How do you properly assess a surge protector?

echoesofelevenechoesofeleven Member Posts: 23 ■■■□□□□□□□
I have an appointment tomorrow for a client that's having issues with their surge protector. In the email, it stated that they have two printers. One printer is an HP and the other one was not mentioned. When client prints from the other printer. The surge protector beeps and shuts down other devices.

From the email, It seems like she needs a new surge protector. From what I gathered from google and other forums I came up with three possible causes:
  • PSU
  • Motherboard
  • UPS

I never dealt with surge protectors before. I'm honestly quite nervous about this call. Should I try plugging the printer into the wall socket first? Could the printer be just too old? I don't know where to start.
Good and close relationships keep us all truly happy


  • DojiscalperDojiscalper Member Posts: 266 ■■■□□□□□□□
    What your experiencing is a low voltage condition caused by to many devices on the circuit. The HP or other printer or both is likely a laser printer which uses a fusing unit (heating element) and it is going to draw around 8-9 AMPS of current during its heating cycle, then add in the drive motor's, other devices and your average home 15 AMP circuit isn't designed to handle that. Everything would normally be fine except maybe the lights get dim (hehe). The beeping is because the surge protector is either actually a battery backup or it has voltage monitoring ability and its letting the user know there is a low voltage condition.

    I recommend plugging the printer into its own wall socket at the minimum.
  • sup_itsup_it Registered Users Posts: 3 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm curious how the call went and what was the problem/resolution?

  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    sup_it wrote: »
    I'm curious how the call went and what was the problem/resolution?


    I have a bad feeling about this.
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  • DojiscalperDojiscalper Member Posts: 266 ■■■□□□□□□□
    sup_it wrote: »
    I'm curious how the call went and what was the problem/resolution?


    I'm curious as well, though I've seen the situation many times. Its always fun to hear what was found at the site. I've seen schools daisy chaining surge protectors around a class room to get power to around 20 PC's and various devices. When we started it up we could only get around 6 PC's on before we'd trip a breaker.
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,051 ■■■■■■■■□□
    The surge protector beeps and shuts down other devices.

    It beeps? It's probably a UPS, Never heard of a surge suppressor that beeps and I worked with some pretty high end surge suppressors before. Eaton PDU's have surge suppressors, breakers, even a voltage draw meters, but none of them ever beeped.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,781 Mod
    Yes, it does sound like a UPS. I never heard a surge protector beep. Really curious about the owner. LOL
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • echoesofelevenechoesofeleven Member Posts: 23 ■■■□□□□□□□
    You guys were right it was a UPS. The client just got the terms confused. The UPS came from Geek squad.
    Good and close relationships keep us all truly happy
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    My UPS would beep when my laser printer would print, moved the UPS to a different room to get it off that circuit. The laser printer wasn't plugged into the UPS.
  • jeremywatts2005jeremywatts2005 CySA,S+,A+,N+Cloud+,MSDFS,MSMISSM Member Posts: 346 ■■■■□□□□□□
    From my Lexmark certification days we were always told never to plug any laser printer into surge protectors, UPS, or power strips. It was because the draw from the printer would sometimes be too great and the device you were plugged into could not handle the load. This would cause the printer to improperly heat and the toner to not melt and you have print quality issues. I actually saw this in the field. I had a user whose toner was not smearing and at first you think fuser, heat lamp and so on. Turned out that the power strip was the issue. Pulled it off the strip and plugged it into the wall and the printer worked great. Went back to the strip and the problem would occur. Just an FYI I am not sure if this is still true today since I do not work on the newer printers.
  • pizzaboypizzaboy Member Posts: 244 ■■■□□□□□□□
    +1 @jeremywatts2005
    If they do want to have it on a UPS it would have to be one rated extremely high, like an APC 2000 (for small laser printers) or higher and it still depends on the size of the printer.
    But like jeremywatts2005 says it is not something that is usually recommended.
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