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Old 01-15-2010, 02:47 PM   #1
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Voltage irregularities?

I have a question. I have appliances in my home that are operating differently. the power company was out and said the connections are ok and the voltage is ok. I have a room humidifier that seems to run faster, then slower at times... sometimes the low setting just trickles (the fan) and then it speeds up by itself. I have a toaster that at times burns toast without changing the settings and other days it's fine. i noticed a hair dryer that seems to run louder and faster, then slows down. Now our security company called and said they got report of a low battery warning at our location that could be caused by a complete outage or something else. Any idea why the power company cannot find anything? it is a townhouse about 20 years old. Could this be happening at the substation? thank you.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:26 PM   #2
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Probably an appliance in the house causing it.

Electric water heater.
Clothes dryer.

Could be the panel box itself. Power company is not responsible for it. And won't check it.
Are all the appliances that are effected on the same circuit?
Or are they on the same buss of the panel box?

If it was happening at the substation. It would probably effect more then your house.

PS: Moved to Electrical forum.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:59 PM   #3
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Agree, the power company is only gonna check what they are responsible. Have any of your neighbors had the same problem?
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:16 PM   #4
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It is common for the main electrical connections to a circuit breaker panel to come loose.

These carry "high amperage" and even need to have their "lugs" tightened with a torque wrench! (To the specifications on the panel label.)

You would have main connections like these at the electric meter, main breaker panel, and other electric breaker panels.

If all these connections have not been tightened, ask the electric company if they can tighten all these connections for you. If not, call an electrician.

As to the security system battery, these go out on their own every few years. Coldness will make a battery not work so well. If your security system is in a cold room, the battery may have been about due to go out anyway and the cold made it go out now. Have the security company replace the battery. (Might not be related to your other problems. My security system battery just went out too and my electric is working just fine!)
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:19 PM   #5
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Sounds like you might have a loose neutral connection. A good way to test for this is to turn several lights on in the house...ones on different circuits. Then go turn on a large 120 volt load like a microwave. Check to see if some lights dim, but more importantly, do some get brighter?

If any lights get brighter, check for a loose neutral.

If you happen to have a voltmeter and feel competent, check the voltage in your breaker box when you do this. It is common for voltage to dip a little with load, but the opposite leg should never get higher.
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Old 01-15-2010, 09:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by WFO View Post
Sounds like you might have a loose neutral connection..

that is where I would tend to look as well.
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