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'[EE:] terribly unstable line voltages'
2004\08\28@222715 by hilip Stortz

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my house, in addition to having a high line voltage, between 127 and
130V most of the time, also seems to have a very, very unstable line
voltage.  in only a few seconds it can vary from 124V to 130V and seems
to be constantly fluctuating in that range (i've checked at several
outlets and the breaker box fearing a wiring problem at first).  

i think this is unusual, my question is does it indicate a problem with
the power companies equipment?  we also seem to randomly  though rarely
get tv interference in 2 horizontal bands like you do from something
arcing, and the neighbor is not arc welding and it only occurs for
seconds at a time and then stops for a considerable time.  we have
underground power lines.  given the 2 oddities above i'm wondering if
the insulation on the higher voltage lines or a transformer is failing?
there are 2 large switch boxes in front of the neighbors house (they
added a backup line a couple of years ago, i think it's an alternate
cable they can switch to but i'm not sure).  also, where do they put the
transformers when the power is underground?  if it's in those green
boxes there's only one for several dozen houses, in which case i suppose
that would explain the power abnormalities.  it's been this way for at
least 5 years, as long as we've been here.  

i remember an old popular electronics article about tracking down
interference sources that mentioned arcing in transformers producing
that type of interference and it makes me wonder, especially since it
would easily explain the fluctuations in power.  of course it could just
be the age of the equipment, i've seen the substation from the street
and it's not terribly new though not as old as some i've seen, but i
suspect the underground wiring and the substation are from the '50's (at
least most of it, they did have to replace a transformer a couple of
years ago when an antelope managed to jump the fence, i'm sure it wasn't pretty...).

it's been something i've wondered about for a long time, and i wish it
would go away as it obviously has a bad effect on precision analog
electronics.  at the same time, i don't want to harass the power company
if it's nothing unusual for the age of the equipment (and the likely
large increase in power usage since it was installed, we are at the edge
of town, and it has been growing unfortunately, as towns tend to).


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2004\08\28@224551 by Larry Taylor

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Yes!  Call them. The 1 -800 number in the phone book.  They can change a tap
in the transformer to your house and all that are on the drop side.
Larry Taylor  KF6JBG
{Original Message removed}

2004\08\28@230000 by Larry Taylor

picon face
Interference Problems
Check and see if you can ring your door bell when the interference turns
on. The door bell transformer has a bi-metal contact in it that opens and
close when it gets hot. Time to replace it. Also check the heating elements
that come on and off like heaters in a fish tank,heat pad,electric blankets.
This can also be caused by your neighborns with the items I just listed. You
can turn off one breaker at a time to see if its something in the house.
Larry Taylor  KF6JBG
{Original Message removed}

2004\08\29@055758 by Denny Esterline

picon face



> my house, in addition to having a high line voltage, between 127 and
> 130V most of the time, also seems to have a very, very unstable line
> voltage.  in only a few seconds it can vary from 124V to 130V and seems
> to be constantly fluctuating in that range (i've checked at several
> outlets and the breaker box fearing a wiring problem at first).
>

<snip>

I've had two different systems suffer from problems with the aluminum
entrance cable (the big stuff in the meterbase). One blew the main circuit
breaker whenever the waterheater cycled. Turn out to be a loose connection
at the main breaker - connection got hot - breaker pops. The other was a
corroded connection in the meterbase caused weird voltage issues and random
flickers and such. Cleaned the connection and all was well (added some anti
oxidant compound to keep it from happening again.)

Of course there are several potential issues with code violations and
safety- but lets not get into that :-)

-Denny


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2004\08\29@085531 by olin_piclist

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Philip Stortz wrote:
> it's been something i've wondered about for a long time, and i wish it
> would go away as it obviously has a bad effect on precision analog
> electronics.

It shouldn't, at least not if the electronics are properly designed.  Think
about it, a few volts variation at 1Hz or less is nothing compared to the
370 peak to peak 60Hz variation of the power itself.  High frequency noise,
like you suspect form arcing, should always be assumed on the power line
when designing analog equipment.  If nothing else, the power lines can act
like radio antennas.


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2004\08\29@143402 by Hopkins

flavicon
face
First step would be to complain to the power company as it may be a bad
connection on there supply transformer.

If you have had a long history of the problem see if your neighbours
have the same problem. If the immediate neighbours do not have the
problem they may be on a different phase from the supply transformer and
therefore the fault is in your supply phase line.

Also check with there neighbours as every third house should be on the
same supply phase as you.

If the supply company can not find a problem ask them to monitor it for
you.

They should have a data logger that they can put on your line to record
problems over an extended period.

May pay to check your main earth stake connection is in good condition.

_______________________________________
Roy
Tauranga
New Zealand
_______________________________________

> my house, in addition to having a high line voltage, between 127 and
> 130V most of the time, also seems to have a very, very unstable line
> voltage.  in only a few seconds it can vary from 124V to 130V and
seems
> to be constantly fluctuating in that range (i've checked at several
> outlets and the breaker box fearing a wiring problem at first).
>



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