Dryer = bright lights then low, them regular.

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Old 02-17-06, 04:09 PM
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Dryer = bright lights then low, them regular.

This is happening just now. Fascinating !!!!!!
Wow! I just got household volts of 79 at my bedroom outlet on my Fluke !!!!!


Fluke shows 120 volts, then switch on electric dryer and get 80 volts (under 1 second) then reads 115 volts as long as dryer is running. But there is more!

When I leave the dryer on, (hence a low 115 volts) and then turn laundry washer on, the reading is 80 volts !! Yes, I said eight zero! All meter readings are at my 2nd floor bedroom lighting circuit ( duplex outlet on a 15 amp light circuit) which is not shared with the downstair laundry circuits.

I replaced the electric heating element in the dryer 9 months ago because the old element was burned thru at a hot spot. I've never worked on the washer except to replace a water pump about 7 months ago. The timing was strictly a coincidence.

As I ponder these readings that I have never experience before (anywhere) I would love to hear from others.
 
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Old 02-17-06, 04:13 PM
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Yikes, after posting this, and shutting off both appliances, I notice the lights still flicker ever few minutes! The cordless phone conversation just got cut off too. Very strange! But I didn't see the fluke readings for the flicker. I will try to watch it.
 
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Old 02-17-06, 04:24 PM
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Now getting 126 volts at the duplex fluke reading with both appliances off. Very odd.
 
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Old 02-17-06, 04:38 PM
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Call your power company NOW. Don't wait, call them now. This sounds like a neutral problem.
 
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Old 02-17-06, 05:35 PM
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Wow oh Wow. I did call the power company right away. They arrived 10 minutes later! Geez, 10 minutes!. It was a open neutral. He showed me the burnt wire 6 feet from the x-former. Burned clear thur. What an evening!

When he first arrived, he took a reading of each leg at the meter. One was 80 volts (with dryer, washer on) and the other was 157 volts!

I've read about this all my life but never seen it! So cool to see it!

Racraft, you really hit the nail on the head! Great call!
And in case anyone is wondering how I stayed online, I have a UPS on my pc that worked pretty good.
 
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Old 02-17-06, 08:46 PM
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burnt neutral

Let this stand for the record that open neutrals do happen.

What appeared to be the cause in this case?
(Mechanical stress, corrosion from another metal, insulation failure subsequent to a lightning strike, ...)
 
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Old 02-18-06, 10:44 AM
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The power company repairman said the hot wire insulation was old and worn thin from age. Then it ( the hot wire) contacted the neutral wire at some point in time, which burned the neutral wire and severed it completely.
When he finally saw the broken neutral, it was just dangling in the air and then he showed me the wire with his niffy flashlight. The hot wire remained in tact and was not repaired by the repairman. He only spliced in 2 feet of neutral and the job was done.

And as an extra show, since it was dark outside, he was working in a cherry picker bucket and his crimper tool touched the hot wire accidentally. It was July 4 and I had a shower of pretty sparks over my head. The repairman quickly shrugged it off and when right back to work with what was left of his crimper after it got half way eaten by the flash arc. When he got to the ground, he showed me his 600 volt rubber gloves he wears for protection.

All in all, it was a great time!
 
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Old 02-18-06, 10:56 AM
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I'm glad that you solved your problem. The repairman must have been in the area for you to get such fast service.

Consider yourself lucky.

The reason I asked to call quickly is because an open neutral can cause all sorts of problem with your electrical devices. Those voltages you read were real and appeared because there was no where for the unbalanced current to go except perhaps back through the ground and maybe eventually back through a neighbor's neutral wire.

You could very easily have damaged your electric devices. Some electronic equipment could get damaged with high or low voltages (instead of the expected 115 volts (plus or minus a little).
 
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