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Power Outage - Odd Effects

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (Not Computer-Related)' started by hewee, Dec 26, 2012.

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  1. hewee

    hewee Thread Starter

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    Had a power outage last night but there was some odd things going on I never seen happen before in any outage.

    1. Microwave was clicking
    2. The light in the Fridge had the filament that had power to just make a red glow so has power.
    3. GFIC on bat has a red LCD that was on and that has never happen before.
    4. My "NordicTrack Commercial VR Exercise Bike" has a LCD screen and it came on and then made a noise and I unpluged it. It now does not work.

    1. Where was this power coming from?
    2. Is some wiring wrong in the house.
    3. Who would be at fault for this?

    That Bike cost a lot of money and without power it is not much use.


    I am renting this place and have been here the pass 8 months and I think have had about 4 outages.


    OK called Power Company and was told it was a Brownout. Also told I can file a claim. Not sure id the claim will help or not and can not till next week so left message and will wait to hear back.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownout_(electricity)

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-brownout.htm
     
  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    sounds like they have admitted the fault , and with reduced power , that would be why you saw the effects of a reduced voltage -

    it may have also had surges associated with the issue and surges can destroy electrical equipment , hence the recommendation to use anti-surge adapters on computer equipment
    sounds like they expect to have some claims - what that covers will depend on the contract , also you may have a claim through any contents insurance via landlord - again depends on the contract


    1) The electricicity board - operating on reduced power
    2) maybe - but the electrical board has already said what happened and why
    3) would depend on the contracts on who is liable - the electricity board is to blame as they admit to you it happened

    do you have anything like citizens advice board or other free services -consumer rights etc, who maybe able to provide some expert advice
     
  3. hewee

    hewee Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the input.

    So you say the power company is at fault and theu even said so. So that is good

    Guess others may be able to help but not sure who.
     
  4. Drabdr

    Drabdr Moderator

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    Absolutely file a claim... And quickly if the utility company is paying. Just guessing... Your power may have single-phased.

    Check every single electrical/electronic device on the house.
     
  5. Koot

    Koot

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    Do you really have any damaged items? Have you checked everything now that your voltage is back up to normal?

    A brief brownout (lower than normal voltage) will rarely cause any damage to any electrically operated item. A more prolonged brownout could possibly cause damage to inductive electrical devices (e.g. motors), but usually even these larger [inductive] devices (A/C, furnaces, pool pumps, well pumps, etc.) have electrical contactors, starters or relays that operate by their coils being energized...and if the brownout voltage is low enough these coils' magnetic field will not strong enough to energize the item...thus they won't work (because the voltage is so low) and damage is unlikely.
     
  6. Drabdr

    Drabdr Moderator

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    Hello Koot! Thanks for posting.

    I suspect along the lines that you do. I think fuses/breakers would have tripped. However, depending on how long the voltage varied, it could cause some electronic damage. Yes?
     
  7. Koot

    Koot

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    Hi Brad!

    Usually low voltage (brownouts) don't cause any damage...and when it does the damage is with motors (inductive devices), like a refrigerator motor without a coil operated relay or contactor upstream of the motor. Other non-inductive electrical devices (resistive devices) such as light bulbs, range elements, etc. are immune to the actual [lower than normal] voltage being delivered during a brownout period.

    The OP mentioned that his microwave was clicking, which is an indication of some relays (mechanical or electronic) not having the minimum voltage necessary to operate (yet they were trying to operate)...but that symptom rarely causes any damage. These events that the OP experienced is just an unusual happening because it's really rare that voltage ever drops greater than 10-15% below what is considered to be nominal voltage, which is 117/234 volts. I would find it hard to believe that the OP has any damage to any device in his home...

    Now a voltage spike is a totally different animal...
     
  8. Drabdr

    Drabdr Moderator

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    (y) good point about the nominal not changing enough to be significant.

    Still kind of wondering what happened... Lots of anomalies though without tripping over current devices.
     
  9. hewee

    hewee Thread Starter

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    All I know is what I posted in the first post.

    From reading about a brownout it seems I should of had a lot more power then I did because I thought all power was off and all the other homes it was out.

    See the filament that is thicker or the main filament part. That was what was glowing red.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Traulsen-Commercial-Refrigerator-Light-Bulb-115-Volt-25-Watt-/251181773829
    Note: Not the same but long bulb like the one here.

    The LCD screen on the was on the same way it is when your using it.
    Then the very small LCD on the GFIC looks like "3005 receptacle GFCI outlet" you see here.
    http://www.ele-b2b.com/gfci-outlet-p-333.html.

    I wanted to look at the AC Power Adapter for the bike that looks like this.
    http://www.sears.com/nordictrack-ac-power-adapter/p-00614730000P

    See the small hole on the plug side? It has a small screw in it but I could not get it to turn.

    Can any other AC Power Adapter be use on the bike that has the same plug.? That way I could test it to see if it was just the AC Power Adapter at $19.95 or the "CONSOLE" that cost $457.97

    The AC Power Adapter says...
    Model: QL-08014-B0602500F
    INPUT: AC 100-240V 50/60 Hz 1.0A
    OUTPUT: 6V --- 2000mA

    On the OUTPUT it had a line above the 3 --- like below to be more easy to see.
     
  10. wowzer

    wowzer

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    Is power fully restored now?
    How else is the bike powered other than that adapter?
    If you're using an adapter you could test it with a multimeter. plug it in and then with the meter check the output voltage.
     
  11. hewee

    hewee Thread Starter

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  12. Koot

    Koot

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    The incandescent lamp (light bulb) was 'glowing red' (in your view) because the voltage was very low (i.e. brownout). This is typical of ANY incandescent lamp - the lower the voltage (as in dimming with a dimmer), the more yellowish-red the filament burns. That said, there is nothing wrong with your bulb...

    A brownout will not damage a GFCI receptacle...nor will a device (load) that is plugged into a GFCI receptacle during a brownout damage the receptacle...

    I find it rather unusual that your NordicTrack AC Power Adapter failed from a brownout. But...if it really did fail (which I find hard to believe) then why not replace it with a NordicTrack AC Power Adapter, which can be bought for $18.99 according to the information you yourself provided? I see that Sears even has them in stock. By the way, the NordicTrack AC Power Adapter delivers 6 volts at 2 amperes according to the description.

    Thank God you didn't have a power surge!

    Oh, how's that claim coming along with the power company for all the damage your incurred?
     
  13. hewee

    hewee Thread Starter

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    Well I just know the NordicTrack had a mind of it's own doing all it did without power or the very low power.
    Everything else is OK.

    Now that AC Power Adapter from Sears is not the same model. It just looks the same.
    Sears - Model# 14730
    Mine is - Model: QL-08014-B0602500F

    Waiting for a call back on the claim people so I can file a claim.
     
  14. wowzer

    wowzer

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    Why not just take the adapter to the nearest Sears?... Or better yet, the nearest Sears service center.
     
  15. Koot

    Koot

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    What device(s) do you have that were damaged in which a claim will be filed? Are you claiming that the power utility's brownout somehow damaged something?
     
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