Really Low Power Coming Into House - How Bad?

Old 02-01-06, 01:19 PM
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Really Low Power Coming Into House - How Bad?

Hi I have been in my house since 1996. I have had power issues with really low incoming voltage. I will lose power in my house (brown out) for a short time many times a month. Finally the electric company put a meter on my line and said it is low and there were a few drop outs. The engineer went on to tell me he would not want his incoming voltage that low but no one else on street is having a problem. I went back and asked my neighbors if they come home and find the clocks needing to be reset a few times a month when there was no major outage, or the lights going dim and cycling. And yes they have all noticed it. I have a TrippLite Line Conditioner on for my Home Entertainment system and it is always bringing the voltage back up and has been for years. My concern is what does this ongoing low voltage do to your equipment. I just lost an $8,000 TV to some electrical problem and it is being replaced but I am fearful to just go on and leave this situation as is.

Any input or advice where to get more info this. I will add that when I mentioned to the Engineer my neighbors are in fact having the same issue and I would be happy to go house to house to get something in writting if need be. He quickly said No I will get with another engineer and we will do something to get the incoming voltage where it should be. Hum.

Old 02-01-06, 04:08 PM
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I would be sitting or standing on the local power companys manager's desk daily. Make a nusiance of yourself. Generally power companies are either electrical membership cooperatives, or public utilities. Regardless they can't allow too low voltage, just like they can't allow too much voltage enter residences. You didn't state how much the voltage was, so I am assuming it is significantly low.
Old 02-01-06, 04:18 PM
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As a general rule of thumb, most devices are designed to withstand a plus or minus 10% voltage variation.
"Most" utility's (as far as I know), try to stay within 126 to 118 volts at the point of delivery (meaning your meter).
What kind of voltage were you getting....did the engineer ever tell you?

If they are supplying substandard voltage, they should be liable for your damages.
Old 02-01-06, 04:55 PM
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Prepare a letter to your public utility commission setting forth the exact complaints that you and all your neighbors have.
Make several copies that differ only by having the name and address of another neighbor(s).

Have that(those) neighbor(s) sign and give him(them) copy(copies).

Put the original in an envelope addressed to your Public Utilities Commission of your state.

You'll get action.
When you do, submit supplemental documentation for damages specific to your case and the results of the monitoring that your electric company ran.

You have a bad or undersized transformer or someone has a broken neutral.

Btw, if you look at your transformer, what is the number on it (5, 10, 15)?

How many houses does it serve?

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