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Topic # 130996 4-Oct-2013 19:57
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As the title suggests just had a low voltage fault. I've never heard of such a thing. Clearly not an electrician or geek! I thought it would be power or no power! What is an example of something that could cause such a fault? And I have left my lights on so I can see, turning off everything else at the wall. Is that ok to do in that situation?

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  Reply # 908135 4-Oct-2013 20:57
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I know that it's called a brownout. Google and wikipedia know more details than me, though. As for what's safe to do, not sure. But I'd probably try to reduce my load on the power grid until normal service is restored.



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  Reply # 908139 4-Oct-2013 21:18
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PaulBags: I know that it's called a brownout. Google and wikipedia know more details than me, though. As for what's safe to do, not sure. But I'd probably try to reduce my load on the power grid until normal service is restored.


Hmm will google brownout then! Yeah I turned everything off except the lights. It's back on now anyway, it must be a sweet feeling being the person putting the power back on (except when called out at 3am)!

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 908151 4-Oct-2013 21:40
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It can happen on 3 phase if a phase drops out. Happened at our office and since lots of stuff had auto switching power supplies it was fine! fluorescent lights didn't work though





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  Reply # 908152 4-Oct-2013 21:40
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Was it a fault affecting other people?

I've had low voltage caused by a faulty fuse at the power pole. It came on and off for a few days until the fuse holder burnt out. In other words the lines company didn't know about it until I rang them.

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  Reply # 908189 4-Oct-2013 22:58
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It can also happen if the netural wire to your property fails. When this happens the current you are drawing from the mains can only return via the earth stake. (The netural at the transformer is connected to it's own earth stake. And the earth stake at your house is conected to the netural in your switchboard.) Since the ground itself is unlikely to be able to carry your entire load, the voltage will dip.

Get an electrician in to check your house. If it is a loose netural connection, it could be inside your meter board or switchboard. If so it can easily start a fire. It could also be a fault on the phase wire like what Bung had. Either way when the brownout occours whatever is causing it is behaving like a resistor and will be getting very hot. Therefore a big fire risk.

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  Reply # 908201 4-Oct-2013 23:26
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We had a stuffed neutral at the pole for ages, and I was always on low voltage. They found it when replacing the pole and I get good voltage now.

Nothing really cared that much, apparently the neighbour had the opposite problem and had way too high voltage and they were constantly replacing lamps. Know which side of the equation I would rather be on ;)




Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 908428 5-Oct-2013 13:32
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Bung: Was it a fault affecting other people?

I've had low voltage caused by a faulty fuse at the power pole. It came on and off for a few days until the fuse holder burnt out. In other words the lines company didn't know about it until I rang them.


Yeah it was the whole Pinehill area affected.

Thanks for the other replies, was interesting to know what caused such things!



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  Reply # 908441 5-Oct-2013 13:40
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Aredwood: It can also happen if the netural wire to your property fails. When this happens the current you are drawing from the mains can only return via the earth stake. (The netural at the transformer is connected to it's own earth stake. And the earth stake at your house is conected to the netural in your switchboard.) Since the ground itself is unlikely to be able to carry your entire load, the voltage will dip.

Get an electrician in to check your house. If it is a loose netural connection, it could be inside your meter board or switchboard. If so it can easily start a fire. It could also be a fault on the phase wire like what Bung had. Either way when the brownout occours whatever is causing it is behaving like a resistor and will be getting very hot. Therefore a big fire risk.


This is good advice. Given the whole suburb was affected and I was in an apartment it shouldn't really be an issue right?

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  Reply # 908458 5-Oct-2013 14:21
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richms: We had a stuffed neutral at the pole for ages, and I was always on low voltage. They found it when replacing the pole and I get good voltage now.

Nothing really cared that much, apparently the neighbour had the opposite problem and had way too high voltage and they were constantly replacing lamps. Know which side of the equation I would rather be on ;)


Both can stuff electronics. I blew two PC power supplies (quite impressively) and a satellite receiver because of a bad neutral. It can blow electronics that have switch mode supplies and virtual earths such as A/V equipment.

But I'd rather have the higher voltage kill my gear than a disconnected neutral that kills me when I touch something like a satellite dish while feet having on the ground. I got a boot from one because of this, and I was wearing shoes but on a damp lawn.


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  Reply # 908459 5-Oct-2013 14:24
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sdav:
Aredwood: It can also happen if the netural wire to your property fails. When this happens the current you are drawing from the mains can only return via the earth stake. (The netural at the transformer is connected to it's own earth stake. And the earth stake at your house is conected to the netural in your switchboard.) Since the ground itself is unlikely to be able to carry your entire load, the voltage will dip.

Get an electrician in to check your house. If it is a loose netural connection, it could be inside your meter board or switchboard. If so it can easily start a fire. It could also be a fault on the phase wire like what Bung had. Either way when the brownout occours whatever is causing it is behaving like a resistor and will be getting very hot. Therefore a big fire risk.


This is good advice. Given the whole suburb was affected and I was in an apartment it shouldn't really be an issue right?


Probably not, if it's that wide spread. If there was a network fault, it still has the potential to be a pain in the backside, like lost or corrupt data on a PC if it gets worse.



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  Reply # 908585 5-Oct-2013 19:32
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kiwirock:
sdav:
Aredwood: It can also happen if the netural wire to your property fails. When this happens the current you are drawing from the mains can only return via the earth stake. (The netural at the transformer is connected to it's own earth stake. And the earth stake at your house is conected to the netural in your switchboard.) Since the ground itself is unlikely to be able to carry your entire load, the voltage will dip.

Get an electrician in to check your house. If it is a loose netural connection, it could be inside your meter board or switchboard. If so it can easily start a fire. It could also be a fault on the phase wire like what Bung had. Either way when the brownout occours whatever is causing it is behaving like a resistor and will be getting very hot. Therefore a big fire risk.


This is good advice. Given the whole suburb was affected and I was in an apartment it shouldn't really be an issue right?


Probably not, if it's that wide spread. If there was a network fault, it still has the potential to be a pain in the backside, like lost or corrupt data on a PC if it gets worse.


I assume they fixed it properly because they killed all the power for approx 15 minutes and then when it came back on everything was normal again.

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