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301 posts

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Topic # 147068 7-Jun-2014 22:52
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Something weird going on with electricity in our home. Had 2 electricians over to check it out, both couldn't tell me what was wrong.
Symptoms:
1) 3-bulb lights can't hand more than 2 bulb. After you add a third one, one of the three burns out within a couple of days. We've got a 3-bulb spotlight and a 3-bulb pendant - same story for both. So far tried the following - bought better quality bulbs (that helped a bit, but not for long), replaced the switch (didn't do anything).
2) Tivo keeps rebooting. I had it replaced once, and the new brand new unit has the same problem, so I don't think it's a Tivo issue. It's just that occasionally the Tivo just reboots itself when I try to change channels. Really annoying.
3) Cordless vacuum cleaner seems to take ages to charge - longer than the manual suggests. Had it replaced - same story with the new one.
That aside, nothing strange seems to happen. Fuses don't trip, electrical appliances don't get killed by power surges, all is normal. All this has been going on for 3-4 years now, so it's not a critical issue, just a mind-boggling one.

Am I going nuts? Can all these symptoms be related, or are these just coincidences?




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  Reply # 1061104 7-Jun-2014 23:22
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Are the light bulbs the energysaving type? And are those lights connected to a dimmer?

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  Reply # 1061144 8-Jun-2014 02:18
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What's your voltage reading? Should be +/- 5% of 230 volts I think.




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  Reply # 1061150 8-Jun-2014 07:02
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A friend complained her bulbs blew a lot. Esp her 3 bulb kitchen spotlights were blowing in a similar way.
She had the switch replaced (because she could see a occasional flash in there..)
No change.
I took a close look inside the fitting. The copper coated 'tabs' were badly burned and eroded, every time she turned on the lights there was a mini arc.. Two of the 3 bulbs would take turns blowing.
House built in the 80's. Bad rural power supply. Almost all her fittings - bayonet and screw showed some sort of damage.
Local sparky replaced everything, showed us a couple of switches he replaced - also had arcing/burning damage.
Hope this isn't your problem!

gzt

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  Reply # 1061152 8-Jun-2014 07:50
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Kookoo: Am I going nuts? Can all these symptoms be related, or are these just coincidences?

I am not an electrician. Yes these symptoms could all be related. Imho many electricians will not have the experience or equipment to accurately diagnose and locate the cause in every single 'could be' case. I could speculate on the possibilities a bit and provide some links but it's not really helpful.

Have you talked to your retailer about the issue? They would be best placed to offer advice on the next step.

For instance Northpower (a lines company) have a process for looking into these issues:

http://northpower.com/network/services/voltage_fluctuations

Start the process with your retailer.

Yeah after investigation it could end with them recommending someone they know with the experience and equipment (which apart from you paying three times) is not really a bad thing.

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  Reply # 1061202 8-Jun-2014 11:19
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We have a similar issue with a chandelier which has 6 bulbs, one in particular blows more than the others, but mostly they blow a similar amount. I think I must have replaced about 12 bulbs last year! It takes the highpin g9 240v 40w bulb. I did consider replacing the entire thing, but I would like more light but don't know what type of lighting I should use.

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  Reply # 1061733 9-Jun-2014 12:20
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1 - Bulbs will not last as long as they should if: they get too hot (i.e. 100watt lamp in a 60watt downlight), or bad connections on fitting causing lower than expected voltage, dimmers pulse voltage so they should be OK generally.
2 - Your tivo should have a multi voltage power pack so this could be a bad connection or surges spiking it, or if you've only replaced the unit and not the power pack then replace the power pack.
3 - They always take longer than expected.  Once again the power pack will be multi voltage so the vacum should be getting it's required voltage no matter what's comming from the supply.

Tim

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  Reply # 1061748 9-Jun-2014 12:51
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Perhaps you're getting periodic voltage drops, and if there's no spike following, then circuit breakers are unlikely to trip.

I would be inclined to stick the TIVO on a UPS, and see what difference it makes.




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  Reply # 1061757 9-Jun-2014 13:16
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Where do you live? city, town , rural, very rural.

Do you notice your lights flicker or go dimmer at any time?




Location: Dunedin

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  Reply # 1061993 9-Jun-2014 17:38
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youll probably find the lamp holders are stuffed. as they heat, they transfer the heat from the bad contact into the lamp and it blows. as the bad joint is overheated it often looses its tension, so the problem gets worse.

Blowing lots of lamps in one fitting is a sure sign of a bad lamp holder.
also the bad contact onto the lamps can set up a type of harmonic/noise in the system which may have shortened the life of the TIVO. i once saw an instance of noise on an audio system that only happened at night......traced it to a bad lamp holder in the laundry.

my suggestion is replace the light fittings with QUALITY units. and get your sparky to triple check your neutral (get him to do an earth loop impedance test)



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  Reply # 1064479 12-Jun-2014 21:29
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Aredwood: Are the light bulbs the energysaving type? And are those lights connected to a dimmer?

Nope. Lights aren't energy saving, and no dimmer.




Hello, Ground!



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  Reply # 1064484 12-Jun-2014 21:48
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gzt:
Kookoo: Am I going nuts? Can all these symptoms be related, or are these just coincidences?

I am not an electrician. Yes these symptoms could all be related. Imho many electricians will not have the experience or equipment to accurately diagnose and locate the cause in every single 'could be' case. I could speculate on the possibilities a bit and provide some links but it's not really helpful.

Have you talked to your retailer about the issue? They would be best placed to offer advice on the next step.

For instance Northpower (a lines company) have a process for looking into these issues:

http://northpower.com/network/services/voltage_fluctuations

Start the process with your retailer.

Yeah after investigation it could end with them recommending someone they know with the experience and equipment (which apart from you paying three times) is not really a bad thing.


Now that's an excellent point. Unfortunately there is absolutely nothing on the Genesis website about voltage fluctuations.
I tried contacting them using their online contact form, but it keeps returning error messages like "The requested URL was rejected. Please consult with your administrator."
I wonder if they are recruiting web developers. They could do with one that's for sure.




Hello, Ground!



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  Reply # 1064489 12-Jun-2014 21:56
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NZtimbo: 1 - Bulbs will not last as long as they should if: they get too hot (i.e. 100watt lamp in a 60watt downlight), or bad connections on fitting causing lower than expected voltage, dimmers pulse voltage so they should be OK generally.
2 - Your tivo should have a multi voltage power pack so this could be a bad connection or surges spiking it, or if you've only replaced the unit and not the power pack then replace the power pack.
3 - They always take longer than expected.  Once again the power pack will be multi voltage so the vacum should be getting it's required voltage no matter what's comming from the supply.

Tim


Thanks Tim
No, the bulbs are of the correct wattage, and both fittings are new and were installed by a sparky. No dimmers.
The Tivo plugs into a surge-protected power board. I've since replaced the Tivo and the power board. Not sure what you mean by power pack though?
I'd say so, but then I noticed that my DECT handset never reaches full charge. It's been the case with the previous DECT and is the case with the new one. Strangely enough the one that is charged from the base unit does get fully charged, but the one in the kitchen is in the perpetual charging mode. If I plug it into the base unit instead, it does get fully charged, so it's not a handset issue.





Hello, Ground!



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1064490 12-Jun-2014 21:58
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Inphinity: Perhaps you're getting periodic voltage drops, and if there's no spike following, then circuit breakers are unlikely to trip.

I would be inclined to stick the TIVO on a UPS, and see what difference it makes.


Haven't got a UPS, but it's not a bad idea - it's a good thing to have anyway, so I'll look into it, thanks.




Hello, Ground!

gzt

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  Reply # 1064491 12-Jun-2014 21:58
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Kookoo:
gzt:
Kookoo: Am I going nuts? Can all these symptoms be related, or are these just coincidences?

I am not an electrician. Yes these symptoms could all be related. Imho many electricians will not have the experience or equipment to accurately diagnose and locate the cause in every single 'could be' case. I could speculate on the possibilities a bit and provide some links but it's not really helpful.

Have you talked to your retailer about the issue? They would be best placed to offer advice on the next step.

For instance Northpower (a lines company) have a process for looking into these issues:

http://northpower.com/network/services/voltage_fluctuations

Start the process with your retailer.

Yeah after investigation it could end with them recommending someone they know with the experience and equipment (which apart from you paying three times) is not really a bad thing.


Now that's an excellent point. Unfortunately there is absolutely nothing on the Genesis website about voltage fluctuations.
I tried contacting them using their online contact form, but it keeps returning error messages like "The requested URL was rejected. Please consult with your administrator."
I wonder if they are recruiting web developers. They could do with one that's for sure.

There can be more to it than simple voltage fluctuations. I expect 'voltage fluctuations' is a way of simplifying a description. Just call them. For anything that is not a simple question and simple answer, web contact is useless anyway.

Explain the problem, explain that electricians have found no faults with the house wiring and ask for assistance in resolving the issues.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1064496 12-Jun-2014 22:04
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andrewNZ: Where do you live? city, town , rural, very rural.

Do you notice your lights flicker or go dimmer at any time?


Jafa from the North Shore. A typical suburb. It does look like occasionally lights dimmer, but we've got circular fluorescents in the lounge, and it's harder to notice with these ones.




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