High Voltage on 220 dryer outlet

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  #1  
Old 01-15-07, 02:29 PM
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High Voltage on 220 dryer outlet

Read till my eye's are blurry and can't find an answer.

My new Maytag Dryer has burnt the hot wire (in dryer)twice. Maytag service personnel says 220 volt outlet has 344 volts. I thought a 220 outlet would only give 220v.Is this a power company problem or maybe a loose wire somewhere? Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-15-07, 02:43 PM
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The only way I know of to get 344 is if you have three phase service. In Canada we have 347 lighting off the transformers. I this in a house or apartment building?
 
  #3  
Old 01-15-07, 02:52 PM
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I'm in Louisana,if it's important.
 
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Old 01-15-07, 03:31 PM
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Robert Wilber
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Well, I have some good news and some bad news ...
The good news is that 120/240 will not provide 344 volts, so the Maytag guys are nuts, or their meter is broken [or maybe they MEANT to say 244 volts - which would be normal voltage - having any problems with your lights and other appliances?]
or [now the bad news] with all the problems you have had in Louisiana over the past year, it IS possible that the power company could somehow have COMPLETELY screwed up.
I have seen them here stick a 2400 volt transformer on a 13,200 volt line. You can't begin to imagine what THAT did to appliances, panels, wiring, etc. on THAT secondary.
Call the power company.
Then get an electrician.

Burned means HEAT. That suggests LOOSE.
What does the wire that burned up GO to?
 
  #5  
Old 01-15-07, 03:46 PM
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I would also tend to agree that 344VAC is highly unlikey(nothing is impossible). Is the burned wire in the dryer or is it the plug??? If inside the dryer, get a second opinion on the voltage.......from the power company. If at the plug, it may be the wrong size plug/receptacle.
 
  #6  
Old 01-15-07, 03:55 PM
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I'm living in central louisana,away from most of the problems. We did see some power outages but only 20 hours or so. I have had no other problems with anything in the house(been here 15 years). Nothing dims when I start the dryer. The burnt wire is on the dryer. The Maytag guy had me look at his meter and it said 344v. Maybe he had it set wrong?? Anyway,wife's mad as he** cause she can't dry her clothes.
 
  #7  
Old 01-15-07, 04:24 PM
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Also,[IF] it is the power companys fault(too much voltage?)would that affect my power bill??? I seem to have overly high bills compared to my neighbors. Electrical utilities running $200-$350,and thats not counting gas,trash,sewer,etc...JUST electric. Total utility bill for a mild month and keeping thermostat on 68 year round(little heat or a/c runs $400-$475). Neighbors run approx $250-$300 for everything. HELP!!!
 
  #8  
Old 01-15-07, 04:39 PM
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Call your power company NOW. Not an hour from now, not tomorrow morning, but NOW.

Tell them you have a problem, and you need them to come out and investigate. Tell them exactly what the repair person found, and that you are having problems. They will send someone out to investigate tonight.
 
  #9  
Old 01-15-07, 06:38 PM
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Called the utility company and explained my problem. In ten minutes I had a service man at the door. He checked,with a digital meter,all the contacks coming into the meter. Everything looked good on his meter. He then had me shine the flashlight onto the drop coming onto the property and into the meter. He asked how long I had lived here-15years. I also asked him about increased utility bills concerning this problem. He immediatly stated that he would write a service order for a utility crew to come out tommorrow to replace the drop from the transformer to the meter(approx 100'),and if the utility crew was not available then he would have his own crew change the complete drop. Not to sound paranoid but I'v never seen this kind of a response even when our transformer blew up last year because of a squirrel. Does this sound normal?? Thanks to all for your help as I'm really ignorant about electricity.
 
  #10  
Old 01-15-07, 06:50 PM
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If a transformer blows up, all that happens is people lose power. With your situation there is a great deal of liability if the power company is providing voltage that far off the mark so they jump to repair ASAP.

It can save them al lot of money and maybe somebody's house or even a life.

Big difference in the possibilities between the two situations.
 
  #11  
Old 01-15-07, 06:54 PM
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Not knowing what was found, it's hard to comment. Hind sight is 20/20, but perhaps you could have asked him what he found, or what he thought the problem might be.

I hope this doesn't make you more scared... When the power company is aware of a potential threat to human life they respond very quickly. They do not want to be on one side of a lawsuit if someone dies.

Now to (hopefully) lessen your fear... If the rep saw something he considered to be an immediate life threat, he would have done something about it tonight. Whatever he found he decided was safe enough to wait until tomorrow.

As for the problem. I do suggest that you ask the line crew tomorrow to tell you what they find when they do the work. It's very possible that your high bills are related to the problem, in which case you should be able to get some kind of a refund from them. Talk to the line crew, they usually will be honest and open with you. The actual utility company may argue, but stick to your guns if you have a case.

Please do report back to us tomorrow what you find out.
 
  #12  
Old 01-15-07, 07:38 PM
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The more I think about your problem the more I think the Maytag guy is wrong. 344 volts would not cause the hot wire to burn off on your dryer. If this is the hot wire on the power cord then the problem is a loose connection causing the wire to overheat at the connector. If the voltage was actually high the timer and motor in the dryer would have burnt up.
 
  #13  
Old 01-16-07, 09:10 AM
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High Voiltage-Second Day

Utility company here at 0800hrs. Tried to talk to supervisor but he wouldn't give any clue as to the problem or the higher utilities bills. Then I tried to talk to the lineman when the super was'nt around. Lineman said maybe could have something to do with high voltage in the house and higher bills, but then supervisor came around and he clammed up.


The utility company changed out the transformer and complete drop from street to meter. I don't know how business is conducted normally for a problem but it sure seems to be a pretty fast response if just old wire with no other problems existing from the meter out to the street.

Also,I stated that I keep my thermostat on 68 year round. NOT TRUE! I keep it on 68 in winter and 78 in summer.
 
  #14  
Old 01-16-07, 09:27 AM
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Interesting....
So does the dryer work now?
 
  #15  
Old 01-16-07, 09:34 AM
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If you are the only person on your transformer, then I suspect that the transformer was bad and needed to be replaced. You can probably get a refund, but you may have to fight for it.
 
  #16  
Old 01-16-07, 09:40 AM
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Hello,

At the utility company I work for if at night they find a problem that can wait for the day and hand it off to the day crew it usually gets taken care of pretty fast in the morning. I'm not sure why they would replace the transformer if nothing was wrong with it or to upgrade it. If you were getting such a high voltage in the house I'm suprised alot of your equipment in your house didn't get damaged.
 
  #17  
Old 01-16-07, 09:51 AM
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Yes,dryer works and has been working till it burned the wire. Applience man fixed but advised non-use until I had the wall recepticle checked.Thats when I came here for yall's help and finally called utility co. After utility company left I tried the dryer and checked all other appliences in house,(Two PC's/stand up freezer/2nd refer/shop compressor,etc. and all seems fine,although I do not own a voltage meter. Guess I know what I'm getting for my birthday.

My electric meter was just read 10 days ago. I always write down the readings of electric,water and gas and double check them to the bill. I wrote down the reading's today and plan on checking them again in 10 days to compare.

Myself and two other houses are on the same transformer. I have talked to both and their utility bills are high,but not as high as mine. My house is 2700 heated and the other two are about 1700-1900 heated. I'm definitly having an electrician out to double check my recepticles and fuze box, and then will figure out which way to go with the utility co.

All help and advise is very appreciated. Hope all others on this thread comment again since I need all the help I can get.
 
  #18  
Old 01-16-07, 09:52 AM
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When I had some "issues" with my electric company and wasn't getting anywhere with them, I got the NJ Board of Public Utilities involved. And of course, the problem was resolved within 2 days.

According to a quick Google search, I think it's called Louisiana Public Service Commission (800-256-2397)? You may want to get them involved to see if you can get back some $$$ from the electric company.

Good luck!

Kevin
 
  #19  
Old 01-16-07, 10:01 AM
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If the problem was with the transformer then all of your neighbors will be having the same problem with higher voltage. It would be really hard to compare on utility bills alone because of so many variables
 
  #20  
Old 01-16-07, 10:01 AM
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Having an electrician out to do a check is a good idea. Discuss with him or her your options, and see what his or her advice is.

At the very least you should be able to get them to reimburse you for the repair to the dryer and perhaps the electrician visit. After all, the repair person was the one who told you that you had a problem, and as soon as you reported the problem the utility came out and replaced the transformer and wires. That is almost an admission on their part that a problem existed.
 
  #21  
Old 01-16-07, 03:58 PM
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The only way the transformer would be giving you that high a voltage (assuming there was not a line condition) is for there to be shorted turns in the primary of the transformer (which changes the turns ratio). This DOES happen from time to time, but not often.
It's probably safe to assume it was not a line condition or they would not have changed out the transformer.

As mentioned, if the xfmr was bad, both your neighbors would have had the same problem. However, I'm having a hard time believing that you had that high a voltage and this was the ONLY damage. Normally anything you had electronic would have gone up in smoke as well (not to mention frying some light bulbs).

Call your POCO and ask to see the test report on the transformer.
 
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