Skiroy

Brown out or low voltage
« on: May 14, 2011, 04:09:26 PM »
My houses lights went dim several times the other day, but this is not common. I read that voltage drops can be just as much damaging as voltage spikes. I have protection on my house for spikes. I have a surge protection unit for the main power coming into my house from the power company. I also have furman power conditioners on all my equipment,which I know arnet the best but they are something.

But as far as low voltage drops is that only caused by the Power company or can that be from too much load on a circuit in my houses wiring?
And what is the protection for voltage drops? Will the surge suppressor or protector do the job? Obviously not because my lights would have not dimmed.

What is the next step for me to fully protect my gear? I hate UPS battery backups because they always die and thats annoying and expensive. I need something I can install and forget.


sahib

Re: Brown out or low voltage
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2011, 05:14:38 PM »
Firstly, as the name implies the purpose of surge suppresor or protector is to clamp down the high voltage that is imposed onto the mains line. The remedy to voltage drops (and rise too) is to use a regulator.

There are many factors to voltage drops or sags. The wiring in your house may not be sufficient. As you add and turn on more domestic appliance with higher power consumption, your main drops and sags as these equipment start and stop. Your wiring might be o.k. but the loading in your neighbourhood may increase. Your neighbourhood might be o.k. but the factories in your town with heavier loads may overload the lines. It goes on and on.

You'd better start to like UPS. Standard servo controlled voltage regulators can/will be noisy for audio. There might be brands that are not but my advice would be to look into a True Online UPS.  

Skiroy

Re: Brown out or low voltage
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2011, 02:56:33 AM »
Okay so what is a good UPS that lasts very long and is gonna have the power I need because I am tired of replacing these cheesy PC ones.

sahib

Re: Brown out or low voltage
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2011, 06:21:46 AM »
I would asume APC would be closest to you. This is their double conversion online range.

http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=163

Talk to their applications engineer. He/she will advice you.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 06:23:32 AM by sahib »

Michael Tibes

Re: Brown out or low voltage
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2011, 07:56:26 AM »
You might consider checking the wiring in your house in case you're not 100% sure it's ok. I recently moved and the wiring in the new flat was a total mess. The landlord sent an electrician who spent several days exchanging old wires, replacing the wall outlets etc, but I was still having occasionally flickering lights (which is really unusual in Germany because the supply here is very stable). Being fed up I checked the screws at the mains fuses in the fusebow and figured that most of them were really loose, including the one at the incoming line. Tightening them fixed the whole issue. Always expect the unexpected...

Just my quick thought, maybe you don't really need an UPS  ;)

Michael

JohnRoberts

Re: Brown out or low voltage
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2011, 12:00:20 PM »
Lucky those loose screws did not start a fire. The voltage drop that was making your lights dim, was also generating heat in the high resistance connection caused by the loose screws, since the full voltage was apparently always present.  Did you see any evidence of heating or oxidation?

A number of fires in the US were caused by aluminum wiring, when the resistance of the mechanical connection degraded over time and caused enough heat to ignite nearby building structures.

 
JR
It's nice to be nice....

gemini86

Re: Brown out or low voltage
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2011, 02:40:56 PM »
Lucky those loose screws did not start a fire. The voltage drop that was making your lights dim, was also generating heat in the high resistance connection caused by the loose screws, since the full voltage was apparently always present.  Did you see any evidence of heating or oxidation?

A number of fires in the US were caused by aluminum wiring, when the resistance of the mechanical connection degraded over time and caused enough heat to ignite nearby building structures.

 
JR

They probably weren't using the (now) requireddielectric grease on the copper to aluminum connections either, which always causes oxidation/corrosion over time. Being a DIYer and then buying your first home, you tend to learn a lot about what NOT to do, quickly.
- Rodney

"...you better call Kenny Loggins, 'cause you're in the danger zone."


 

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