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Author Topic: Interesting find in the AC power feeding my studio.  (Read 1810 times)

Thomas W. Bethel

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Interesting find in the AC power feeding my studio.
« on: March 15, 2012, 07:29:48 AM »

Last summer during the hottest part of the summer with my air conditioning on the voltage in my studio dropped to 105 VAC. Not good. We have an investor owned electric company in town and I went to them to see what could be done. They did some investigating and found that the transformer that supplied my studio and 7 other houses was very old and very underpowered so they decided to upgrade the transformer from 25 KVA to 37.5 KVA. They did the swap out yesterday. When they took out the old transformer they found a lot of corrosion where the transformer secondary attaches to the lines leading to the houses. They redressed the connection and this time when they did the splice they used a compression fitting and did away with the old u-bolt wire connectors that they had used when the old transformer had been installed in the 1950's. The whole procedure took one hour. I have already noticed some difference in the power to my house. My refrigerator compressor runs much quieter. The lights do not dim or flicker. The wavy lines are gone from my TVs and the biggest thing is my monitor amplifier sounds like it goes down to bedrock. Now if the air conditioning does not draw down the power I will be a very happy person.

I bring this up for the simple point that people are spending hundreds of dollars on AC power cords that go from their equipment to the wall when what they should really be worrying about, IMHO, is the power from the pole transformer to their house or studio.
Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

Celebrating 28 years in business in 2023

Rick Sutton

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Re: Interesting find in the AC power feeding my studio.
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 12:54:01 PM »

 Yeah, we tend to take the electrical service for granted. Speaking of dimming/flickering lights.......a while back I noticed that my control room lights were flickering in a very strange way. Instead of flickering to a lower light level they were flickering to a brighter level. I put a meter on the AC and saw that momentary spikes of 130-150 volts were coming in.
 Yikes!......shut down the breakers and put the meter on the main drop while I called PG&E. Three service calls and several days of the studio "in the dark" and finally the most experienced service guy spotted a bad connection on the neutral up at the pole. I had spikes up to 180+ volts headed my way during that period. Glad I turned off the juice and sat it out!

 So, if you ever spot your lights flickering brightly.......shut the joint down and check the neutral.

John Scrip - MASSIVE Mastering

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Re: Interesting find in the AC power feeding my studio.
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 09:04:38 PM »

My electrical service was my single biggest expense last year -- And it's still not fixed.  Don't get me wrong -- Everything from the drop in has been changed -- The lines to and from the meters, the phase the room is on, breakers, wiring - I even had new outlets put in just so I could tell Com Ed that I've done everything I can. 

Now, I'm running motorized VariAC's into "pure balanced power" conditioners just to keep things from exploding. 

Last night I had a voltage alarm going on and on and on -- 133V.  The old power supply shuts down at 130, so I wasn't getting much done (even though the new one will hold better).  The VariAC was seeing the wrong voltage for some reason (it said it was reading 112) so of course, it stepped the output up 8V (to 141V). 

Been bugging them for years.  My electrician (a rather qualified guy I might add) is completely in the dark (no pun intended) on what's happening around here.  That VariAC works fine 20 miles from here.  It reads a different voltage (vs. the actual "Fluke" voltage) just about everywhere I take it around here (and I've taken it around, believe me - Documenting what I'm reading, what it's reading, the difference by volts, my own findings of relative input vs. output voltage of the VariAC unit -- Everything). 

ComEd can go [SELF-CENSORED] themselves at this point as far as I'm concerned. 

Sorry -- What were we talking about again?
John Scrip - MASSIVE Mastering
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