Does it hurt to plug a laser printer into a surge protector? In general, you want surge protection on all of your electronic equipment. With that in mind, some equipment requires a specific kind of protection which you can easily determine by reading the manual of the appliance in question. The number of volts your equipment uses on start up and during its use will determine the type of surge protector you will need. Using the best surge protection will save any device from possible damage caused by power surges. For instance, while you can put a laser printer on a single surge protector without issue, you should not install it on a UPS surge protector.
UPS is short for Uninterruptible Power Supply. This, in essence, is a battery backup and will overload if used on a laser printer. With a UPS device different technologies are used as each UPS has varying levels of protection. Lower end UPS devices (called SPS) can have delays in response time when switching from AC power over to its battery supply. This battery supply does not contain sufficient protection to withstand the amount of startup energy a laser printer requires to perform its tasks, therefore you should not connect your laser printer in the UPS surge protector.
Laser printers use a heating cycle that constantly repeats, meaning that every minute or so it draws a current that ranges from a few volts up to a large spike before it returns to normal levels. This surge conflicts with the range a UPS can absorb and because the laser printer causes the UPS to cycle, it can cause the UPS to burn out its inverter. So in that sense, a laser printer and surge protector are not the best combination.
The same thing applies to a 6 outlet surge protector that has other devices plugged into it. The repeated cycle can trip the surge protection circuit to shut down which in turn can cause it to crash your printer. Other surge protection equipment can restrict repeated surges causing your printer to attempt an even larger draw of power to continue its cycle. These repeated attempts to cycle can quickly wear down your printer to the point of not working anymore.
The appropriate step to take to ensure electrical surge protection during your laser printing is to install it on a separate surge protection device and have it plugged into a solitary outlet, or a single electrical circuit that is not being shared by other equipment.
Should you decide to risk using the surge side of your UPS, plug the device into an outlet by itself. In all honesty, laser printers are not designed for use with backup battery surge protectors as the heating element within the printer along with its motor drive both require high draws of power to operate. Using an Uninterruptible Power Supply can overload the printer or make it “act strangely”.
Also, you do not need to share a device for your printer and computer. The energy drawn on by the printer will cause a brownout effect which can lead to data loss on your computer. You need laser printer surge protection for solo use with the printer in order to avoid any kind of meltdown, even if your outlets are on the same circuit. So, surge protect laser printer on one device and put your computer and all external components to it on another.