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Old 07-25-2009, 09:38 PM   #1
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Voltage increases with load


Residential problem With no load the voltage at the meter reads 117v and 122v to ground, as I increase the load or add more circuits the voltage goes up on one phase where it stays the same on the other hot to ground. With no load I don't get a voltage reading between the two hots at all where as I thought I should get a 240v reading? I'm guessing I have an issue with the electrical coming into the house but not sure? Any help thanks

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Old 07-25-2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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Voltage increases with load


Sounds a lot like an open phase. The reason for the voltage variation is power is backfeeding from the good phase to the dead one through a 240 volt load. This load might not be on your system, it could be any load on the same transformer.

The first thing to do is call the power company. They will determine if the problem is on their side of the meter or yours. If it's on their side, they'll fix it without cost.

If it's on your side, we'll need a bit more info. Pics help a LOT.

Rob

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Old 07-25-2009, 10:23 PM   #3
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Well since there are no 220 volt loads in my house it must be external, and it's starting to make a little more sense now. Backing up a bit originally 6 months ago when I started working on this house I screwed up when twisting the meter so I could work on the electric I shorted one of the hot to the other and caused quite a spark ending in one of the hots going dead so I merely took the working hot and shorted it to both sides temporarily since I didn't need 220 anyway and was planning on calling the power company to fix it once I needed it or finished my renovations and planned to move in, so when the power company came out a month ago much to my surprise the journeyman said the power was working on both sides he did however say one side was a little higher in voltage than the other but not out of the norm. My guess is that the one side was still dead when the utility company checked but the neighbors started using A/C this summer and this must be back feeding the other hot. I feel like I'm solving a mystery but does this sound right?
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:38 PM   #4
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Voltage increases with load


Or I may be back feeding it, tomorrow I 'll pull the electric meter out which the power company didn't do when they came out to check it, so If i pull the meter out and one side is dead does that mean there is some faulty wiring in the house?
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:26 PM   #5
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Voltage increases with load


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Old 07-26-2009, 07:48 AM   #6
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Voltage increases with load


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Originally Posted by brokemusician View Post
Or I may be back feeding it, tomorrow I 'll pull the electric meter out which the power company didn't do when they came out to check it, so If i pull the meter out and one side is dead does that mean there is some faulty wiring in the house?
If you keep pulling your own meter and breaking the POCO's seal, I suspect you'll be charged with tampering and theft of service before too long (a third degree felony).
It also sounds like you have no business messing with electricity (third degree burns are much worse than a third degree felony). Call an electrician before you get hurt.
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:35 AM   #7
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Voltage increases with load


I'm staying out of this, but I will say DO NOT EVER pull the meter.

ONLY POCO workers or qualified/approved electricians shoud EVER pull a meter.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:02 AM   #8
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Yes you guys are right as I'm thinking this problem through I've probably said some things that didn't make any sense, they call it problem solving ever heard of it? The first time I called the power company they sent out a journeyman who neglected to measure the potential difference between the two hots, he literally walked away and said everything checked out after only referencing each hot to neutral. So if electricians were infallible or even all that swift the problem would have been caught already. Now don't take offense because there are some very good electricians but I've met a lot that weren't, it's a paint by numbers trade because the circuits in a house or even commercial building is about as ABC as it gets, as far as circuit analysis goes A/C circuits in a home or building is 3rd grade stuff. I'm sick of the insecure condescending remarks from electricians who live in glass houses. An electricians training barely goes past ohms law yet anyone trying to do anything in their own home needs to hire an electrician. I've rewired ten homes and all passed inspections, taken several electronic classes that involved complicated circuit analysis with pretty involved math yet I should feel helpless to hire an electrician who runs through his paint by numbers check list. In spite of all the stone walling and insecurities it's a miracle one electrician engaged me enough to help me diagnose the problem, so thank you to the one humble electrician (or knowledgeable person) willing to explain things.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:14 AM   #9
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Wiring 10 houses still does not make you in any way trained or properly equiped to pull a meter. Google the term arc flash and watch some of the gory videos and then tell someone that this is ABC and 3rd grade stuff.

By your own description and lack of understanding of basic electricity you have admitted that you had no business in the meter or even trying to troubleshoot an energized circuit.
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:17 AM   #10
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More condescending B-S from an engineer who thinks WAY to highly of himself and his superior intellect.

"Paint-by-numbers"? And don't get offended after that absolutely arrogant and insulting post????
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Last edited by Scuba_Dave; 07-26-2009 at 09:45 AM. Reason: Profanity removed
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:44 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by brokemusician View Post
Well since there are no 220 volt loads in my house it must be external, and it's starting to make a little more sense now. Backing up a bit originally 6 months ago when I started working on this house I screwed up when twisting the meter so I could work on the electric I shorted one of the hot to the other and caused quite a spark ending in one of the hots going dead so I merely took the working hot and shorted it to both sides temporarily since I didn't need 220 anyway and was planning on calling the power company to fix it once I needed it or finished my renovations and planned to move in, so when the power company came out a month ago much to my surprise the journeyman said the power was working on both sides he did however say one side was a little higher in voltage than the other but not out of the norm. My guess is that the one side was still dead when the utility company checked but the neighbors started using A/C this summer and this must be back feeding the other hot. I feel like I'm solving a mystery but does this sound right?
Pulling the meter is not something you should be doing
The results clearly speak to the fact that you should not be doing this
You are lucky not to have sustained any injury

I'm closing this thread for now

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