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laser printer causing lights to flicker?

Posted by abbey_cny (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 6, 09 at 12:37

I am just wondering if laser printers draw a lot of power?
I just got a new printer (previous one was an ink jet) and whenever I use it the light in the room (both desk lamp and printer/computer are plugged into same outlet) flickers.
I don't know if this is indicative of a problem or if it is perfectly normal. Would appreciate any info if anyone has encountered a similar problem.

Thanks!

Abbey


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: laser printer causing lights to flicker?

Laser printers can consume relatively large amounts of power as they use heat to "fix" the toner to the page.

It is indicative of a problem, but probably not in your laser printer. Unfortunately, older houses weren't set up for a 500W computer, a 100W desk lamp, and a 600W laser printer. That's around 10A just on one outlet, and who knows what else on the circuit.


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RE: laser printer causing lights to flicker?

If it is only a mild blink and the lights don't dim a lot, and there are no other symptoms of a problem, then it probably is ok. Mine has done that for years with no apparent ill effects. Be alert for smells or noises from switch or receptacle boxes, or flickering that is not caused by the printer cycling on and off.

I would look at what is on the circuit and not load it heavily. You may need to shut down the computer, turn off the breaker for a test, and make a list of which lights and receptacles are dead so you know what all shares the circuit.

Don't use space heaters, vacuum cleaners, and other big appliances on that circuit while the printer is cycling and you'll be ok.


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RE: laser printer causing lights to flicker?

This is why laser printers should NOT be connected to UPS systems. They present too large a current draw for a common home UPS to handle.


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RE: laser printer causing lights to flicker?

Thank you all for the info. Nothing is conncected to a UPS, just a surge protector which in turn is plugged into one outlet. I will check to see what else is on the circuit, been meaning to figure out that for a while. If I find a lot on the circuit, would it be advisable to get the circuit rewired? I am paranoid about electricity, due to a house fire when younger, so if there is any chance of a problem down the road I would like to get this fixed rather than live with the flickering. The outlet in question was worked on shortly after I bought the house. I had it converted to a properly grounded outlet so I could use the computer in it. Thanks!

Abbey


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RE: laser printer causing lights to flicker?

I wouldn't worry too much. But that's just me.


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RE: laser printer causing lights to flicker?

Have your electrician run a dedicated 15 amp circuit for the computer and printer and you'll never have to worry about smells or damaging your new expensive laser printer due to under voltage.
The lights won't do that annoying dimming either.


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RE: laser printer causing lights to flicker?

"yes it could. and it could also could be start of fire.."

Only if the printer goes bad.

The heater used to fuse the toner to the paper is a relatively high power device.
It pulls even more current immediately after it is energized by the printer until lit heats up.

One of the 'green' features in printers is to NOT run the fuser 100%, but turn it off between print jobs.
This requires an even faster warm up of the fuser when it is needed or the printing is delayed while the fuser comes to temperature.
Faster warm up requires more power, if only for a short time.


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RE: laser printer causing lights to flicker?

My laster printer, Brother 2040 does this too. When it kicks in the lights dim.


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RE: laser printer causing lights to flicker?

I checked the power draw of a small laser brother laser printer. It was in the 1200watt range. They're big power hogs.


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