Computer shut off by bathroom light...

By Porphyria ยท 11 replies
Sep 19, 2005
  1. First of all, sorry if this isn't in as great a category as it could doesn't seem to fit well into any particular one...Now...

    My problem is this:

    Not every single time, but frequently throughout the day, when anyone in my home shuts off my bathroom shuts my computer off. I've thought that maybe the problem could be too many appliances running...however sometimes my computer is the only thing on in the entire place...making me think it's not so much a surge from trying to run a lot of things...

    Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? I'm rather unknowledgeable when it comes to circuitry and wiring, so I don't even know what to test for the most part. Any help is appreciated...thanks.
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    Speaking of surges, are you using a surge protector?
  3. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Almost sounds like a half-hot outlett. Turn off your PC and unplug it, put a radio or a lamp in there and see if it turns off as well. If so, try the 2nd plug in the outlett. Usually only one plug is wired that way.

    I bet you may need to just use a different outlett, or have an electrician test the runs.
  4. Porphyria

    Porphyria TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've tried switching outlets..(I have two within reach of my computer)...and I've also tried using a different powerbar, figuring that it may be the faulty component. It seems like my computer is the only thing suffering from this, not lamps, or anything else in my room. Also, sometimes when the light is shut off, I can hear my computer fans shut off, but not the whole system. I have a 350 W power supply...and i recently upgraded the system (Replacing the whole motherboard)...maybe its drawing more power than before and now is unstable as a result?

    I used to have an AOpen AK77-8XN, and now have an Asus K8N-E Deluxe..
  5. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    There is some funky electrical phenomenon going on around there! What kind of light does this bathroom have? A 10,000watt halogen wall panel? lol

    Seriously though, you aught to have an electrician check things out. Otherwise, you probably need more then a surge protector. You need a line conditioner. Or even more so, get yourself a battery backup/line conditioner/surge protector. You can get one for maybe $50 to $100. The battery backup will condition your power and make sure the PC gets what it needs no matter what.

    As for the PC itself. 350W should power it fine for an average system. Just make sure if your motherboard has a secondary, 4-pin power plug, you use it. As well as if your video card has an extra power plug, plug it in as well.
    Make sure all your connections are tight and that none of your cables and wires are fried, frayed, or chewed through.

    If your modem and/or network line run anywhere near power lines, move them as far as possible from the lines. Make sure the Ethernet doesn't run parallel with florescent lights or anything like that.

    Good luck.
  6. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,569

    ahh, i wouldn't trust a 350w psu to power an a64, much less any graphics cards or extra drives. i advise that your get yourself a name brand psu (antec, thermaltake, enermax) of at least 450w (480/500w supplies are a solid choice)

    what year was the house built/rewired? i've come across many older houses with wierd electrical behavior as you described.
  7. Porphyria

    Porphyria TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'd like to have an electrician come by, however I don't feel like spending money if I can help it, and most of the people around here tend to charge you a lot for doing almost nothing....I happen to live in an apartment building, rather old by the looks of it, so I'm sure some of the wiring could be sub-par...My bathroom light is just a single flourescent tube, definitly nothing too powerful, making the area dim at best!

    I'm thinking the wiring in this place sucks for sure, but that I could rectify the problem with a better PSU. The occasional time where my computer fans are shut off instead of the whole tower makes me really think that my PSU is at it's limit pretty much....but who knows...i could be totally wrong...guess ill have to test it! It wouldn't be terribly expensive to replace the PSU, its an excuse to get a new shiny beautiful case! Thanks for the input!
  8. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    You don't have to get a new case to get a new PSU. But whatever floats your boat :)

    :wave:Welcome to TechSpot:wave:
  9. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    You should be able to complain to the landlord or something. Seems to me, in an apt you should not have to pay for something like that yourself. At least ask.

    But you may be right with a new PS. Because the old one may be not only underpowered, but worn out as well. Which makes it sensitive to elecrical fluctuations.

    happy hunting
  10. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    I second Vigilante's recommendation for a battery backup. You're simply putting the entire value of your PC at risk in an obviously bad situation. The insurance a battery backup will provide you is as indispensible as the value of your data, the price of your hardware and all future data and hardware.
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    take the face plate off the switch - - you might be surprised at what you find.

    There RF controlled light switches. If conditions were just right and the system
    had the right settings, it is theoretically possible for this to occur :mad:
  12. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    Well lets see if my .02

    GFI = ground fault interupt...
    It's code here for bathrooms to have gfi elec. socketsDo you have anything like these in the bath?
    if you happen to be on same circuit as the bath with a gfi, it could thro the breaker on both ends, one in the panel and one in the bath.
    Here in the state it's like what Vigilante suggested..
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