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Too Much Power!!!

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  • Too Much Power!!!

    So I go to replace a pump and I check the power to make sure I get the right one. I get 160 Volts at the pump. Confirmed by two meters.

    We check it all the way back at the meter box where it comes in off the pole. At the top of the lugs we 330 Volts.

    Why do you think this is happening?

    (P.S. had one of my electrician friends correct it.)


    J.C.

  • #2
    Re: Too Much Power!!!

    I do not know what your normal voltages are.
    but my guess would be to investigate a loose neutral. but with out knowing what your normal voltages should be, I have really no idea.
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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    • #3
      Re: Too Much Power!!!

      120/240.

      J.c.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Too Much Power!!!

        I'd say that BHD hit the nail right on the head with his loose neutral diagnosis.
        Jim

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        • #5
          Re: Too Much Power!!!

          That's what I recall the electrician saying also. (Too busy with the pump to pay real good attention.)

          But I do recall hearing "a neutral down".

          Thanks.


          J.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Too Much Power!!!

            Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
            We check it all the way back at the meter box where it comes in off the pole. At the top of the lugs we 330 Volts.
            In the Too much power vein: we plugged a 350VDC connection into a 12VDC plane in the lab last Friday. Fried a $5k circuit board. DOH.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Too Much Power!!!

              loose neutral will give you the potential of 240 volts, but not more than that.

              either a bad transformer or is it possible that you're connected to a three phase setup and you have a high leg

              rick.
              phoebe it is

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Too Much Power!!!

                That is weird. Even if it was connected to a 3-phase, there normally isn't a 160V leg. Depending on the transofrmer, you would either have 3 phases of 120V each or two at 120V and one at 277V.

                Best I can guess is a 3phase system leaking voltage across the two phases of 120V supplying the building/house.

                But hey, what do I know?
                Ideal Plumbing

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Too Much Power!!!

                  Originally posted by cpw View Post
                  In the Too much power vein: we plugged a 350VDC connection into a 12VDC plane in the lab last Friday. Fried a $5k circuit board. DOH.
                  "We" are fired.


                  J.C.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Too Much Power!!!

                    Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                    "We" are fired.


                    J.C.
                    No one fired (I'll admit I was not in the lab to witness this particular event), but unfortunately breaking hardware is kind of normal when you're debugging it and trying to turn it into a product. We've broken several of these boards of the last few months (e.g., if you need to disconnect wires on a circuit board the way you do it is drill through part of it; and it doesn't always work out well). We've unfortunately learned that hot plugging (or if the mechanical fit is not good enough with the particular connector we're using) also results in an inrush current that causes a bit of an explosion. Or if the plumbing isn't working (flow too restricted) they burn themselves up.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Too Much Power!!!

                      Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                      So I go to replace a pump and I check the power to make sure I get the right one. I get 160 Volts at the pump. Confirmed by two meters.

                      We check it all the way back at the meter box where it comes in off the pole. At the top of the lugs we 330 Volts.

                      Why do you think this is happening?

                      (P.S. had one of my electrician friends correct it.)


                      J.C.
                      J.C.

                      When you checked voltage at the top of the lugs and you got 330 volts across them, this definitely is the power company's problem.

                      It is one of two things. Either a stuck voltage regulator on the primary side (or high side) of the tansformer (you are taking voltage readings on the secondary side or low side) which means that that primary voltage coming in is high. I have seen this lots of times in my career. Do you know if you are at the end of a line that has primary voltage (probably just two wires up there serving something farther out) and are there others who have the same problem.

                      Or, are you on a transformer which feeds only you. If you are not are your neighbors having similar problems (like light bulbs frequently blowing)? If you are on your own transformer the problem is likely the transformer.

                      If this doesn't help the power company involved has the software which can figure out on which side of the fence in which your problem exists

                      They can install a monitering system which will record voltage and all of the up and down spikes which they can download to their computers which will answer your questions

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Too Much Power!!!

                        ONLY SOME OF OUR OUTLETS ARE WORKING KEVIN !!. Sure enough! Use Meter on service panel.
                        One Phase ,NO POWER! Look at pole, so heavily covered by tree branches I can't see the
                        wires . Call PG$E. High winds and branches disconnected one phase at pole!

                        HAVE YOU LOOKED UP ?
                        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Too Much Power!!!

                          Originally posted by jabgpc View Post
                          J.C.

                          When you checked voltage at the top of the lugs and you got 330 volts across them, this definitely is the power company's problem.

                          It is one of two things. Either a stuck voltage regulator on the primary side (or high side) of the tansformer (you are taking voltage readings on the secondary side or low side) which means that that primary voltage coming in is high. I have seen this lots of times in my career. Do you know if you are at the end of a line that has primary voltage (probably just two wires up there serving something farther out) and are there others who have the same problem.

                          Or, are you on a transformer which feeds only you. If you are not are your neighbors having similar problems (like light bulbs frequently blowing)? If you are on your own transformer the problem is likely the transformer.

                          If this doesn't help the power company involved has the software which can figure out on which side of the fence in which your problem exists

                          They can install a monitering system which will record voltage and all of the up and down spikes which they can download to their computers which will answer your questions
                          Thanks. I'll have to call the electrician to see exactly what he found. Farmhouse. Waayyyy off the road. Worked in a mill here. And if you've ever worked on a house where the guy worked in a mill-get ready for the Wild Wild West of home "improvement". They did stuff at work or knew a guy at work.

                          J.C.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Too Much Power!!!

                            Some older homes have three phase services. Where I retired from we typically supplied 120/240 single phase, although I did hang one 240/480 single phase transformer for some interstate lighting

                            a delta 3 phase which had two 120 volt legs, a stinger leg of 208 volts and 240 volts across any two of the three phases

                            a wye 3 phase which had three 120 volt legs and 208 volts across any two

                            and another wye bank which was 277/480

                            with a bad neutral you would still have 240 (in your situation) across both phases. If one leg read 160 to ground then the other would read 80. The reading of 160 to ground on both and 330 across the legs indicates that either the primary voltage feeding the transformer is high (a bad voltage regulator) or a bad transformer. My guess from what you have told me is that the transformer is the problem. Whoever was troubleshooting this would check another transformer on the same line to see if it was putting out good voltage and more than likely it was which would rule out high primary voltage and indicate the transformer was bad. In fact, thinking about this, I don't think a voltage regulator could run the voltage that high unless something went wrong with the windings inside of it

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