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Old 08-22-2013, 06:32 AM   #1
kenny61 OP
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Power surge recording

Over the last few weeks I have noticed the power to my house is occasionally erratic. Flickering lights or dim lights. last night it peaked with the whole house flashing on and off like a blinking christmas bulb. We shut the main breaker off and turned it back on awhile later and everything seemed fine. We have a trouble ticket in with the power company. with that said I have 2 questions.

1) I would like to hook up some type of voltage / current logger so if everything fries in my house I can show it was the electrical supply to the house. I found a few at grangers but the cheapest was $319. http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/EXT...&cm_vc=IDPRRZ1
If thats what they cost fine I'll buy one but I just want to make sure that Im not over spending on something I dont need

2) When I turned the main back on I noticed that every GFCI outlet in the house was tripped. Can a power surge do this or do I have another issue going on?

Thanks in advance
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:37 AM   #2
wos
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I was getting a lot of power spikes last year, finally lost a complete phase. Company guy went up and replaced the ancient corroded screw together splices to the main feed and I have beautiful power now.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:39 AM   #3
kenny61 OP
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I had a new service installed about 2 years ago, but I'm thinking it's something out on the pole too
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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not sure about yours, but rural power companies up here have a disclaimer in their service agreement that says if they brown out & it cooks all you stuff it's not their problem... might check that. money would be better spent with a disconnect to take you off line during fluxuations. mebby one that can also be used transfer to a generator

call em up & say their brown out made your refrigerator explode & see what they say
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:57 AM   #5
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I had screwy stuff like that going on, and found a couple of loose connections in the breaker box at the terminal block where all of the white neutral wires are connected.

Was your house wired with aluminum wiring instead of copper? If it is, you should get a licensed electrician in to inspect it.
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:57 AM   #6
kenny61 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post
not sure about yours, but rural power companies up here have a disclaimer in their service agreement that says if they brown out & it cooks all you stuff it's not their problem... might check that. money would be better spent with a disconnect to take you off line during fluxuations. mebby one that can also be used transfer to a generator

call em up & say their brown out made your refrigerator explode & see what they say
I already got the gen and transfer switch.. round here usually if you notify someone there is a problem and they fail to remedy it it becomes a liability to them, which would be different then a general brown out.. Im not someone who sues but I would like to have something to put a fire under there ass... Wife seems to have handled it properly anyway..said they was giving her the run around so she told them last night she smelt smoke whenit happened and the kids was home alone today... they said they would get someone out as soon a s possible :lol
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #7
ragtoplvr
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I had the same problem. It was the power company splices. There also was the well cooked remains of a black snake in the meter box.

Rod
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:06 PM   #8
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some digital multimeters record max and min voltage (like the Fluke 117) and some have data output so you can do logging w/ a computer....
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:15 PM   #9
kenny61 OP
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I have one i xan connect to my laptop but didnt want to leave it hooked up for a week or two. Its very sporadic this happens
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:01 PM   #10
KeithinSC
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Start with the easy stuff. IF you are comfortable poking around inside your circuit box, make sure all the set screws are tightly clamping the feed cables. Then check all the white, black and bare wires are tight.
My BIL (electrician by trade) recommended I do that after about 6 months and again after a year after my house was built.

My guess is one of the legs has loosened up. Does the whole house brown out, or have you noticed only half the place is affected?
But, it is not unheard of for a power pole transformer to crap out and take a whole neighborhood's appliances out
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:11 PM   #11
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If you want to monitor it .. monitor the voltage

Use a step down transformer .. and monitor the low voltage - this way you are safer from any high voltage spikes that may come along... think of a lightning strike... If you use a 10:1 ratio .. say 12 volts output from your 115 would make calculations simple. A 10kv strike would produce 1kv .. assuming no capacitative coupling .. so you'll want some surge protection with that .. maybe that $319 is not looking bad... Can you hire the device?
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:21 PM   #12
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Utility worker showed up and found the electrician never tightened the neutral in the meter box.. Problem solved
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:52 PM   #13
ttpete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenny61 View Post
Utility worker showed up and found the electrician never tightened the neutral in the meter box.. Problem solved
Thought so.
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