My office is running from one breaker (14 amp/120v) with 4 outlets and 1 light. I've had a laptop die while plugged into the wall and recently my UPS all audibly cycled on-off within 5 minutes of each other.

The light is using a 78mm Type-J (after moving in I replaced the 100W with a 5W LED)

I assume that three of the outlets were installed as part of the original construction but one of the outlet has mild drywall repair surrounding it, I assume it was added after the fact.

I purchased and tested all outlets with a GFI Receptacle Tester and didn't see any issues.

I've noticed some issues with the room's power:

  1. Laptop dying shortly after moving in to condo
  2. 3 separate UPSs activating within 5-10 minutes of each other for a few seconds. The UPSs were not active at the same time (UPSs were purchased after the condo board said I'd have to provide them with a detailed renovation plan before I could have an electrician look at the wiring).
  3. Prior to installing UPSs, whenever paper was fed into my shredder the LED USB keyboard on one of the computers would visibly turn off for <1 second after the shredder turned off.

There has also been at least one flicker causing the whole unit to lose power since moving in.

Specific questions:

  1. How likely is this related to my office's wiring?
  2. What are the least destructive mechanisms to diagnose these issues?
  3. How many hours should I budget for a certified electrician to diagnose and fix the issue?
  4. If I add an 8A air conditioner to this circuit how likely am I to cause this issue to escalate?
  • You likely have a failed outlet, or wire connecting to one. Installing an outlet after the fact wouldn’t require any sheetrock repair typically, could it be repair from small fire? How old is this wiring? Is it copper or aluminum? BTW, does “laptop dying” meaning the battery is discharged and won’t operate, or does it mean the laptop no longer functions because it was damaged by power? In my world, a “dead laptop” is beyond reasonable repair. Also don’t add 8 amps to this circuit until you add up detail of all loads and know how much you have left. – Tyson Apr 15 '18 at 11:02
  • Also since 14amp is a very odd breaker size, where is this located? (Country) – Tyson Apr 15 '18 at 11:11
  • Reading again this morning I picked up one more thing, “detailed renovation plan”... I can understand why this might be required for some changes or improvements, however you have a “repair” that is needed, that’s different than “improvement”. Guessing based on info you’ve provided so far, my guess is that this mess is fed with aluminum wire and you have a connection that is literally burning and arcing. My advise would be to get an electrician sooner than later. BTW.. not all electricians are equally skilled with aluminum branch circuit wiring, if you think it is aluminum wire(cont) – Tyson Apr 16 '18 at 13:44
  • ...you should ask anyone you call if they are experienced with aluminum branch circuit wiring. I arrive at my aluminum guess, because the circuit consistently comes and goes. Typical bad backstabs on devices just open the circuit and don’t come and go in random patterns like you’re describing. Your situation sounds like a badly arcing connection. – Tyson Apr 16 '18 at 13:51

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