Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-06-2010, 08:38 PM   #1
Member
 
P Marage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 51
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


We bought this house close to 5 years ago, its almost 20 now.
First day moving in a light bulb blew. No biggie, they blow all the time.
Or so I thought...
Its been almost 5 years now and an almost weekly basis "pop" ANOTHER blown bulb. I always figured hmm well just the cheap bulbs I buy(4 pack 2 bucks walmart)
2 months ago the bedroom kept blowing its breaker. then a few days maybe a week after that started one afternoon I could smell burning plastic downstairs.
traced it to the light fixture that was to hot to touch. Opened it up and could see all the wires were scorched, so we called in an electrician to trouble shoot. He discovered that the power coming in to the house from the city line was reading 128 volts. That explains the blowing bulbs.
The electrician said we needed to buy 130 volt bulbs to stop this from happening.
They are hard to find outside of going to a "lighting" store even then theres no guarantee you will find them.
This high of a voltage will also shorten the life of all the appliances in the house. so buying different bulbs is not an acceptable solution.

My questions...
1.) Is there a voltage regulator that I can put in my panel that will reduce the high voltage to more normal range?
2.)Can I force the city to do something about THEIR transformer?

P Marage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 09:36 PM   #2
I=E/R
 
a7ecorsair's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,052
Rewards Points: 1,000
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


Did the electrician measure the power coming into your house at the main disconnect across both poles and from each pole to neutral? If so, did each pole to neutral measure the same?

a7ecorsair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 09:45 PM   #3
Member
 
P Marage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 51
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


I cant say what he did or didn't do I can only trust he knows what hes doing. What he did say is that all transformers dont put out an exact voltage, for example normal is 120 but,Some transformers(hes talking city) put out 118 volts some put out 125 ect and that he measured 128 coming in to our house and is most likely the cause of the issue.
I have concluded Its not just blowing bulbs by what happened to the light fixture I mentioned in my first post. it is also affecting things less noticeable.
P Marage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 09:46 PM   #4
Member
 
P Marage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 51
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


Also, Is there something I can do to confirm this?
P Marage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2010, 09:58 PM   #5
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 5,407
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


depending what the legal requirements of your state are, the 128 volts may or may not be excessive, legally. NEMA (national electrical manufacturers associtation) requires electrical equipment to be able to function at +/- 10% of nominal voltage. That would mean a 120 volt bulb is required to operate acceptably on up to 132 volts.


What needs to be checked though is if both legs of your electrical service show this voltage (which would mean the power company simply has a higher than nominal voltage in your area) or if there is something else causing the problem. A loose connection on a neutral can cause one leg of your power to read high while the other reads low. This possibility should be investigated as well.

If it is high on both legs, contact your power company to determine what they are legally required to provide to you.
nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 03:56 AM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Eighty Four, Pa.15330
Posts: 1,284
Rewards Points: 566
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


Standard voltage level in U.S. can be up to 127 volts. Buy 130 volt lampc.
bobelectric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 09:03 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,965
Rewards Points: 2,026
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


Sometimes the voltage varies because the power company still has undersize wires or transformers on the street. Voltage will be lower during peak usage periods.

Most transformers can be adjusted slightly. Not all locations have automatic voltage regulators so the transformer may be set on the high side so during peak periods the voltage is still in an acceptable range.
__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 09:43 AM   #8
DIYer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 910
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


I don't think it's been stressed enough; an open neutral is a really dangerous situation. It could easily cause a fire. Check this out ASAP to make sure that the voltage is equal on both legs of your panel.
Gigs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 02:09 PM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 780
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


Lamps are resistive loads so the higher the voltage the lower the amperage it uses for the rated wattage. Burnt wire in the junction box can be an indication of to high a wattage lamp being used for example a 100 watt lamp in a 60 amp fixture. The first thing you should do is call your electric company and have them check the connections at the transformer. Loose connection on the neutral is a more likely cause of your problems. Such a scenario can lead to up to 240 volts and higher than normal amperage going to 120 volt outlets.
hayewe farm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 02:51 PM   #10
DIYer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 910
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


Quote:
Originally Posted by hayewe farm View Post
Lamps are resistive loads so the higher the voltage the lower the amperage it uses for the rated wattage.
That's backward. I=V/R Higher voltage is higher amperage.
Gigs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 03:08 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 780
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


Oooops.
hayewe farm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2010, 07:20 PM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,965
Rewards Points: 2,026
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


Theoretically if you increase the voltage to a given device with a given resistance, the current (amperage) will also increase. (amps equals volts divided by resistance as stated above)

If you have two lamps each with the same wattage rating and one has a higher voltage rating, then the other, designed for fewer volts, will draw more amps. (watts equals volts times amperes)

In practice, if you increase the voltage to a given incandescent lamp, the temperature of the filament goes up and the resistance also goes up so the current draw does not go up as fast as you would think. (I = V/R but since R is not constant, you cannot predict I given V)
__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.

Last edited by AllanJ; 10-07-2010 at 07:23 PM.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2010, 10:55 AM   #13
DIYer
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 910
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


Yeah, incandescents are non-linear. When they are cold they are almost a dead short, but once they warm up they hit an equilibrium.

So they aren't really an ideal resistive load, but they roughly respond in the same way.
Gigs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 10:13 PM   #14
Member
 
P Marage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 51
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


Thanx for all the replies!
Now I have a couple questions, I would appreciate it if you keep the laughter down lol
1. What is a leg?
2. bobelectric mentioned "lampc." is this a typo for lamps?
3. can I check these legs mentioned myself safely.
I have 3 types of multi meters a basic multi meter and one a little more advanced that reads DCA2m-200m,DCV200m-500,ACV 200+500 & OHMS with a fused and unfused circuit, the 3rd kind is just a simple device that looks like an ordinary male end plug with 3 led lights Positive,Negative & ground that tests open ground, open neutral, open hot, hot ground reverse, & hot neautral reverse.
Image below is the better of the meters that I have
Attached Images
 
P Marage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2010, 10:42 PM   #15
nap
You talking to me?
 
nap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: sw mi
Posts: 5,407
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Above normal Voltage coming from city lines


Quote:
1. What is a leg?
that's the thing you stick in your pants, one at a time

a leg is basically the tap from each end of the transformer that feeds your home. In the panel, it would be each of the wires that feeds into your main breaker. There are 2 of them.


Quote:
2. bobelectric mentioned "lampc." is this a typo for lamps?
yes


Quote:
3. can I check these legs mentioned myself safely.
safely? Well, I do it very regularly and I do it safely. If you do it incorrectly, you could have a serious problem but it is not difficult.


as to telling you how to do this; any chance of getting a picture of your electrical panel with the front cover removed? It would be easier to tell you where to touch and where not to touch.

nap is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Low voltage & mega kilowatt usage sdswcs Electrical 29 10-18-2013 08:22 PM
hooking up dryer....bronx ny code SURFBUG Appliances 6 10-14-2008 09:41 PM
Toilet: water still coming from BOTTOM of Inlet Valve DIY Mom Plumbing 1 08-12-2008 12:43 PM
How Do I Install New Duct Lines For My Finished Basement? luweee HVAC 17 01-12-2008 03:01 PM
coming off the plenum to trunk lines qnzkrew HVAC 3 01-01-2008 09:27 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.