Surge Protection

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Forum topic by CharlieM1958 posted 03-15-2010 07:31 PM 3064 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16283 posts in 4613 days

03-15-2010 07:31 PM

At the risk of starting a major war, as electrical questions often do, curiosity demands that I turn to the experts.

First, the background: I recently installed a new laser printer/copier in my office at work, and it had a tendency to make the lights flicker when it kicked on, and about once per minute in standby mode. None of our other laser printers or copiers do that. A little research revealed that this was because this particular machine employs a different method of keeping the fuser hot, which tends to create a spike in power demand.

On a hunch, I plugged the machine into one of the surge protected outlets (not battery-backed-up) of my UPS, and the problem ceased. I can hear the UPS trip periodically, but no more effect on the lights.

Now the question, and how all this relates to woodworking:

My Ridgid TS3660 table saw, wired for 110, causes the house lights to blink a bit when I turn it on, and this seems to irritate SWMBO. Would going through a surge protector help, and would this have any negative effect on my saw? I know the primary purpose of a surge protector is to keep surges from getting to your equipment. But my experience at the office suggests they also limit surges from your equipment. Is that so?

Electricity is a mystery to me, so I’m looking forward to your comments.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

27 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4043 days

#1 posted 03-15-2010 07:45 PM

no it will not – but that’s a great excuse to use why you NEED to setup shop and upgrade electricity ;)

the problem with the copier is indeed surges, or busts, but with the table saw it’s peak amp request from the motor. if any – it’ll trip off your surge protector but will not fix the dimming lights. well, I guess if it’ll trip off the surge protector everytime you’ll turn your saw on – it WILL help with the dimming lights problem, but I don’t think your saw will cut too well with the blade not turning.

Another option is to move your saw to your office- since everyone there is already used to the dimming lights ;)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16283 posts in 4613 days

#2 posted 03-15-2010 07:59 PM


An electrical upgrade is definitely in the future anyway. I’m just not sure exactly how far in the future. Our house is about 35 years old, and the swimming pool, with all its related equipment were added later, so the panel is pretty well maxed out in its current (no pun intended) configuration.

The best thing in my favor is that Lynda knows she can’t have a hot tub without the upgrade. :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View LeeG's profile


40 posts in 3415 days

#3 posted 03-15-2010 08:08 PM

When a motor starts, it briefly draws considerably more amps than when it is running. This is the reason people run higher HP motors on 220, as the required amps is cut in half. When you start your table saw, you hear it change in pitch briefly. That first sound is when it basically wants more amps than is available. If you have enough amps, you start right up with that steady sound. The easiest way to get more amps is to double the voltage.

-- Lee in Phoenix

View degoose's profile


7255 posts in 3749 days

#4 posted 03-15-2010 11:05 PM

And this is probably why Australia… a land Down under… runs 240V …

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4694 days

#5 posted 03-15-2010 11:57 PM

You should ask your power company to put a recording devise on your meter.

You may be getting low voltage from your transformer.

I had a dimming problem at our lake home, & burned out two saws.

The power co. put a recorder on my line, & they ended up changing my transformer.

No charge to me, & no more dimming problems.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 4085 days

#6 posted 03-16-2010 12:09 AM

hate the stuff it bites hard never touch it never will but i know a man who can thats all i will say on the subject LOL….......

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18575 posts in 4070 days

#7 posted 03-16-2010 12:32 AM

Charlie, If you can go to 220 on the saw it may stop it and may not. How do you have UPS without a battery back up?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View CharlieM1958's profile


16283 posts in 4613 days

#8 posted 03-16-2010 01:34 AM

The UPS has a battery, but it has some outlets that are battery-protected, and some outlets that are only surge-protected.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Wood_smith's profile


261 posts in 3419 days

#9 posted 03-16-2010 01:47 AM

Buy the missus that hot tub first, and you’re golden for upgrading the power and a saw!!

-- Lloyd Kerry; creator of the Kerry-All Pouch,

View Routerisstillmyname's profile


763 posts in 3903 days

#10 posted 03-16-2010 04:23 AM

short term, all you need is AC line regulator. used furman AR117 will do the trick.
Long term= $$$$$

-- Router è ancora il mio nome.

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3501 days

#11 posted 03-16-2010 04:52 AM

Yeah! What thay said. Yesterday I could not spell electrician, today I are one.

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 4104 days

#12 posted 03-16-2010 06:07 AM

sounds like the ups contains a line conditioner (regulator) as well as a ups It doesn’t seem like a suppressor would help the dimming. I have two separate units. they do help

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

View WoodSparky's profile


200 posts in 3496 days

#13 posted 03-16-2010 06:51 AM

Charlie, My first question would be, is your table saw on the same circuit as your lights? A solution might be to run a seperate circuit for your saw. A surge protector for your saw probably would not help. A whole house surge protector wired into your electrical panel is always a good idea.

-- So Many tools, So little time

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3459 days

#14 posted 03-16-2010 01:23 PM

It sounds like you have to many things plugged into that line for the size of breaker you have in the box. You might see if you can put a little bit larger one in there. If not unplug a couple of the other things on the curcuit, even the are turned on they still draw power. There is a item that you can get that you plug in between the item and the power outlet to test how much power it is drawing when it is not being used. Then you can see which one is drawing to most and then unplug it when not using it. I personally unpulg all my tools at the end of the day, and flip the breaker for my 220 also.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1263 posts in 3561 days

#15 posted 03-16-2010 01:57 PM

You could try balancing the loads in your breaker box.
Make sure you are pulling off both sides of the circuits evenly.

You may have all of your heavy loads on one side.
Every other 120 v. breaker is on the same pole.

Switching your table saw to 220 v. should help.

What size is your service ran at? 60 amp? 100 amp? 200 amp?

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

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