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Old 05-10-2013, 07:06 PM   #1
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Voltage fluctuations


Just got the power turned on at a house we just bought (was off for 3 years). When running our 10 amp sawzall and little radio (nothing else) for a few minutes the radio kicks off and will not power on anymore. The sawzall seemed like it was cutting out for like 1/2 sec periods and then returning to normal. Went to outlet and put voltmeter on it and it registered 124 volts (no load). When sawzall was running it usually stayed at 123 volts but sporadically would drop to as low as 70 volts. Called POCO and they said it was fixed the next day. Went back to outlet and ran sawzall with voltmeter attached and it usually stayed at 124 volts again, BUT this time sporadically the voltmeter would jump into the hundreds (200 - 300+) for like a millisecond and come back down to 124 volts again. The sawzall usually didn't run faster during this "spikes" except for 1 time the motor speed up for a second.

Called the POCO again and requested a data recorder for meter (which they did). Any idea on what can be causing this? Bad transformer maybe?

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Old 05-10-2013, 07:37 PM   #2
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Voltage fluctuations


Do ya have overhead or underground (laterel service).

Might be a bad sevice neutral???

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Old 05-10-2013, 07:39 PM   #3
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Voltage fluctuations


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Originally Posted by MTN REMODEL LLC View Post
Do ya have overhead or underground (laterel service).

Might be a bad sevice neutral???

It's overhead service
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:53 PM   #4
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Voltage fluctuations


A loose neutral.
It could be in the panel.
Test other receptacles also

did anyone test the panel before the power was turned?
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:53 PM   #5
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Voltage fluctuations


Panel was just inspected as POCO required it since it was more than 12 months since disconnect.

I checked all connections in panel as well and they were all tight. Panel is only 3 years old (was replaced right before prior homeowner was foreclosed on).

I did not physically check lugs in meter pan though but they appeared to be tightened down as seen through meter cover (before POCO set meter).

Only 1 receptacle live in panel right now which I just put in and everything is tight in panel and at receptacle (is not back stabbed).
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:02 PM   #6
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Voltage fluctuations


Did you check all the receptacles on that circuit for loose neutrals?
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:03 PM   #7
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Voltage fluctuations


Would the data recorder record the spikes if the neutral was loose on the load side (after recorder) of meter pan?

Last edited by stevekem; 05-10-2013 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:04 PM   #8
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Voltage fluctuations


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Originally Posted by sirsparksalot View Post
Did you check all the receptacles on that circuit for loose neutrals?
There is only 1 receptacle on that circuit which is mounted right next to panel. I even changed the receptacle just to be sure.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:18 PM   #9
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Voltage fluctuations


The most likely cause of increasing voltage is a bad neutral !
It could be in your instalation ?
Or it could also be in poco's gear.
Check all your neutrals,
if all is ok, call poco and ask them to check there's.

This is a serious situation !
You could get your equipment blown up.
240v on a 120v system is a disaster.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:48 PM   #10
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Voltage fluctuations


Since I checked all my neutrals already, I must assume it is on the POCO side. They are aware of it already, so hopefully the data recorder will pick it up so something can be done about it.

I guess I am still wondering, is it "normal" to have millisecond surges in voltage that are quick enough to register briefly on a voltmeter, but do not last long enough to speed up a motor in sawzall for example?

There was only 1 instance where the sawzall speed up for like a 1/2 sec, all the other times it didn't.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:16 PM   #11
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Voltage fluctuations


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Originally Posted by stevekem View Post
Since I checked all my neutrals already, I must assume it is on the POCO side. They are aware of it already, so hopefully the data recorder will pick it up so something can be done about it.

I guess I am still wondering, is it "normal" to have millisecond surges in voltage that are quick enough to register briefly on a voltmeter, but do not last long enough to speed up a motor in sawzall for example?

There was only 1 instance where the sawzall speed up for like a 1/2 sec, all the other times it didn't.
I know what you mean... it's like you're loosing your service neutral for a split second.... can't think of that circumstance.

Could it be transformer related.... I know absolutely nothing about that... you're new there.... could any of your neighbors (same transformer) be having those millisecd occurances.?
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:40 PM   #12
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Voltage fluctuations


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I know what you mean... it's like you're loosing your service neutral for a split second.... can't think of that circumstance.

Could it be transformer related.... I know absolutely nothing about that... you're new there.... could any of your neighbors (same transformer) be having those millisecd occurances.?

I don't know my neighbors yet, but I'm gonna be working there tomorrow with the sawzall so will see if it starts doing it again. Plus it's suppose to rain and be windy so if it's a service neutral issue, maybe it will show itself a little more.

Any chance of getting zapped while running the sawzall if the neutral kicks out briefly?
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:09 PM   #13
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Voltage fluctuations


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Originally Posted by stevekem View Post
I don't know my neighbors yet, but I'm gonna be working there tomorrow with the sawzall so will see if it starts doing it again. Plus it's suppose to rain and be windy so if it's a service neutral issue, maybe it will show itself a little more.

Any chance of getting zapped while running the sawzall if the neutral kicks out briefly?
Wellllllllll..... we don't know what it is..... if you're loosing the service neutral..... that sawzall is taking on 240V.... yea it's probably double insulated buttttt.....

Ya know... tomorrow might be a good day to treat yourself to that 18V battery driven sawzall you were hopeing for for Xmas????????
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:01 AM   #14
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Voltage fluctuations


Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekem View Post
I don't know my neighbors yet, but I'm gonna be working there tomorrow with the sawzall so will see if it starts doing it again. Plus it's suppose to rain and be windy so if it's a service neutral issue, maybe it will show itself a little more.

Any chance of getting zapped while running the sawzall if the neutral kicks out briefly?
Bonjour Steve.,

First question is that are you in the city area or in the country area ?

Second thing with overhead drops sometime they will have hidden netural connecton on the cable itself can go bad. as long the POCO put a voltage recording device it may catch what it going thru.

If windy and if the light flicker that is your answer the netural connection is allready comperised call them back tell them you have bad netural connection that is POCO proity ( SP )

Now for your sawall if all plastique sawall unit it should be double insulated that should not affect too much due I have double insluated verison over here in France and it is common to run on 240 volts over here but not in the state side if you get 240 volts running thru the sawall most likely damage will show up is your speed control button that will be the first to go after that who know.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:51 AM   #15
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Voltage fluctuations


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Bonjour Steve.,

First question is that are you in the city area or in the country area ?

Second thing with overhead drops sometime they will have hidden netural connecton on the cable itself can go bad. as long the POCO put a voltage recording device it may catch what it going thru.

If windy and if the light flicker that is your answer the netural connection is allready comperised call them back tell them you have bad netural connection that is POCO proity ( SP )

Now for your sawall if all plastique sawall unit it should be double insulated that should not affect too much due I have double insluated verison over here in France and it is common to run on 240 volts over here but not in the state side if you get 240 volts running thru the sawall most likely damage will show up is your speed control button that will be the first to go after that who know.

Merci,
Marc
Marc.... Bon Jour... Comment sa va..... that's the best I can do...

Did want to ask you a question concerning bad service neutral and if I am thinking correctly?

If the service neutral is broken (or fluctuating on/off in this case),
and the OP has power on one receptical (one leg of service) for his sawzall, does not his other leg have to have a live resistor active for him to have 240 on his leg ?????



I ask because I think the OP said earlier that he had (was using) only
this one receptical.

Merci

Peter

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