Power Spikes and Drops

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Old 03-04-08, 11:04 PM
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Power Spikes and Drops

Hello All,

First off, thanks for all the help!

I've just been reading through past posts to trouble shoot a problem and I think I'm headed in the right direction.

I have just began to do some clean up on my partner's grandmother's house. Today we were cleaning, one using a shop vac and one using a steamer. We were both on different circuits. What we found is that when both machines were turned on, they had extra power, some lights also got brighter when this was happening and it wasn't short lived, as long as both items were running simultaneously, there was extra power.

After reading this thread:
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=174466&highlight=power+spike[/URL]
(Sorry, I don't know how to link)

I'm guessing I have a similar issue, I was just wondering if there was any resolution with any of these? Was it in fact a loose neutral lug/connection?

I'll report back more after I have done some trouble shooting and have more specific info on my own issue.

Thanks Again
Adam
 
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Old 03-04-08, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by holbrooka View Post
Hello All,

First off, thanks for all the help!

I've just been reading through past posts to trouble shoot a problem and I think I'm headed in the right direction.

I have just began to do some clean up on my partner's grandmother's house. Today we were cleaning, one using a shop vac and one using a steamer. We were both on different circuits. What we found is that when both machines were turned on, they had extra power, some lights also got brighter when this was happening and it wasn't short lived, as long as both items were running simultaneously, there was extra power.

After reading this thread:


(Sorry, I don't know how to link)

I'm guessing I have a similar issue, I was just wondering if there was any resolution with any of these? Was it in fact a loose neutral lug/connection?

I'll report back more after I have done some trouble shooting and have more specific info on my own issue.

Thanks Again
Adam

what you are describing you are on multiwire branch circuit that one sign if you have that circuit other wise you have loose netural for service entrance that is the other issue you will have it address asap and my wise advise to you is get ahold of POCO they will check their side to make sure the connections are good then from there if still going on then you have issue in your system.

but if light get really bright or really dim depeing on what circuit here what you have to do is turn off any 240 volts devices like electric range , waterheater , dryer anything else run on 240 turn them off then go ahead do the troble shooting it i am sure if it is on your side somewhere you may have loose netural or bad spice somewhere.

Merci, Marc
 
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Old 03-04-08, 11:30 PM
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Thank you Marc! Great advice about disabling the 220 circuits!

I hope it is at the main as about 90% of the outlets in this house are inaccessible - grandma was a pack rat! 8 room house, 2 car garage and I can count the number of outlets I can find on 1 hand!!!!!

I'll get a hold of the POCO tomorow and have them double check their end of things.

Adam
 
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Old 03-08-08, 08:12 PM
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Problem Solved

Ok, thought I'd jump back on and give you all the resolution to my issue.

I'll start with the recap -

When using a vacuum cleaner or larger draw appliance we noticed the lights would dim significantly. When using a shop vac AND a floor steamer on separate circuits we noticed a power spike/ or increased power.

What was happening is that we were not getting enough power to the devices when they were operated by themselves, but when we operated them together they were receiving enough power to operate correctly.

By researching on this forum, it appeared that he problem was most likely with the neutral, either within the house or with the POCO.

When I got back to the house to begin my investigation as to what it might be, I first noticed that there at some time someone had damaged the neutral between the mast head and the transformer, this had been repaired by twisting the cables together - aluminum cables! I thought for sure this was the problem, however, as I traced the line back to the POCO, I found the neutral cable had actually been severed, apparently by a squirrel!

As I had called the POCO the night before based on recommendations and research from the forum, they were out and had a new cables up before 11am!

Thank you all again for your help!

Cheers!
Adam
 
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