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Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

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dimm0k_apc
Crewman
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Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/9/2010


I recently purchased a new notebook and when I connect it to my APC surge protector, the Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED light starts flickering once the notebook is powered on. If I unplug the AC adapter the LED stops flickering or lighting up, but as soon as I plug it back in the LED starts again. Is there something wrong with my outlet or is something wrong with the AC adapter?


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dimm0k_apc
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Re: Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/9/2010


dang, I like doing things the hard way! So after reading your post I unplugged the AC adapter from the APC surge protector in my room and connected it to the same model I have downstairs and the LED indicator never went off. I then tried switching the outlet the APC surge protector in my room was on to another outlet, specifically the other outlet just above the one had been using and no flickering LED indicator!

With this in mind, does this mean I'm good to go with this second outlet?

Is it common for two outlets connected on one wall plate to have one good and one bad or do they both usually go bad at the same time?

Because I've had my electrical components connected to the APC surge protector while connected to this "bad" outlet, could it be possible they've sustained damage that would shorten their longevity?

As I was plugging the APC surge protector into the second outlet, a spark ignited as the plug went into the outlet... is this bad? What I noticed was plugging it back into the original outlet did not ignite a spark.

See Answer In Context

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BillP
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Re: Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This reply was originally posted by Jonathan on APC forums on 6/29/2010


Nelson,

That is good to hear, thank you for using the APC forum. Please feel free to contact us again.

JonPro

BillP
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Re: Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This reply was originally posted by Jonathan on APC forums on 6/9/2010


Hi Nelson,

The reason why would the Building Wiring Fault/Site Wiring Fault would lit up is listed on this APC Knowledge Base ID 183 --> http://nam-en.apc.com/cgi-bin/nam_en.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=183. Aside from unplugging/ replugging the laptop adapter, have you tried plugging the APC surge protector on a different outlet?

JonPro

BillP
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Re: Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This reply was originally posted by Jonathan on APC forums on 6/9/2010


Sorry, double post.

Message was edited by: JonPro

dimm0k_apc
Crewman
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Re: Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/9/2010


dang, I like doing things the hard way! So after reading your post I unplugged the AC adapter from the APC surge protector in my room and connected it to the same model I have downstairs and the LED indicator never went off. I then tried switching the outlet the APC surge protector in my room was on to another outlet, specifically the other outlet just above the one had been using and no flickering LED indicator!

With this in mind, does this mean I'm good to go with this second outlet?

Is it common for two outlets connected on one wall plate to have one good and one bad or do they both usually go bad at the same time?

Because I've had my electrical components connected to the APC surge protector while connected to this "bad" outlet, could it be possible they've sustained damage that would shorten their longevity?

As I was plugging the APC surge protector into the second outlet, a spark ignited as the plug went into the outlet... is this bad? What I noticed was plugging it back into the original outlet did not ignite a spark.

dimm0k_apc
Crewman
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Re: Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/10/2010


2nd EDIT: Ok so it looks like that entire wall outlet might need checking... shortly after the previous post the LED indicator began blinking again! Not as much as before, but still flickering... any idea what would be involved to fix something like this? Just wondering if walls would have to come down, etc...

3rd EDIT: APC surge protector giving me the flickering LED indicator is a APC PRO8TV, that's more than a decade old if I remember correctly. I just unplugged the notebook AC adapter from that and the LED indicator is still flickering! I happen to have a spare 7 outlet APC SurgeArrest Surge Protector that also includes an LED indicator and with it plugged into the original outlet while the notebook AC adapter is plugged in, the indicator does not go off! With the age of the PRO8TV, could it possibly be failing itself? Is there any sure way to determine this? Does APC have some sort of replacement program for this?

Message was edited by: dimm0k

Message was edited by: dimm0k

BillP
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Re: Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This reply was originally posted by Jonathan on APC forums on 6/10/2010


Thanks for giving us an update, I have listed my questions below:

# What kind of plug comes with your laptop adapter, is it a standard NEMA 5-15 3 prong plug or is it 2 straight blades?
# Aside from the laptop adapter have your tried plugging a different device on the surge protector? If yes, have you noticed the Fault LED to lit up or flicker?
# Have you tried replicating the issue on a different circuit? Building or House?
# Is it possible for you to consult an electrician to have your outlets checked for the reasons that are outlined on the knowledge base?
# Do you know someone who owns an APC Surge Protector wherein you can try to test if it would do the same thing when you connect the laptop adapter?
JonPro

dimm0k_apc
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Re: Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/10/2010


What kind of plug comes with your laptop adapter, is it a standard NEMA 5-15 3 prong plug or is it 2 straight blades?
Aside from the laptop adapter have your tried plugging a different device on the surge protector? If yes, have you noticed the Fault LED to lit up or flicker?
Have you tried replicating the issue on a different circuit? Building or House?
Is it possible for you to consult an electrician to have your outlets checked for the reasons that are outlined on the knowledge base?
Do you know someone who owns an APC Surge Protector wherein you can try to test if it would do the same thing when you connect the laptop adapter?

1. The adapter for the notebook is 2 straight blades.
2. I actually had several devices plugged into this surge protector, but never noticed the fault LED flickering until I plugged in the adapter for the notebook. Perhaps it was coincidence that it started going off when the plugged in the notebook adapter.
3. I have not tried using this surge protector anywhere else other than the adjacent outlet... sounds like the next logical step is to move this surge protector somewhere else in the house to verify!
4. Consulting an electrician is something I would like to have as the last step...
5. I actually own two of these surge protectors, one I use for my room and the other for the living room for the TV, DVD, etc. I actually did what you suggested last night when I came home, which was plug the notebook adapter into the surge protector in the living room and there it did not give the fault LED.

One other thing to note is I have moved everything that was once plugged into this surge protector into the APC SurgeArrest strip, while plugged into the original outlet. The fault LED on this strip surge protector has not been flickering AND the now empty (nothing plugged in) PRO8TV in my room still has the fault LED flickering. I think it is safe to say that none of my connected devices are the cause and now it is either the PRO8TV failing or there may be something wrong with the wiring in my house. I will attempt to try this surge protector elsewhere in the house, as well as in my work place tomorrow to see if the fault LED still goes off. Will report back then.

BillP
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Re: Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This reply was originally posted by Jonathan on APC forums on 6/10/2010


For us not to get confused let us label your surge protectors. The one on the living room will be called Protector1 and the one in your room is Protector2. From your statement above, correct me if I am wrong but Protector2 is now showing the SWF/BWF (Site Wiring/ Building Wiring Fault) LED. If you haven't done it yet try swapping the surge protectors, plug the Protector2 to the outlet where Protector1 was plugged in and vice-versa.

If you feel comfortable, you can open the faceplate of your outlet to see if there's any loose/ missing wire on it. If Protector2 SWF LED still lits up on the other outlet and the other one wouldn't then it shows that there is a problem with the surge protector.

JonPro

dimm0k_apc
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Re: Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/12/2010


You are correct, Protector2 is the one in question... Both Protector1 and Protector2 are the same model, PRO8TV. I also have a brand new APC SurgeArrest P74 strip, as well as a Tripp-Lite TLP10NET I borrowed. Where the Protector2 was originally located I was definitely getting the BWF LED. I tried moving Protector2 to an adjacent room, room2, a day ago and the BWF LED flickered. I then moved it to the room across the hallway, room3, and there it did not give a BWF LED. Today however when it is in room2, it is not flickering! If there was something indeed wrong with the wiring in my house, it would be constant no?

Both the Tripp-Lite and the APC SurgeArrest P74 have a BWF LED as well and both do not go off in the original room. I did not mention or clarify on this earlier, but Protector2 has never been moved since it was plugged in and it was only until now the BWF LED has gone off. Is this any indication that it could be going bad?

Ok, this is getting really weird. After getting no fault from room2 today I decided to try it again in the original room and now the BWF LED barely flickers. I almost thought it went away until I stared at it for a second and saw a slight flicker. Any suggestions?

dimm0k_apc
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Re: Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/13/2010


That is correct. I currently have the Tripp-Lite plugged into one of the two outlets with the other outlet connected to the APC P74 and neither of them are giving me any BWF activity.

I will need some time to free Protector1 from downstairs to see if I can duplicate the findings with Protector2. Hopefully this "mystery" will be solved then, because I am just baffled as to how Protector2 actually gives me BWF activity in my room and an adjacent one, but nothing in another room. If Protector1 does not give me BWF activity in my room, can I safely say Protector2 is damaged?

dimm0k_apc
Crewman
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1527

Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED issue

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/9/2010


I recently purchased a new notebook and when I connect it to my APC surge protector, the Building Wiring Fault Indicator LED light starts flickering once the notebook is powered on. If I unplug the AC adapter the LED stops flickering or lighting up, but as soon as I plug it back in the LED starts again. Is there something wrong with my outlet or is something wrong with the AC adapter?