[ale] OT: Running computers in an older home (read older circuitry)

Jim Lynch jwl at sgi.com
Thu Feb 19 15:16:18 EST 2004


It probably depends on how big the service is.  It's possible the service 
was only 30-60 amps when the house was built.  An absolute minimum for 
today is 100.  Since you mentioned it has circuit breakers, I suspect they 
might have upgraded the service (hope so) when the built the addition.  If 
your electrical usage is small (gas hot water and oven, for instance) you 
will be able to get by with 100 amp service.  But if it is an all electric 
house, I'd factor upgrading to 200 amps into your budget soon.   As far as 
computing equipment is concerned, unless you're going to run some big 
servers, like a rack's worth.  Don't worry about it.  All that stuff will 
hang off of a standard 15 A circuit without any trouble. I run 3 computers, 
modem, vpn, router, printer, scanner, a ham radio station consisting of a 
12V 20A power supply, a 100 W output transceiver, an antenna rotator, a 
desk lamp and a 600 watt amplifier from one 15 A circuit.  I think that's 
all. 8)

Simply put, supplying your computer shouldn't be a big deal.  If it is, 
then you've got bigger problems.


At 11:36 AM 2/19/2004, you wrote:
>My wife and I have found a house here in Greensboro we really like, but I 
>have a few concerns.  The house is approx. 54 years old, with an addition 
>on the back that's approx. 15-20 years old.  The addition has grounded, 
>three prong outlets, but the front portion of the house, where my "office" 
>would be, have the older two pronged, non-grounded outlets.
>On a given day, I run a 120 mhz firewall/router, a 900 mhz Athlon, a 
>2200XP+ Athlon (1800mhz) with a lot of components, and a 2.0 Ghz laptop 
>pretty much 24/7.
>What are the concerns with going into a house like this with my power 
>usage?  I do know that it's on a circuit breaker system...not fuse 
>box.  And I plan on having an electrician come in a replace one outlet 
>with a grounded, dedicated circuit so my computers will all plug into this 
>Anything I'm missing or not considering?  I've never purchased a home with 
>old wiring so I'm a little wary, but we're probably putting an offer in 
>today.  I know that grounding all outlets in the house will probably be 
>pretty darned expensive, so if I don't have to, I don't want to!
>Let me know asap if you have any comments/suggestions.  Thanks guys!
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