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I have a pedestal fan, and an elliptical machine (gym equipment) both connected to the same 4 outlet/port power board. I.e. a board you plug into a single wall socket and now have 4 sockets to plug things into.

The fan is next to my bed so I can adjust it during the night if I am too hot/cold.

I have noticed whenever I turn the fan on or off during the night, the elliptical machine starts itself up (the lights come on, the sound comes on, the magnets engage in the wheel). FYI the elliptical machine has a self off-timer, so its actually turning back on each time this phenomena occurs.

What could be the cause of this? Why does one appliances function somehow reset or trigger the other appliance on the same power board?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It shouldn't. You're turning the fan on and off using a switch on the fan itself, right? And just so you know, the common word for what you're talking about (at least in my dialect) is "power strip". \$\endgroup\$ – Hearth Apr 4 at 1:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes - turning the fan on and off on a switch on the fan itself. Thanks for the info! I am aware it shouldn't do it but can't figure out why it is doing it and whether it might be dangerous. \$\endgroup\$ – K-Feldspar Apr 4 at 1:11
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Essentially what is happening is that when you turn on the fan, as it uses an electric motor, it draws a fairly large current surge as the motor comes up to speed. This is evidently enough to cause your elliptical machine to respond, perhaps it sees the AC voltage drop enough that it resets or perhaps there is some other form of interference. The power strip that you are using (without going into the technical details) means that the elliptical machine is more affected that it would be if it were plugged into its own wall socket. What you are seeing isn't dangerous in itself, but check that the total power of everything that you plug into the power strip doesn't exceed the maximum rating for the strip.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Very interesting. Thank you for the info. \$\endgroup\$ – K-Feldspar Apr 4 at 4:58
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A possibility is that your power strip is a "smart" power strip where the presence or absence of current draw on one outlet causes the power to turn on and off on the other outlets.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Although its possible, I have my doubts because of (I didn't mention earlier but) its an old, cheap $5 power strip. Not sure if these smart strips are something knew and or non standard? \$\endgroup\$ – K-Feldspar Apr 4 at 4:59

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