Weird TV issue

Last August I purchased a LG OLED TV to replace a Visio that was acting up. The Visio was freezing up and you’d get a weird jumble on screen every once in a while (reminiscent of what happened when I had DirecTV satellite and the signal would poop out; frozen images, partially decoded blocks on screen). But the Visio also did this strange thing where periodically it would briefly turn off and turn right back on. I didn’t diagnose that power related issue but I was hoping it was related to my cable box signal being somehow screwed up.

I just changed cable providers to Fios, and of course have a new TV. But the power off/back on issue is still there. It seemed mysterious until just recently - the other night I got up out of my chair and discharged a big spark of static electricity - and the tv turned off and back on. And today, a vendor rang the doorbell - and the tv turned off and back on.

So there’s some sort of weird electrical interference or whatever going on. The question is this: what’s going on and how do I stop this?

My TV and all the associated crap in the corner is currently plugged into a power strip of some sort - I can’t see enough to tell but I suspect it’s simply a power strip. Would adding surge protection solve this pesky issue? Do I need to get a small UPS for the tv/router/cable box, would that fix things?

Thanks in advance.

How is your outlet grounding? Do you have a tester like this?

Is the TV plugged into the wall directly? Or do you have a surge protector? I would recommend a surge protector if you aren’t using one, just for safety’s sake.

I do have a circuit tester, I can whip it out soon. And as to @sillhouette 's question, the TV is plugged into this power strip like thing.

Are you using the same power strip on the new TV that you were using on the old TV that had the same problem? Does it happen if you don’t use the power strip?

This sounds like an electrical issue to me - likely a voltage drop on that circuit that is probably shared with your doorbell and other things. I think you will need an electrician to address this.

Sometimes I have seen power glitches like this in receptacles due to bad connections from careless or cheap “stab” wire connections. If you are comfortable with working on your home power, you can check some of the erratic outlets for these kind of push-in wire connections, especially daisy-chained ones. I always reconnect these with wire to the side screwed down connections on the receptacle when possible.

I would go with a column A and column B here.

Get an electrician to take a look. It should take an hour or less, that’s a pretty cheap rate, you can ask them beforehand.

But also, yes, just a power strip won’t do here. You need to isolate power and a UPS would do that. It would prevent damage from both spikes AND dips and your gear would last longer for it. BUT, if you just get a UPS here, expect that bugger to go off and alarm pretty often if you’re getting power dips like that.

I should note, besides power, HEAT would or could cause some of those issues too. If you have an enclosure around your TV you might want to consider that, but if not, I’d call an electrician. I’ve had one out to my house a few times, none of those visits were terribly expensive, even when I had a new circuit put in for my home office.

I ordered the UPS. Turns out the outlet strip I have back there has a surge protector already but I am replacing it just in case.

The doorbell “trick” is repeatable - I filmed it today to make sure. So I suppose once I get the UPS and plug everything in there I’ll probably call an electrician.

I’m ok with replacing the receptacle but I’ve never heard of that issue with the ‘stab’ connections (which I love by the way. it’s such a PITA to attach the wires to the sides and believe me, I’ve done a buttload of them over the past 30 years when I was renovating my house).

And @Skipper if you know a cheap electrician, hold on to him. I have a good one I have used for a couple of issues but it’s probably $100 to get him to come out and diagnose the issue.

Do you know where your doorbell transformer is? I would test and replace that thing as an immediate fix also.

Urm… uh… ahh… hmmmm… no idea, but that’s an excellent suggestion. Maybe it’s doing some wild transforming.

Most people are completely unaware of this, but surge protectors have a lifetime after which they provide zero effective protection. If you live in an area with crappy juice you should replace them every 2 years. Otherwise every 5.

I for one have multiple 20+ year old surge protectors, but I just treat them as power strips and don’t plug anything expensive or delicate there.

I use Tripp-lite line conditioners for my TV and PC setups. Would that maybe prevent this issue?

Also strongly recommend making sure your receptacles ground wires are connected well, otherwise a lot of surge protection does nothing.

Oh wow. So I guess I should replace that one from 20 years ago… :CringeEmoji:

But then again… Would it even matter if my house (built in 1954) still has ungrounded outlets? I wanna say the room with my computers actually is grounded, but the TV is definitely on one that only has GFCI.

Many older houses have full metal conduit to all electrical boxes, which is pretty good functional ground connection if correctly bonded to the earth grounds at the main panel. In those cases, if you use a 2 to 3 prong adapter and connect the screw (to the receptacle and thereby to the box and conduit path to ground) it can be as good as a dedicated ground wire. The problem is a lot of the conduit to box connection paths fail over time from oxidation or corrosion, so the ground path can disappear, which is why a dedicated ground wire is much better. A GFCI receptacle can connect the same way to a metal box as an effective ground also, or you can have a GFCI breaker in the panel on a 2-wire circuit I guess.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed Electrician

It’s very cheap and easy to check.

I have one of those. My question is about whether various kinds of ungrounded outlets make surge protectors useless, not about which of my outlets are which kind of grounded.

I’m not an electrician, but I’m pretty sure any ungrounded outlet won’t do the trick.

Generally surge protectors don’t help at all unless grounded, since ground is where they are shunt the extra juice. This is why I recommended using a screwed-in 3wire adapter on an ungrounded outlet for a chance to get some protection from it (you can check with the tester e.g. stusser’s example if it creates a functional ground that way).

There are some devices which can protect specifically live to neutral overvoltage surges, but they will probably just blow out like fuses instead.