repaired) the same way it was before, nothing is going ti happen?

Thanks!!
 
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Old 09-30-08, 08:48 AM
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I wasn't trying to really give advise on the wiring, I'll let the experts take care of that. It's definitely something that should be checked, however basically, before using again. There's lots of things (as was mentioned by others) that could cause the problems you had.

I was just commenting on the quality surge suppressor thing. Just like you don't put $50 tires on a $35K car. (I hope! lol)
 
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