I currently live in a rented property that I suspect was wired up by a cowboy, the outlets are anchored poorly in the walls and the breaker board hums when any high-energy appliances are running. It also appears to be playing havoc with some of my more sensitive equipment, namely my servers and my router. Not enough to have killed any of them yet, but they exhibit erratic behavior they did not show before i lived here, this coupled with flickering lights & humming circuits leads me to believe its dodgy electrics at play.

I noticed on another question on the Stackexchange network (specifically this question) that the original poster had graphed their voltage against time, I think something like this would be perfect to confront my landlord with empirical evidence that something in his property is wrong (and also because I love data and would probably use this in future properties too, and this is a great way to justify the expense to my girlfriend)

I was wondering if its possible to pick up equipment capable of doing this cheaply, and what exactly would I be looking for?

EDIT: I live in the UK so it needs to be able to tolerate 240V+

closed as off-topic by BMitch Nov 23 '15 at 14:37

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  • See the meta discussion for more details about our product recommendation policy. – BMitch Nov 23 '15 at 14:38
  • If you're willing to spend money on this, you'd be better off spending it on hiring an electrician to inspect the wiring and give you a safety report. If he finds any safety issues, not only can you use it to confront the landlord, but you can also go to whatever agency oversees rental buildings. A plot of voltage over time is not likely to convince the landlord to take any action. An appropriate UPS will not only protect your equipment, but some will give you a report of voltage measured over time. – Johnny Nov 23 '15 at 18:31
  • Ah yes, a decent UPS, I've been planning to buy one for my server/office PC but it didn't even occur to me to just use that. – Trotski94 Nov 24 '15 at 8:42

lots of different ways to monitor & record voltage, plugin board or usb for your computer sounds like the cheapest way to go to me they are cheezy but work ok to take the measurements you describe, I would tell your land loard he needs to have an electrician tighten the wires in your pannel the humming is a really bad thing and can be the start of arcing that can distroy the ends of the wires and terminals of the breakers, that sounds like where most of the problem may be from your description. here is a very inexpensive unit and there are lots of other options out there. http://www.dataq.com/resources/images/products/starterkits/di145-usb-data-acquisition.jpg

  • Sorry i forgot to mention I'm in the UK, so the 150V peak is insufficient for our 240V mains voltage here, although this gives me a good basis to go on thank you. – Trotski94 Nov 23 '15 at 14:34
  • I am sure there are simmilar units for your neck of the woods I bought one that could go to 600V to monitor a 480 remote pump station with a laptop over a year ago it was only 90$ us – Ed Beal Nov 23 '15 at 14:37
  • that last link would appear to be a dehumidifier, haha. – Trotski94 Nov 23 '15 at 15:53

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