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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
How much power is too much power to be pulling out of an outlet? I have 3 power strips strung together and according to my power meter I'm pulling about 525 watts when my PC and all my monitors are on. When I have all my hard drives plugged in I think I pull 700 or 800 watts, but I haven't plugged them all in at once in a long time.

I'm just wondering how much is too much. At what point is it a fire danger?
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in electricity, I=VR
this says that current (amps) is equal to voltage * resistance (ohms)
also, P=VI
this says that Power (watts) is equal to voltage * current (amps)

given you are using 525 watts at 120 V, we can calculate how many amps you are drawing

525 = 120 * I
525/120 = 4.37
I = 4.37

you are drawing approximately 4-5 amps, which shouldn't be a big deal, especially since you are most likely on a 15 or 20 amp circuit....however, other recepticles and/or lights could also be on the same circuit, so these would need to be taken into account as well.

I've seen vacuum cleaners that draw as much as 12 amps (obviously they are drawing this from one recepticle, which is a 120 v recepticle)
so P=VI
P=1440 watts

as you can see, a powerful vacuum cleaner draws more amps and uses more watts off a single recepticle than your computer setup.

that's my take on it, although I'm a novice in this field.  I'd love to hear some comments from people with more experience in the field.

15 amps X 120 volts = 1800 watts


I seem to be drawing "only" about 6.5 amps right now, so I guess I must be safe then. There's only one circuit breaker switch for this room, so I assume that means that all the wall plugs in this room are on the same circuit So, I wouldn't have a practical option for plugging into a separate circuit anyway.

opps . . tfjeff's post was not there when I posted . . Depending on what wlse is on the same run, I think you got plenty of room on one plug

simpswr, cheers
everyone else, please chime in if this stuff isn't right...because I've only been in the electrical field about 6 months and I'd love to hear everyone's input.

mus' be right . . you got the points!

well done!

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