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Old 08-29-2017, 08:40 PM   #21
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POCO has been out twice. Lighting dims as well when power fluctuates
I would get the recording voltmeter to see where the voltage sag or spikes and make sure you get a fast acting unit due the spikes and sags can show up real short time.

Sometime the voltage regulator on POCO side can get funky on that.

did you check the meter socket and riser or lateral connection to make sure they are really good and tight and no corroision in there ?

you will need to look little more deeper on this.

are you near large commercal or industrail area ?
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:50 PM   #22
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POCO has been out twice. Lighting dims as well when power fluctuates
Open Neutral > loose connection of the Neutral wire in the main panel, meter base, or utilities connections. Get it fixed before everything burns up. The worst I've seen on a 120/240V residence is 177 volts on one leg. As the load fluctuates across the two legs, so does the voltage.
This is a dangerous situation and needs repaired now. It may be a good idea to shut off the main breaker before appliances get ruined.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:05 PM   #23
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Homeonwner just called me on this last week. Has been this way for 6 months. Every connection in the home has been checked and rechecked. No loose neutrals, no loose grounds, POCO says all is right and safe on their side.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:44 PM   #24
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I'd pull the meter and check the stabs for arcing, and check the main breaker for arcing to the bus. And, do a voltage drop test across the main.
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:57 PM   #25
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If your motors are not running at a steady speed ?
Then it's probably a frequency issue,
The speed of induction motors is controlled by the mains frequency.
The frequency of the mains in nomally fairly steady,
Maybe something is being imposed on the ac lines ?
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Old 08-29-2017, 11:59 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Slmsdirect View Post
Homeonwner just called me on this last week. Has been this way for 6 months. Every connection in the home has been checked and rechecked. No loose neutrals, no loose grounds, POCO says all is right and safe on their side.
Unless you have checked everything yourself don't assume it has and say they were all checked.

You also said the voltage stayed at 119 in one post and then "Lighting dims as well when power fluctuates" after your first post said motor loads.

So you really need to figure out what has been checked and what is really going on.

I'd also lean towards a neutral problem but was hoping you'd get ther ebefore being told.
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:33 AM   #27
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Bad neutral in the meter can is a common culprit on jobs with those symptoms. Second guess would be bad neutral on POCO tranny. If you can't find the problem with one site visit you need to install a data logger and let it run. Have the owner keep a log of dates & times of symptoms.
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Old 08-30-2017, 06:46 AM   #28
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I didn't think a loose neutral because unless all the motor loads are coincidentally on the same leg, some will speed up some will slow down. In other words all the motors on the lighter loaded leg will surge / speed up, all the motors on the heavier loaded leg will sag / slow down.

But if the motors are lightly loaded @dmxtothemax 's point makes sense, frequency would cause them to sag more than voltage. I was thinking POCO voltage issues, voltage drop from another customer, etc. but I guess there could be something going on at a substation or nearby power generation plant that a turbine is not working properly and frequency is sagging from the source??

Putting a recording tester with sufficient resolution on the service would tell the tale but those Flukes are like $6,000. I saw some cheaper ones at Amprobe but still not cheap.
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:31 AM   #29
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Whenever any Poco's neutrals go sideways... the Poco involved lives in denial.

They are so used to ignorant home owners or less than stellar electricians filing false complaints...

That the just don't believe you... at first.

Even checking out the situation requires them to spend money -- with no hope of recovery -- just a dead loss.

A failing neutral will function as a variable resistor -- and hot spot -- not a good thing with aluminum conductors.

Its swinging value will have no rhyme or reason.

While this condition exists, the L1 and L2 values will sum to 240VAC -- while jumping all around 120VAC L-N.

You cheapest, quickest, tool for doping impaired neutrals is a Simpson analogue meter.

You want that big honking swinging voltage swinging value right in front of your eyeballs.

Remember that all DMMs are voltage samplers.

They are displaying the value of a chain of samples -- voltage snap-shots.

The typical DMM buffers the readings so that you can read the dang thing.

This buffering// smoothing logic is not helpful when you're trying to dope out transient faults// voltage swings.

An analogue meter has some intrinsic buffering, too. The needle can swing only so fast.

Still, a twitching needle is often quite the 'tell' that something 'spikey' is going on.

If the needle starts to synch with the rhythm of the motors... well, then.

Don't overlook biologicals getting into the works. ( snakes, mice, roaches )

Lastly, never put too much confidence in the home owner's tales.

Truthy is about as far as they get.

Most start from the supposition that you're out there to prove their theories correct.

Most can't even correctly describe what's going on.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:16 AM   #30
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I didn't think a loose neutral because unless all the motor loads are coincidentally on the same leg, some will speed up some will slow down. In other words all the motors on the lighter loaded leg will surge / speed up, all the motors on the heavier loaded leg will sag / slow down.

But if the motors are lightly loaded @dmxtothemax 's point makes sense, frequency would cause them to sag more than voltage. I was thinking POCO voltage issues, voltage drop from another customer, etc. but I guess there could be something going on at a substation or nearby power generation plant that a turbine is not working properly and frequency is sagging from the source??

Putting a recording tester with sufficient resolution on the service would tell the tale but those Flukes are like $6,000. I saw some cheaper ones at Amprobe but still not cheap.

Now you mention power generation plants .,, if that area been using a peaking generator(s) now that will show up on it due most peaking useally have small turbine or large NGas or Diesel units that can kick the frequency some. that I have see it happend semi often over here.

that something you should be aware of it.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:31 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splatz View Post
I didn't think a loose neutral because unless all the motor loads are coincidentally on the same leg, some will speed up some will slow down. In other words all the motors on the lighter loaded leg will surge / speed up, all the motors on the heavier loaded leg will sag / slow down.

But if the motors are lightly loaded @dmxtothemax 's point makes sense, frequency would cause them to sag more than voltage. I was thinking POCO voltage issues, voltage drop from another customer, etc. but I guess there could be something going on at a substation or nearby power generation plant that a turbine is not working properly and frequency is sagging from the source??

Putting a recording tester with sufficient resolution on the service would tell the tale but those Flukes are like $6,000. I saw some cheaper ones at Amprobe but still not cheap.

If that were the case you'd have more than one house complaining.
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Old 08-30-2017, 04:12 PM   #32
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Frequency is determined by the speed of the Large Rotating Apparatus, LRA, in the generator.
Educated me, how would frequency change in a residence?
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Old 08-31-2017, 03:55 PM   #33
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no change in voltage a steady 119
Fearing stating the obvious here, but: Did you measure voltage to ground or to neutral?
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:04 PM   #34
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I still think there is voltage drop issue, possibly due to motor repeatedly trying and failing to start
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