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Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 12:19 PM

Hi folks,

During the past couple of weeks, my household voltage dropped from a balanced 120/120 to around 135/105 intermittently when heavier users like furnace, microwave, etc. kick in. This results in some flickering and obviously dimming when lights on one side drop below 120.

I've unplugged various heavy users and turned off breakers to the outside Christmas lights but can't seem to find any one circuit causing the problem. I've tightened up all connectors in my main panel and two sub-panels (one in the garage and one in a more accessible closet). The only new electricals installed around this time were outdoor Christmas lights on dusk-to-dawn controllers.

As background info, the house is around 40 years old, has both copper and original aluminum wires and the circuits are breaker rather than fuse controlled. The main panel is probably original, while the two sub-panels are around 10 years old with floating neutrals. Connections between the panels is 4-wire #6 I believe.

I guess the main point is that this is a recent phenomenon, and not a longer on-going issue, so I need to find out what's causing this problem. Short of inspecting every receptacle in the house for loose wires or damage, I'm in a bit of a quandary.

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated

Grae

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#1

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 12:31 PM

It sounds like you have a weak common developing in your system. As you have probably figured out your home power is a 240 VAC feed with a center tap that gives you the two 120 VAC sides.

If that center tap is getting a bad connection back to the power transformer that supplies it the voltages will become unbalanced as you are seeing now.

A few volts difference is normal but seeing 30 is not!

I would start out by loading up your system a fair amount and doing a voltage test right at your main power lines coming into your breaker panel. If you have the large imbalance there the problem is someplace between your panel and the meter or between the meter and the utility transformer.

If the problem is not there all you need to do is voltage checks going from your primary common and ground leads in your panel outward to the rest of the common and grounding points.

When you find the one connection block or lead with the largest voltage difference across it thats where your problem is!

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#3
In reply to #1

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 1:15 PM

Thanks TCM,

I have 123 / 117 at the main panel with minimal loading. I turned on the drier, two stoves, microwave and bunch of lights and the incoming dropped to 105 / 125, which was a bit of a surprise. But perhaps not - maybe it would have been 105 / 135 without the extra loading on the high side.

Going forward with the testing you suggested, did you mean to test the common to ground at each receptacle using an LED polarity checker? Or is this something I can do right at the main panel?

Thanks

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#20
In reply to #3

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 9:36 PM

I'd turn off and/or unplug the sensitive devices in the house before testing like this. If the neutral becomes that far off of center, you risk one 120v leg rising too high and damaging things.

You may want to check the neutral to ground bond at the main panel to be sure it's low resistance.

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#2

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 12:57 PM

If you are checking the voltage from each leg to neutral, then this would indicate the voltage from the lower voltage leg is bleeding to the neutral....Disconnecting one load at a time and checking will expose the culprit.....I would start will your recent addition of stated outdoor Christmas lights, and check the wiring at the controllers for proper mating....

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#4

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 2:00 PM

The big hint here is the original panel with a mix of aluminum and copper wiring. Somewhere there may be a connection where the aluminum wire has started to creep out so the connection gets a little more resistance, the connection gets warmer, the aluminum creeps a little more, ad infinitum, and of course the voltage drop increases each time too.

I'm also a little troubled by your "floating neutrals" sub-panels, does that mean that only three wires (two hot legs and a neutral) are there with no bare or green grounding conductor? Then there's the question of whether the neutral was bonded to the ground in the panel or not. In any event the things you describe sound like a poor neutral and/or ground connection.

Best bet is to get a handheld infrared thermometer and start scanning every connection you can find, especially the service entrance cables and your grounds, somewhere there's an overheating connection. Catch it now before it gets hot enough to start a fire.

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#8
In reply to #4

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 2:26 PM

Thanks for the feedback RAM,

Hmmm aluminum wiring, the bane of the '70s. I don't have access to an IR scanner, unfortunately, so I need a different approach to testing those circuits. I think you may have given me a good lead. I can trip those breakers and see what that does. It may help pinpoint the actual circuit.

As to the "floating neutrals" what I meant was that the sub-panel neutrals are not connected to the sub-panel grounds. The sub-panel grounds are, of course, connected to the main-panel ground, which is connected to the main-panel neutral. In other words, all the neutrals are connected together but connect to ground at only one point.

As noted in my original post, there is a four wire 6-gauge connection between panels. ( Jacketed Red / White / Black / Bare )

Grae

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#21
In reply to #8

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 9:48 PM

Grae,

I'd get one of these when you get a chance, they'll pick up a warm outlet, plug, cable, breaker, connection, etc. in a matter of seconds, and will become very useful to you given your cu/al wiring. A key advantage to one with a laser targeter built-in is that you can check the utility connections from the ground, and if you find one that's overheating you'll immediately get the dispatcher's attention when you tell him that one connection is 50 degrees hotter than the others.

As far as right now, here's something I've used to detect a poor connection a few different times; try using an old portable analog AM radio tuned to a dead spot on the dial, then bring it close to an outlet or connection. There will be some increase in the static on the radio on normal wiring, but on a bad connection the noise level will increase very rapidly as you get closer to it. After a few trials you'll be able to distinguish between "normal" noise and that coming from a faulty connection.

My guess is still a poor neutral or grounding connection somewhere near your meter or breaker panel. Once a voltage develops across a neutral/ground connection the voltage on the hot legs will show an imbalance in proportion to the difference loading in each of the legs.

Alan

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#5

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 2:07 PM

I would suggest the tool you're using for measuring voltage is tested against a believed"good source"....which includes a fresh battery. trust me on this, a weak battery in a VOM will actually read an onerously high voltage.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 2:15 PM

Thanks Fredski,

Actually I'm using three different instruments. I have a Kill-a-Watt monitor in one split receptacle in the kitchen, have an old DVOM with admittedly older batteries and a new Klein Tool amprobe. They all show the same values (with minor differences).

But, your point is well taken as low batteries can definitely show wrong numbers.

Grae

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#7

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 2:20 PM

My fuzzy logic says the item with the low voltage has the bad connection.

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 2:30 PM

Fuzzy logic works usually, but my problem is that I have several circuits that drop my voltage. The microwave, furnace, and baseboard heaters are on separate breakers although, now that you mention it, they may all be on the same leg of the 240. I'll check it out.

Thanks

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#10

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 2:32 PM

Hey guys,

I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions. I'll work with them and let you know how it turns out.

May owe you all virtual beers when I'm done

Grae

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#11

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 5:00 PM

Get the utility company to check the neutral connection to the premises and improve it.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 5:42 PM

G.A from me. This seems the plan to follow.

Condition and size of the wiring: one buys a lot of electrical stuff in 40 years.

Your incoming line is already stressed. Oxidation of the aluminium wires, bad contacts, to small section and excessive voltage drop. This is to find out. It may indeed even occur also before your connection to the grid.

When this condition is fixed, you might think accordingly about your installation. Our CR4 members give here plenty of possible troubleshoot ideas.

If the neutral is under sized, load redistribution could help also.

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#22
In reply to #11

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 11:05 PM

Of course, but not where I live! When I reported 200/30 incoming and smoking neutral down the road the supply company came rushing out and chopped the centre tap off the transformer. It was still the same when I left the area a year later. Any 120V equipment had to use a local step-down transformer from the 230 supply. That's why in the Philippines almost all households are wired 230V only but to regular 115V (parallel-pin) sockets. Really confuses visitors.

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#27
In reply to #11

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/15/2013 9:14 AM

VERY GOOD MESSAGE RE PHILIPINES.

BUT A VERY| GOOD ANSWER!

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#13

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 6:20 PM

Thanks for the last two posts. I just want to check something tomorrow when it's light. Right now, I'm reading 115 / 125 at the main breaker (mast side) so tomorrow, I'll power down all the individual breakers and take readings on either side of the main breakers and the panel bus bars. If I still get 115 / 125 that would indicate supply connection issues - no? If I get 120/120 would that not indicate my supply is fine?

Turning on one breaker at a time and getting a non-120V reading might indicate a bad neutral on that circuit, right?

My thought is that if the supply is as advertised, and my in-house neutral swings off center, then the problem is line resistance in that circuit's neutral. Does that make sense?

Thanks all....

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 6:35 PM

in the pic, tell me what you read across the 2 top black wires/lugs, then from the left most lug to the nuetral bar on the right

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#16
In reply to #14

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 6:45 PM

Between the two lugs is 240 and from one of them to neutral was 123. Bear in mind this is with my circuits all ON. Tomorrow, I'll turn OFF the main breaker and recheck.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 6:47 PM

if you have little alligator clips m put them on your test leads so you can monitor the readout while you turning things on and off

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 6:36 PM

Yes, but it can start at the line to your house, even up to the line transformer of the grid. With no load it should be the same for both legs, unless your neighbor(s) is/(are) the cause. You have access to the grid from the main disconnect if you have a separate one, otherwise the panel is you first measuring point.

The line or transformer connections is "restricted area".

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#18
In reply to #15

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 6:53 PM

Yes, the panel is my only accessible point. I would expect both legs to be 120 under no load. So, if I get LOAD caused variations, it would need to be internal to my property. The question will be whether it's limited to one circuit, or as seems more likely on several circuits. If it's more than one, then I'll need to determine if it's the aluminum wired circuits or the newer copper ones as well.

And all this with Christmas 10 days away. Retirement is just so much fun sometimes.

Gotta go, my wife is finally ready to face the outside.

Regards

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 8:54 PM

split bolts to the drop, or at the pole

causing higher resistance on load.

call Big Eddie and tell them your lights

are flickering.

they usually do them all in one pass now,

usually hydraulically crimped.

then look for symptoms after this maintenance repair.

jr

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#25
In reply to #13

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/15/2013 6:44 AM

To answer your question:-

Not really. It just shows that the load is unbalanced.....

You need to have similar loads on BOTH sides to balance (possibly, assuming no bad connections of course!).

Then measure, if the voltage is THEN vastly different one side to the other, look at the low voltage reading side carefully for problems.....

A 40 year old house has probably got unbalanced loading anyway, stupid electricians are often to blame....proper re-balancing may fix most if not all your problems, but there are always summer to winter differences as well, a lot of intelligent thinking is needed.........

I personally find the US 120 - 0 - 120 systems to be both sensitive to errors and less than logical to find and fix problems. This blog demonstrates that fully.

I personally would replace the neutral ground circuits with transformer(s) converting 220 to 110 volts and ground one side of the secondary and call it neutral as well....just for the lower voltage needs.

Earth leakage trip breakers to also be installed on all supplies.

For all the rest of house devices HVAC, washing machine etc etc., I would purchase 220VAC units....where possible of course.

Reduce the need for 120VAC to the absolute minimum....

This blog has a lot of good advice in it already, its one of the best that I have read on this subject....

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#28
In reply to #13

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/15/2013 10:33 AM
  • If the voltage is 120/120 with no load at the premises, then the neutral connection is poor locally.
  • If it is still well out-of-balance with no load locally, then the problem could be further back towards the distribution transformer.
  • If the voltage between phases were to drop much below 240 with a lot of load running, then the wiring feeding the premises is undersized.

In any case above, it is the utility company's problem, not that of the occupier of the premises.

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#23

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 11:15 PM

Your symptoms indicate a loose neutral wire at the main panel, or from the service entrance feeding the house.When the neutral is broken, 120 volt circuits become series across 240v ,so voltage will vary according to the loads applied.This can destroy some devices and appliances in your home. An immediate fix is required.

Check for tight connections at the main ans sub panels,and look for sighs of overheating on the terminals.

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#24

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/14/2013 11:16 PM

Graebeard-

First thing to plan on is to have each of those Al-Al and Al-Cu junctions checked and a coating of an antioxidant, such as "Noalox", put on each. No matter what your other problems are these are either now or will be problems in the future.

Check your main panel and any sub-panels to see if they have aluminum buss bars in them (the main strips that the circuit breakers are either clipped or screwed onto). If so, put a coat of the same on each point of contact of this and the breaker.

The most probable reason for your deviations in voltages from the hotwires to neutral is a bad connection, whatever the reason, within the run of the neutral wire and connections. When all connections are good your readings should be Red (R) to Neutral (W) 120v, W to Black (B) 120v and finally R to B 240v. With R to W the current is flowing through the neutral and the same for B to W. As the loads on R and B increase there is less flow through the W since the current is now flowing from R to B. As the currents on each side, R and B, equalize each other the flow through W decreases. When the current on R and B equalize there is no current through W.

As the flow on each side, R to W and B to W, differs there is more current flowing through the neutral. Since I=E/R therefore E= I*R, your voltage drop increases as the current through the neutral W increases. R is a constant except for heat induced resistances. Since each side of the neutral (W), R to W and B to W, change in opposite directions this is due to more current flowing through one side of neutral and the other having more flow through the other hot wire and less through the neutral W.

This being a recent phenomenon indicates that something has either started recently or gotten worse recently. One possibility is that a connection has started to oxidize and created an increase in the resistance across that connection, not an unusual thing. As this resistance gets hotter it creates more oxidation which causes more heat, etc. until the connection starts to arc. After that point it usually gets hot enough to cause a fire eventually. All this is most frequently with aluminum wire or components involved.

Unfortunately yes, the most complete way to determine what is causing the problem is to inspect each receptacle and wire juncture for signs of this. Another possibility is to take an appliance, such as a hair dryer, with a heavy known load (high wattage or current) and a DVOM and check every receptacle. Plug both of them into the outlet, turn on the hair dryer and see what the voltage is. Best to do this when there is no other large loads on the system. The receptacle with the largest drop is the circuit with the most resistance in the neutral (white) wire or connection. If all other receptacles on that circuit have an equal loss then it is most likely at the panel. If it is only that one receptacle or a few of them then it is in some of the wiring within that circuit. If it happens on all receptacles in the house the problem is probably at the panel or back to the pole.

I had a similar problem when my house was new. Cause was a bad connection between the main breaker and the aluminum buss bar, it got to the arcing phase. Solution was to file the buss bar to remove pitting from the arcing, put some Noalox on the buss bar at the point of contact for all breakers and replace the main. Never had a problem for the next 14 years I owned that house.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#26
In reply to #24

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/15/2013 7:22 AM

Good post, but with a very misleading statement:-

The receptacle with the largest drop is the circuit with the most resistance in the neutral (white) wire or connection.

The reason can be actually either or both conductors/connections, on both neutral and phase wiring, not just the neutral as you stated........

You should always re-read a post carefully before posting...

I would guess that the neutral is probably usually to blame, but certainly not 100% of the time.....your statements need to be ALWAYS accurate. An amateur reading here might be injured or killed due to such a misunderstanding in any bad statement....

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A further possible cause of such unbalancing, that I believe up to now, NO ONE ELSE HAS MENTIONED, is a resistive earth fault that takes less current than needed to actually blow the fuse/breaker and no Earth Leakage type safety devices installed/working on the premises.....

The current has simply found another way to go....

This can be a REAL killer if left unfixed for the unwary - a live metal frame (mains voltage), but high(er) resistance in the path from frame to earth for example.

This is the reason that my house (though still not required by law here in Germany) has each phase passing through an earth leakage breaker.....they trip with just a few milli amps of wrong current....here in this example, could be possibly several amps of wrong current!!!!

Have great day anyway.....

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#30
In reply to #26

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/15/2013 10:25 PM

Andy Germany-

Yes, there are possibilities although very few, that it could be the hot junction at the last receptacle. Prudent electrical practices though dictate that if there is a problem at any receptacle or switch that it must be replaced. In some states here that is part of the local electrical codes. In this way 1) the problem will be fixed; 2) if there is the slightest possibility that the device (receptacle or switch) may have been damaged a new one is installed and 3) the device with the possible malfunction does not get reused in another location.

As you agreed "I would guess that the neutral is probably usually to blame, but certainly not 100% of the time.....your statements need to be ALWAYS accurate. An amateur reading here might be injured or killed due to such a misunderstanding in any bad statement...." The statement that neutral is more often the problem source is based on an informal poll of 6 electricians. 3 yes, 1 no, I now works with data only and 1 didn't know. Also this is based on historical information from residential and industrial systems. Do I need to poll thousand of electricians and do a statistical analysis? This then leads to it not being a bad statement. Yes, someone could be killed by it but so can your statement be responsible and also every other statement on this blog. One never knows what someone else would do left to their own decisions. This is a chance all questioners take when using this forum. They can't tell if the answer is good or bad, helpful or malicious. They could not follow the correct answers and screw things up really bad.

Yes, I reread my answer at least as many times as you recommended. In it I found not fault such as you did. The answer was directed only to problems with neutrals and not all wiring. Replacing the device and checking each wire, including ground wires, increases the odds of the problem not being fixed correctly to infinitesimal. Hot legs were mentioned when it was necessary to understand what happens with neutrals.

Yes, there are many other things that could cause the problem of the OP. Many other answers addressed them. Mine addressed neutral problems and how to find them.

In the USA, where I reside, earth leakage breakers are not required. A Ground Fault Interrupters (GFI) is required where there is a potential, no matter how small, for earth leakage. I stick to the NEC and NFPA section 70 because I don't do any engineering or electrical work anywhere else than here.

Oh yes, I had a great day. I wrote this answer for everyone and besides that I led a Santa Claus parade this afternoon. Wonderful to see the smiles on the children, adults and even dogs when they see the jolly old fat guy giving out candy canes three trucks behind me. No bah humbug from me!

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/16/2013 6:37 AM

It may be true 999 from a 1000 times, but 100% it is not. Therefore simply put, it is still a bad statement......

The post you just made, proved to me that I would never ever employ you to do work for me with such an opinion on safety. Also, you are arrogant that only you are right!!!

WOW!!!!

Even if nobody gets killed (I believe it is far less than the 1 in 1000 by the way), assuming that the statement you made is correct (when it isn't), it could still extend fix times in some situations.

Furthermore, the situation that I also clearly described where a fault current of several amps, a live frame/case, could be happening and easily kill someone, is still a possibility. You appear to not even understand what I wrote......

Malicious you may be not, but you are arrogant in saying what you said.

What would you say if a widow got in touch with you on CR4, blaming you (due to the fact that you overlooked several safety points that REALLY needed to be commented correctly) for her husbands death?

In the USA you might be looking at a very damaging lawsuit (70% of the worlds Lawyers practice in the USA!!).

Why go there?

Why not simply write a 100% correct information here?

I also live in a country where such ELCBs are not a requirement, but that has never stopped me from installing them in my houses.....I installed them in my house in the UK MANY years before they were required by code. Even then, at at least at first, only for new builds. What the situation is today in the UK I haven't a queue...

Several times over the years, in the UK and Germany, trying to use equipment borrowed from friends, has dropped the ELCBs.

When checked, the equipment has proved to be faulty.....but no one got a shock. A girlfriends grill, when I touched it to the gas cooker in her house, took out the house main fuse (UK), with a huge bang.....She had only needed to touch the cooker and the grill at the same time (less than a meter apart!) and she would have been killed or injured....

An ELCB would have dropped the mains power as soon as it was plugged in......not even switched on...

In Germany, I also had installed double pressure reducers on my gas supply from the tank in the garden in 1986 after buying the house. The installer said "Well if you want to waste your money..."

Since 1996 its now law here to have two and when the gas supplier came to install a second unit (assuming that I only had one!), I showed them my installation.....they were REALLY surprised and VERY complimentary......all because a little girl got killed in 1994 when one reducer failed and the central heating exploded....that could have been avoided completely....

Following code is always important, but adding extra safety to code should not be missed and certainly no one in his right mind should argue against it in any shape or form....

Anyone not adding the best safety pieces to code installs for anything, but especially gas & electrical installations, is simply to be disregarded in all respects.

When they should if they were REALLY clever, be insisting that such safety features be installed, over and above code.....and understanding and explaining why....like me.

Furthermore I "test" my possible installers with a few well aimed questions, those that "fail" never get into my house for ANYTHING at all....I have never kept notes over the last 40 years or so, but most electricians and gas installers are "code" bound at best and will not understand or add any further safety devices over and above the requirements of the law, even though I pay extra for such things and the hours used.

Some did not even understand code requirements at all....

Why do I drive a Diesel car? Can you tell me? Do you have a petrol/gas powered vehicle? Are you wasting your money and safety in an electric car? Not me!!

Have you ever seen a car accident where the petrol tank caught fire and people burnt to death? BMW had a bad reputation in the 80's and early 90's....

Have you seen an electric car engine basically melt/burn because the electronics had a problem? Have you seen the number of places on roads showing damage and or repairs due to extreme heat for some reason?

Shit happens!!

I could have commented a lot more on your post, but will refrain from doing that if you can accept, with good grace, that you are not correct for max safety, to my mind, what you say is not even to code in some countries.....but that is all your problem as I live well away from you (TG!)!!

But if you wish to have your post taken apart, line by line, I have the knowledge and the time to do it, if that is what you REALLY want.

My personal thought would be for you to stop trying to be right on this particular subject, find something that you REALLY know and understand better.

"Thou protest too much, methinks."

(The quotation "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet, act III, scene II, where it is spoken by Queen Gertrude, Hamlet's mother.)

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#35
In reply to #31

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/16/2013 12:20 PM

Andy Germany-

I really can't believe that you are so superior to all others that you could make some of the statements and deductions about me that you have. The reason for my disbelief--à you are so incorrect, and self glorifying that you could never get to know me any better than poorly. Simply put, you are wrong! You have taken statements out of text and attempted to damn them but you have failed in this.

A few notes about your statements:

You don't have to worry about me working for you. I seek other things in an employer. Perfectionist and arrogant are not included in these. Arrogant I certainly am not, as you accuse me of being. Compassionate, understanding and people orientated are more often said than arrogant by those who know me at least casually. That's your problem, not mine.

Safety you state is something I am not concerned about. I am extremely concerned about and have a proven extremely good track record in my own safety and especially the safety of others. A Couple of things I am proudest of are that I was directly responsible for the safety programs at several chemical plants. One of them used to have a lost time accident about every 3 months. That changed to none in 10 years. The other was worse; it had LTA's about every month. That changed to no LTA in 3-1/2 years. That location had 300 people. No I'm not bragging, just showing how a soap box isn't needed to get the message across and motivate people.

I am familiar with law suits. Never had one filed against me but I have been consultant in about 20 of them. Your tales of horrors do not faze me. Unfortunately during the safety period of my career I had to investigate several fatal accidents. These were all at sites other than mine. The root causes of most all accidents are operator/human failures. Don't expound your statements denouncing others safety or lack thereof especially to me and most others in this forum. With safety, SH*T DOES NOT HAPPEN! Proven fact-for every one accident there are 330 unsafe acts.

Again- Sh*t does not happen! Most of those horrors you speak of I have participated in their remediation. Electric car- was advisor to a High School group that made one from a Pontiac Fierro. No accidents, no burns. A lot of ingenious ideas came from them.

Car accident from gasoline? Pulled a small child from one 2 months ago. Unfortunately her mother didn't make it, jammed in by the steering column. Electric car fire? Helped put 2 out within the past 3 years. (I'm the ex-chief and still very actively participating in the local fire dept. Also a level 2 instructor).

Shakespeare- I'm not a thespian of his works but if you look in Henry VI my ancestor was a central character. Not my favorites, I tend more to the Dirty Harry, James Bond and The Muppets movies.

As for bucking horns with you by tearing apart posts, if that is your desire and propensity go ahead, do whatever you want. If you do it you do it yourself without me. I have no inclination to waste my time or the time of others with this wasteful dribble. I am a humble person. I don't need to pat myself on my back to be happy. All I ask of anyone is to let me live what days I have left in a way that the world and its people are better off when I leave this earth than it was when I arrived. Those that really know me, including some of the other members of this forum, know that it's all I ask for. My reason for participating in this forum is to help others, not damn those who I think need it or who disagree with me Remember it was you who started this whole waste of time, not me. I try to see the good in people, not take every opportunity to shred them.

Some participants may begin to think that you could be very arrogant and self-professing. I do but you probably don't care about that, neither do I.

I don't like writing such things as this but you have made many mistakes in your unsubstantiated written statements about me. For the good of others, put your attentions toward the matter at hand and not beating your drum.

Finally, don't bother replying to this. It's my last commitment to this stupid jousting of unwanted and unnecessary verbiage. I want this day to be as good as yesterday and yesterday was a great day! I haven't the time, wasteful efforts nor desire to continue in your diatribe against me and indirectly others.

Adios, M F

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#43
In reply to #35

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/17/2013 5:19 PM

You are simply not worth the time to AGAIN answer fully.

You speak of superior, I never have used that word about my knowledge and never would. Although it is obvious to most here that just in this case, my knowledge is superior to yours.....did you mean that?

It appears your only method of using "smoke, sparks and other magic tricks" is to go off half-cocked and to attack me personally, just to reduce attention to your own inadequate knowledge. How immature.

You simply do not have the experiences to answer what I say with your own "superior" knowledge and supply possibly links to web pages that support your thoughts or anything that might prove you know what you are talking about.....slagging off is your method.....crude.

I have read many of your posts since some time in 2007 I believe, there are things you know and understand well (boats) and stuff you haven't got the foggiest about (just about everything else!!).

Sadly, you cannot tell the difference between the two.....your own personal problem and battleground.....certainly not mine.

I now give up trying to educate/help you further, that you have achieved...

Going by the emails from other CR4 members that I have received, I am not alone in my thoughts here, just more open about it!!

As the old saying goes, "you can lead a horse to water, but he has to drink alone!"

I rest my case.

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#48
In reply to #43

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 12:01 AM

Andy Germany-

The above statement is so untrue that it is hilarious. Get off you high horse and come down to reality. Never asked you to teach me, you are not a good communicator, very self biased.

Perhaps you may need_________________.

Enough said, I have many more important things to do with my time for the betterment of others. Go do whatever you want. I consider the time spent trying to communicate with you a waste of my precious time here on the earth.

So long. Try to find someone else to impress. You failed here.

Everyone else, Please have an enjoyable holiday season. May the best be yours and your family's. Say hello to Santa (I believe in him just as you do!).

Old Salt

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#51
In reply to #48

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 4:07 AM

What did you say to your professors in the Uni you attended, "Get off your high horse!" and "You don't impress me!" or whatever..... I am sure you did not, you would have opened your ears and closed your mouth as you were there to learn....as I did too.....

Maybe you simply post here only as a "lay man", which is my personal impression. Am I wrong?

Please read the following statement and refute it please if you can, I am willing to read such facts from you, but please no more unsupported waffle....:-

YOU NEVER EVER BRING VERIFIABLE FACTS, WEBSITES OR DATA OF ANY SORT IN YOUR POSTS here on CR4. Especially in this blog.....

How about changing that for once?

How about even not simply ignoring such requests for verifiable facts as you have up to now.....?

PLEASE?

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#55
In reply to #51

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 8:57 AM

Paragraph #1. Usually "Thank You" or "Could you help me?" The ears/mouth thing you are talking out of context.

Paragraph#2. Layman in many things but knowledgeable to various degrees in others. Your impression has no merit, it is clearly very biased. Yes you are wrong, again.

Paragraph #3 Wrong again. Please take an unbiased view at previous postings

Paragraph #4 See Paragraph #3

Paragraph #5 See paragraph #3, references to other sources are included when beneficial.

Paragraph #5 See Paragraph #3. When requests are valid and serve a purpose they are included. If anyone has a reasonable question it is answered in a courteous manner.

Paragraph #6 Sorry, no pleases this time. It is not warranted to comply simply based on this one word of courtesy. Rude, crude, inaccurate, out of context, blatant derogatory accusations, etc. preclude any such action. You should have thought of that before you started your ridiculous series of constipation of the brain and diarrhea of the mouth So much so that adios!

again, GET A LIFE!

Old Salt

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 9:14 AM

Again, no facts, only made up fiction.

Now who needs to get a life???? And some FAR better manners......YOU!

I have better things to do that read your fiction, complaints, bad manners and ignorance further....

No more contact please, use your ire on someone who is smaller than you are....

BYEEEEEEEE

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#61
In reply to #56

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 11:15 AM

You seem to be doing an excellent job with only one language.

If you would like to increase the national average IQ of both Germany and Poland, simply move to Poland.

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#64
In reply to #61

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/19/2013 5:23 PM

Your "Off Topic" score shows how many here thought of your childish sense of humour.....have you learnt anything? Probably not!!

Luckily, most folks here are fair minded and open to reason......

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#38
In reply to #31

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/16/2013 5:30 PM

You're such a dick...

Attack the issue, not the individual

Focus, focus, focus

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/16/2013 7:43 PM

The Tinker-

Thank you for your philosophical contribution. I personally think it will make CR4 a better place to ask questions and give answers. Many others most likely feel the same.

Happy Holidays,

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/17/2013 10:59 AM

That was for Andy. I felt that it needed to be said.

His thinly veiled and sarcastic insults don't add anything to the conversation either, yet it's a norm for him. He's a pompous ass and he knows it, and you may surmise that many others most likely feel it makes CR4 a better place.

I do not.

I wouldn't be surprised if more than half of the responses to posts on CR4 pretty much refer the OP to get a licensed contractor, electrician, engineer, etc. Another good chunk of the responses are something along the lines of the OP doesn't know what they are doing, no amount of help on CR4 will help them, the OP is too stupid to admit that they don't know what they are doing, or that the OP is obviously going to die of stupidity.

CR4 should add a "Safety" section where the doom-saying safety-conscious trollers and happy-to-pass-the-buck-to-a-licensee crowd can hang. How 'bout it Savvy?

None of those "answers" help in the least and really just show an alarming amount of advice to...just seek advice elsewhere.

Just sayin'

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#42
In reply to #40

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/17/2013 2:59 PM

Tinkerer-

First of all- Happy Holidays to you, your family and friends.

I'm not going to quote and comment on anything about his posts because you said it so well. I like the method too---> short, concise and to the point.

What some of this type of people don't realize is that their answer is not only read by the addressee but also a lot of other members. Those venomous posts that he posted were not only read by you and me but also at least several other hundreds of members who saw it. Right now there are 181 members on line and there are approx. 3,500 members of CR4. Fortunately most members are here to help and not flaunt what they think is their superior knowledge and to ridicule anyone they get a chance to. There a few rotten ones but the vast majority is not. Unfortunately we, as well as all the rest of the participating members, have to put up with those rotten ones. They usually need a refresher course in the University of Common Sense or the College of Human Communications.

This instance clearly shows deficiency in the art of intelligence and communications. The affliction is "Constipation of the Brain and Diarrhea of the Mouth."

Since joining CR4 a few years ago I have found a lot of good people who are nice, fair, and extremely intelligent and most of all want to assist others with their problems. I always try to remember that they are the ones who make it beneficial to others. Like you have, I have found some really good people here. Always enjoy working with them and you!

I've already spent too much time on the subject. I have neither the time nor inclination to devote anymore efforts on this matter, he's not worth it. I also want you to have to have a good day today, as I always want to. I also want everyone else to have a good day. Your message really brightened my day.

Thank you for taking the time to post your messages. I'm sure many others also appreciate them. That kind of attitude you so clearly described is very difficult to hide, and this is a prime example of it.

I hope to be able to exchange thoughts with you in the near future. On behalf of myself and I imagine many others, Thank You,

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#41
In reply to #31

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/17/2013 11:40 AM

diesel burns too...

really, really well...

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#45
In reply to #41

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/17/2013 6:21 PM

You are just showing your lack of knowledge to try and score some imagined points it would appear!!

To improve that slightly if I may point out that petrol/gas has a flashpoint at temperatures above -45 °F.

At normal day temperatures, it can really explode as many YouTube videos can bear witness to...

Diesel only flashes when it has exceeded about 140°F or so.....Whats that? Over 180°F difference?

That is a significant difference for someone trapped in a vehicle.....there is also usually a far slower flame front with diesel once it has ignited....

I looked for some YouTube videos showing Diesel exploding, sadly they are all totally boring for most here, nobody got hurt, no vehicle was from one second to the next covered in flames and fuel......

This one was about as "good" as it gets, I searched on Diesel fire:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8Nbic9prsQ

Notice how slowly the flames spread with diesel!!! Look how long the driver took to get out.....

Here is what can and has happened to people just filling a gasoline tank:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuZxFL9cGkI

This could never occur with diesel at normal day temperatures, only if it got above its flashpoint, which takes some doing...

I rest my case....

Have a great day.....

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/17/2013 11:49 PM

Andy Germany-

There are plenty of ways on a car or a truck that can ignite either gasoline or diesel fuel. A semi truck is one of the frequent props and subjects at fire academies in the USA. In this scenario the diesel fire is usually lit by soaking a stick in diesel, lighting it with a cigarette lighter and throwing it in. It just doesn't have as loud a sound when it is diesel. Fire academies realized the frequency of diesel fires and therefore do this simulation. Either way, gasoline or diesel, it ignites and burns. It is still a difficult fire to put out.

Due to the construction of modern cars and the increased use of materials that burn such as plastics, manmade fabrics, battery powered conveniences, rubber liners, etc. the heat generated by a vehicle fire is quite hot, fast and especially more dangerous than cars of earlier years. The picture referred to does not show the propagation of the fire so no comparisons are provided between diesel and gasoline. Yes, the propagation of gasoline is faster under laboratory conditions but a truck on the highway is not a laboratory usually.

A person(s) trapped in either a diesel of gasoline vehicle really doesn't care what the ignition point of either is. The picture is correct, the vehicle is burning, there is a rapid progression of the flames and if there is person in it they are probably going to be serious injured or roasted to death this could be the situation in the picture. To watch a person burn to death is not a delightful situation. If a comparison of a gasoline vehicle vs. a diesel vehicle is to be made it should be under actual conditions and the effect shown. Neither is going to burn faster or slower because in vehicle fires the fuel is only one of the many conditions that determine how fast the fire spreads. YouTube is not the best place to obtain this knowledge. Actually riding in a fire engine is the best way to see the difference. This is where most people informed about fires and the effect of different fuel type, conditions, splash patterns, location and size of fuel tanks, location of impact, depth of penetration, location of electrical sources and users units, type of materials used in construction and many other pertinent factors get their knowledge.

People generally don't care what is fueling the fire since they are the ones being hurt, possibly to death. Many people are killed in this manner. The fire in the picture is a static view as opposed to a dynamic movie.

This information is for the benefit for those Cr4 members who probably are not familiar with the factors of a vehicle fire. It certainly is not to show anyone's superiority in intelligence or lack thereof. There are also members of CR4 who are familiar with this subject and much more than this small discussion about the subject. Diesel does explode under many conditions and therefore should be treated just the same as gasoline. If you are not familiar with these factors you should read some articles in the Firehouse or the Fire Engineering magazines. You will probably find them interesting and informative. Many people like to see fire engines and watch fires. Hopefully you might find it interesting enough to volunteer with your local volunteer fire company. It is a very rewarding experience and you will be helping your family, your community and people you never met. Even if you know nothing about it you can be certified in a few months.

Ok, this bit should not be construed as beating my drum about my superior knowledge of the subject. I will be the first to admit I probably know more about the subject than most people. I got my knowledge from reading many books, attending hands-on classes and fighting fires. There are many other people who know magnitudes more than I do, I'm still learning a lot.

My philosophy with learning, one that I do not force on anyone or brag about, is that the more you know the more you know that you have to learn. This was told to me by an extremely smart man, when I was a small boy, who is recognized worldwide. I did not recognize him until several years later. I have lived by his words as much as possible.

Andy Germany, thank you for the use of this reply to inform members about the finer factors about diesel fuel vehicle fires. No, I'm not and have never attempting to show any superiority in intelligence because I am not, despite what someone has accused me of being. I'm a good learner because I try to grasp the whole subject and not make rash judgmental accusations about others as compared to myself. I learn with my eyes, ears and hands not my mouth. What I will do is explain why some untrue and vicious statements made about me personally or others are without merit. Such as a defamatory statement about my answers. I don't care what that person says about them as long as they help others. So far that has worked and been mostly appreciated.

The above information on diesel fuel vehicles was brought to you by a 30 year ex-chief firefighter who is still taking classes on the various facets of fires and incident command. He knows that he has got a lot more to learn. There are many who know much more than him. They are his instructors, peers, fellow firefighters, the new rookie and many others. He is also a level 2 fire instructor who loves to teach young firefighters the right way to do things so they don't kill themselves.

Everyone, please have a safe and happy holiday season. Don't use candles carelessly. Unlike most doctors, Firefighters still make house calls but we don't like to at your house.

I too rest my case.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#50
In reply to #47

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 3:50 AM

Old Salt, if you read this "waffle" from someone else, you would simply dismiss it.

Again, you simply demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of the differences between Diesel and Gasoline......you obviously did not bother to even watch the YouTube videos I posted, or you would not have so posted.

How about you supplying some videos (as an example) that support your thoughts and ideas on the differences between Diesel and Gasoline flame fronts......

Now wouldn't that be great? A proper reply!!!

Or will you simply "overlook" this simple request?

Thanks in advance for some "solid facts".

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#53
In reply to #50

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 7:58 AM

Andy Germany-

Don't blame me for this dribble of words. You started it with your numerous attacks and comparisons to yourself. I have wasted enough time refuting your garbage and wasting the time of many others.

No, YouTube videos were referenced to because firefighting, and especially vehicle fuel fires, are such a wide subject area. One video would simply mislead people to think they are all like that. Several better sources of basic information on the subject can be found in the following published by Thompson, Delmar Learning: FIREFIGHTER'S HANDBOOK, Essentials of Firefighting and Emergency Response; COMPANY OFFICER and numerous other books on the subject. They would be much better sources than one short 4 minute video. Also fire videos are almost never complete since they are responsive and do not include the initial elements of an accident fire.

When you become as knowledgeable about vehicle fuel fires as the basic rookie firefighter you can make statements such as you have. To quote you "Again, you simply demonstrate a complete lack of knowledge and understanding".

Next time you want to bash someone look into a mirror. Perhaps the person there needs it more than anyone else. Past postings clearly show: a lack of willingness to communicate with others; to take things out of context; and take a small part of an answer and base your statements only on that one small portion. Back here in the US of A that is often referred to as "Looking for pepper (stool) on a gnats butt (a__s)".

I would have enjoyed it if this series had any value and information in it from you. It is impossible to learn if the teacher does not know basic communicates and basic teaching skills.

Now do whatever you want to. Insult me, insult other repliers, and insult the whole CR4 system and its members. The statements you have made about others and what you know about them are derogatory verbiage based only on your imagination.

Get a Life!

Old Salt

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#54
In reply to #53

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 8:49 AM

As ever, you post only YOUR opinions and YOUR thoughts, without a single Reference of ANY (there is a lot of stuff out there, if you can find it!!) sort to prove whether its fact or your fiction. So I would say that its probably mostly fiction, made up for the day and forgotten by all, shortly afterwards.

You pound away at the same errors time and time again.....don't you find that a bit strange yourself???

Many Several others here do it seems!!

Each time I have posted, not only to you, I have tried to include some independent facts from another website that support what I say.

Perhaps thats what annoys you!!!!

YOU HAVE NOT POSTED A SINGLE ONE FROM ANOTHER SOURCE THAT I REMEMBER, ONLY ONES YOU YOURSELF APPEAR TO HAVE MADE UP!!!

Check back if you don't believe me....

TOTALLY LAUGHABLE!!

The debating society in the school/Uni was not one of your favourite hobbies I would guess.....it was one of mine! You may have noticed!!!

Now if you can bring something more factual like that in your next posts I promise to read them and look at the links/whatever you present.

Otherwise I will just start to ignore your poor representation in the future, unless I can jump in again and make you look silly again of course!!! BEWRE!!!

Have a great day, in spite of me!

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#58
In reply to #54

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 10:43 AM

So you post other peoples opinions???

Opinions don't need "references".

Let me Google that for you--

Opinion: "A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof."

This thread is about Household Voltage Drop...

Again, focus, focus, focus...

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#49
In reply to #45

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 1:45 AM

Ignorance is no excuse . That photo was from an accident on I5 near Olympia, WA just two days ago. The truck driver died as a result of the accident and/or subsequent fire. I am sure he'll take your inane argument to heart and leap back to life.

The tractor-trailer was struck head on by a pickup truck and immediately burst into flames. Diesel was the only accelerant, which was was sprayed over the trailer when the outriggers split open.

You are such a time-suck.

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#52
In reply to #49

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 5:13 AM

Why so rude and offensive? Have you never learned to have a civil argument without stooping to such comments?

By the way, how about posting the full details of the crash? For example, was the drive conscious and uninjured after the crash and was ONLY burnt because of a huge diesel flash over?

Die he have a load of Gasoline or some other unstable chemicals.

Or do you simply not know.

Please be so kind as to post a weblink to a full description of that particular accident that you mentioned so that I can read for myself, not your short self written version with no verifiable facts or information.

Truck drivers die daily in this world.

Here is a horrifying video of a truck crash, one without (as far as I can tell) dangerous chemicals or liquids. There is fire, but it does not spread because Diesel does not readily burn at normal day temperatures.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SRbuIkgOfs

The flash fire appears to be a car and a panel truck, probably both gasoline fueled, being rammed by the runaway truck. Even that does not cause the sort of inferno you appear to believe can happen very easily......

I believe that it CAN occasionally happen, but with other circumstances and facts over and above your thoughts on the subject.....not a simple crash ad diesel explosion.

Perhaps you have some verifiable videos or similar?

Here is some more footage, which, except for the above accident, shows dozens of truck accidents with no fires or exploding fuel tanks....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQQFQiMjfs0

Truck drivers here in Europe are often not using their safety belts and are simply injured and/or unconscious after such an accident, maybe in the USA too?

Two recently died because they were thrown out of the cab, through the windscreen and then the truck rolled over them......if they had been belted in, they might have survived. Afterwards, the cab looked quite good considering....

Further example, some years ago, one was masturbating in his cab while driving on an Autobahn in Sweden. He was trapped in his cab, with his trousers on the floor and a girlie mag in front of him.

See here for a short (sadly incomplete) version in English:-

http://www.thelocal.se/20091014/22662

Such are some "accidents", that he did not die was simple luck.....and that he probably had his seat belt on......unverifiable online now...

Please note that I have supplied a link or two to support my contention that diesel is the safer fuel. Would you be so kind as to do the same please for your ideas and thoughts?

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#57
In reply to #52

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 10:37 AM

I stopped reading after you said something about civility...

useless drivel from that point on, I am sure.

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#63
In reply to #52

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 3:10 PM

Andy you are completely wasting your time trying to help some people here, for wasting your time you deserved the Off Topic.I recently saw the program "Psychopath Night" on Channel 4 UK. If you had seen it, you would now know why you are wasting your time trying to help some of the Guys on CR4.Sorry to be roughing you up, but you should be intelligent enough to see that for yourself and not need my help, dumb Bunny!!!

Lucky for you someone has chopped it up and uploaded it on YouTube in 6 parts. after you have seen it (takes almost 2 hours), you will understand why trying to help to them is simply a complete and utte waste of your time. there has to be better things for you to waste yout time on, sorry to have to say that, but its true.

Download it if you can or watch it online and see what you think mate......and there are on average, they tell us, one Psychopath per 100 people - HOT DIGGERTY Buddy....1% That means the US of effing A has at least 2 million of them - OMG!

Search on YouTube for "Psychopath Night (Documentary) Part 1 of 6". All parts are avalable last I looked. Everyone should read it. Psychopath 101? Back to school?

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#29

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/15/2013 5:26 PM

Wow, lots of great help from you guys, especially since last night. I'll need to try Old Salt's idea with the hair drier. I have a Kill-a-Watt device which can assist with this. For those of you who unfamiliar with this device, it's a VOM/Watt meter which plugs into a receptacle and into which you plug a hair drier in this case and get direct VAW readings.

So, today I powered down the house and took readings with NO LOAD, MAX LOAD and Typical Loads. I used a Klein Amprobe for this and documented my results.

Here's what I did:

Main Breaker OFF : read=> R-W = 121 Volts B-W = 123 Volts

Main Breaker ON and each breaker on, one at a time. This also allowed me to list all the lights and receptacles on each circuit. Take Voltage and Current readings for each circuit.

Allowing for fridges and freezer startups, my lowest voltage reading was 104 Volts on one of the original aluminum circuits that was actually drawing 7.3 amps.

I have two other aluminum circuits sitting at 110 V and drawing 4 amps, as well as two others at 114 V drawing 2 and 5 amps.

The other aluminum circuits were okay at 122 Volts and drew less than 1 amp each.

All my newer, copper circuits sat around 122 volts and none drew more than 4 amps.

Overall, with most of my loads on, except for special 240 appliances like stoves, drier and AC, I measured 10A on the main Red bus and 22A on the main Black bus. In light of this unbalance, I was not surprised to read 7A on the main Neutral.

FYI: I have 2 complete kitchens plus a cold cellar with another fridge and freezer. Please don't ask about my utility bills.

So, I think there's two things to look at right now:

1 - use Old Salt's method to check aluminum circuits, and

2 - move some of the breakers to rebalance the load

Hmm.. will I get any of this done before Christmas??

Thanks again to all you great folks on this forum. Lots of great experience out there and I appreciate the sharing.

I'll keep you posted as to what transpires.

Grae

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#32

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/16/2013 8:11 AM

Graebeard,

My parents house (approximately 50 years old also located in the US) also experienced a similar problem. The cause was determined to be a squirrel had chewed most of the way through one of the two 120 v overhead supply wires from the transformer to the meter. Something simple to check.

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#33

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/16/2013 10:02 AM

Where are you measuring this voltage deviation?If at the main lugs of your panel, the problem is a dirty,corroded or intermittent main neutral conductor.The tell-tale sign is the increase in voltage from 120 to 135 volts.This increase will only occur if the neutral is compromised in some manner.A loose,dirty,or compromised hot leg will result in a decrease in voltage.When the neutral is compromised, the voltage will vary according to how many other loads are applied.

To troubleshoot this problem properly, you will need to have the power company remove the meter base,and start from that point checking,cleaning,deoxidizing and tightening all feeder and neutral lugs.

The situation you describe can result in over voltage being applied to some 120 volt appliances or devices and severe damage or fire can result.

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#34

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/16/2013 10:22 AM

I tried to edit my previous post, but time expired, so I added the post below:

Where are you measuring this voltage deviation?If at the main lugs of your panel, the problem is a dirty,corroded or intermittent main neutral conductor.The tell-tale sign is the increase in voltage from 120 to 135 volts.This increase will only occur if the neutral is compromised in some manner.A loose,dirty,or compromised hot leg will result in a decrease in voltage.When the neutral is compromised, the voltage will vary according to how many other loads are applied.

To troubleshoot this problem properly, you will need to have the power company remove the meter base and killing the power and start from that point checking,cleaning,de-oxidizing and tightening all feeder and neutral lugs.
The conductors need to be cleaned with 240 flint paper,not emery cloth.Emery cloth residue is conductive.Then apply the anti-oxidizing compound and tighten to specified torque.
You said the house had aluminum wiring and copper wiring, my bet is on a poorly prepared and/or loose aluminum conductor.The older aluminum alloys were very soft, and tended to loosen with thermal cycling,growing worse over time.The new aluminum alloys for electrical conductors are harder and more stable, but still require proper preparation and tightening to proper torque.
Some localities will not remove the base except for licensed electricians.
If the problem still persists after these checks,and you are satisfied that you have clean,tight, solid connections from start to finish, the problem is between the house and the service transformer. Matter of fact, have them check their connection at the transformer and overhead splice while they are there.
The situation you describe can result in over voltage being applied to some 120 volt appliances or devices and severe damage or fire can result.
Good luck.
I wish you and yours a very Merry and safe Christmas and new year.

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#36

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/16/2013 2:47 PM

I've used Old Salt's method using a Kill-a-Watt monitor and hair-drier on several circuits but found the same problem everywhere - about 10V drop, regardless of the circuit or if it was aluminum or copper wiring.

In response to HiTek, my original readings of 130/90 were taken at the split receptacle with the microwave energized. In my #29 posting, the readings were taken at the breakers but the microwave was not turned on. I subsequently turned on the microwave and watched the voltage drop to 105V at both receptacle and the breaker.

At this point, since the problem seems to be system rather than branch-circuit wide, with no difference in readings between receptacle and main panel, I think it's probably safe to say that the problem is external to the house. Would you agree ?

If so, time to call Ontario Hydro.

Thank you all for your comments and expertise sharing. It's obvious that Team CR4 works.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to All

Grae

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/16/2013 3:34 PM

Graebeard-

Thankful that the rest of this forum and myself could be of assistance to you in your project to enhance the resolution of your electrical problem. As I think you readily can see "Good Questions bring Good Answers". I also think you will see this in the answers/questions you got. When sufficient information is provided or additional information provided most of the members of CR4 can determine at least what you should do or call in to do the job. With this the members work together as a team and there is no "I" in TEAM. Again thank you for being a good questioner.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#44

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/17/2013 5:54 PM

Problem Solved !!

As the general consensus described, the problem was with the Neutral.

I called the hydro folks yesterday and this afternoon they popped by. Unfortunately I was out so I got the story second hand from my wife. Turns out the incoming lines were rubbing against a large spruce tree in the front yard and abraided the neutral so it separated. Apparently it took all of five minutes to replace that line.

The silver lining on all this, is that I learned all about neutral issues from my friends on CR4 and I now have a complete map of the wiring in the house.

All in all, a happy ending.

Thanks again, everyone.

Grae

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#60
In reply to #44

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 10:57 AM

Thanks for coming back with the solution! I've just finished reading all the posts (except the rants) and was about to ask you about the incoming feed lines! My house is located in the woods and the feed lines can become exposed to tree branches at times. The feed directly to the house is underground, but up to the point it goes under, trees dominate the area. When I have issues with phone/electric/cable I start by checking the incoming lines. I keep them as clear as I can but sometimes snow/rain can bring a new branch in contact. Glad you found it!

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#62
In reply to #44

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 1:02 PM

All's well that ends well.....

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#46

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/17/2013 8:01 PM

The Chinese have a saying about insults:

If a package is presented to you, and you refuse to accept it, to whom does it belong?

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#59
In reply to #46

Re: Household Voltage Drop

12/18/2013 10:45 AM

I got caught up on a moment of disbelief...

I apologize for hijacking the thread.

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