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Old 05-03-2009, 01:07 PM   #1
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


We moved our treadmill to a different position in the same room and while the display powered up the motor wouldn't drive the belt. I found out the treadmill isn't dead. It just only works in one outlet in the room.
All outlets work but it seems only one has enough power to drive the belt. If you put an extension cord on it to the working outlet it won't work anymore. Display on, incline works, it just won't move the belt. It must be plugged directly into that outlet and that outlet alone for 100% functionality.
All outlets are on the same circuit, I tested by flipping the breaker and testing the working and non working outlets. It's a 15a circuit.
Any ideas? We can't plug the treadmill in where we did have it but it won't work in the new spot.
Our house was built in 2004. This room has no GFCI outlets. I have no problems with my computers and other electrical equipment in any of the other outlets. And even unplugging everything it still won't work in those other outlets.


Last edited by archer75; 05-03-2009 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


It could be a feature on the treadmill to not start the motor if the voltage is too low. Hard to tell voltage drop unless you have a multimeter. You might try an incandescent bulb to watch for it dimming, but a voltmeter would be best.

It could also be a loose connection that has gone high resistance causing the voltage drop. This happens even in new houses sometimes. It would be good to get to the bottom of this because a high resistance connection could be getting hot.

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Old 05-03-2009, 03:05 PM   #3
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


I learned with my generator that if the wire-gauge is too small, the voltage drops-off after so many feet, but the current goes up. This can burn-out motors. I've also "re-discovered" this the hard way with power-tools in the yard that draw a lot of current (burned-out edger).

Since you say adding an extension cord to the working outlet causes the treadmill to stop working, I suspect this is the issue. Perhaps the treadmill really "wants" a 20-amp circuit (with yours perhaps being 15-amp), but the "working" outlet is physically closer to the circuit-breaker panel (fewer feet for voltage drop).
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:41 PM   #4
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


It could be that a symptom of a failing treadmill is to draw exceptionally heavy current.
Do the outlets grip the plug with sufficient force?
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:03 PM   #5
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bassman99 View Post
Ierhaps the treadmill really "wants" a 20-amp circuit (with yours perhaps being 15-amp), but the "working" outlet is physically closer to the circuit-breaker panel (fewer feet for voltage drop).
A treadmill with a ~2hp motor? I really doubt it.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:21 PM   #6
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bassman99 View Post
Since you say adding an extension cord to the working outlet causes the treadmill to stop working, I suspect this is the issue. Perhaps the treadmill really "wants" a 20-amp circuit (with yours perhaps being 15-amp), but the "working" outlet is physically closer to the circuit-breaker panel (fewer feet for voltage drop).
The working outlet is actually the furthest one away from the garage where the breaker panel is.
The specs for the treadmill show it requires a 15amp circuit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
It could be that a symptom of a failing treadmill is to draw exceptionally heavy current.
Do the outlets grip the plug with sufficient force?
Yes, the outlets grip very well. Treadmill is two weeks old.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigs View Post
A treadmill with a ~2hp motor? I really doubt it.
It's a 3hp motor. Nordictrack Elite Zi.

Last edited by archer75; 05-03-2009 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:26 PM   #7
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


My guess would be that the working outlet is the one closest to the panel, run wise. It is not the lack of current (amps) it is the progressive voltage drop in the circuit. This is evident by the fact that extending the circuit from the working outlet with an extension cord causes the same failure. Best guess you have a very long run or a long run and 14 ga. wire.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:33 PM   #8
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


50' back to the panel of #14 AWG copper should have a resistance of 0.26 ohm. You can check this by loading an outlet with a 10A load like a hair dryer and looking for a drop of less than 2.6v when the dryer is switched on.
For #12 copper the numbers are 0.16 ohm and 1.6v. For aluminum wire multiply by 1.55.

It could also be a bad neutral connection.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-03-2009 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:43 PM   #9
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


Is the floor perfectly flat? Maybe the treadmill unit is slightly warped from now sitting on a less than perfect floor area and this is causing problems with the mechanics.

So the extension cord to the old receptacle might not be the culprit causing the old receptacle to now not work either?

If you really had a voltage drop problem I would expect the display to dim out when the motor was supposed to come on.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 05-03-2009 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:50 PM   #10
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


I believe tread mill motors are DC and controller through a solid state speed control which probably has low voltage protection.
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:18 PM   #11
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post
It's a 3hp motor. Nordictrack Elite Zi.
Definitely not 3HP, they lie and use unrealistic "peak HP" ratings for marketing.

In reality it's probably a fractional HP motor.
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:19 AM   #12
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigs View Post
Definitely not 3HP, they lie and use unrealistic "peak HP" ratings for marketing.

In reality it's probably a fractional HP motor.
You're probably right. They are marketing it as 3 continuous HP though.

But I did solve the issue. I removed the console and jiggled a wire and it works. I didn't see anything loose at all though but it works now. So when I moved it and it didn't work I figured it was the outlets. Especially when I moved it back and it did then work at the same outlet it did before. But that must have just been a coincidence.
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:29 AM   #13
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post
You're probably right. They are marketing it as 3 continuous HP though.

But I did solve the issue. I removed the console and jiggled a wire and it works. I didn't see anything loose at all though but it works now. So when I moved it and it didn't work I figured it was the outlets. Especially when I moved it back and it did then work at the same outlet it did before. But that must have just been a coincidence.
You probably should replace the outlet that you jiggled to make better. That loose connection could heat up and eventually melt something.
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:30 AM   #14
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigs View Post
You probably should replace the outlet that you jiggled to make better. That loose connection could heat up and eventually melt something.

He didn't jiggle an outlet (receptacle), he jiggled the console of his treadmill. So no need to rip into his wiring, leave well enough alone.
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Old 05-04-2009, 03:00 PM   #15
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Only one outlet will power treadmill?


Did you have to assemble the unit when you brought it home?
If so, you may just not have plugged the connectors together properly.
If no assembly was required on your part, or it was "professionally" installed, then you should get a company service person to come out and repair the problem FREE OF CHARGE!

I have seen some of the chintzy connectors used on expensive equipment. It's disgusting. You pay $2,000 for a treadmill, or whatever, and get a $0.59 connector that causes endless problems.

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