Power cut(s) ??

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by brucemillar, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

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    Folks

    Some advice required please.

    Over the past couple of weeks we have experienced multiple brief power cuts. Less then 30 secs is the norm. Irritating to say the least as we have to go around re-setting all the clocks etc.

    A bigger concern is that we are also having periods of reduced power. We can tell this is happening as:

    1) All the lights go dim - orange colour.
    2) Some items stop running - Microwave - Electric oven fans drop in speed etc.

    The same is happening to our neighbours. EDF have now said that "somebody/something" is putting a drain on the supply but they cannot locate the culprit. This is because the issue is intermittent.

    You may know from a previous thread that my Plasma TV was damaged as a result of rapid power cuts. I am now starting to get really ****** off with the situation but cannot seem to get much help with EDF - who in fairness to them have investigated.

    We live in a rural area and the power is all from overhead lines.

    Now one of my neighbours purchased (last year) an industrial sized Log Splitter. This is a huge bit of kit and is driven by electricity.

    There have been suggestions that this maybe the culprit. Unfortunately he is the neighbour from hell that nobody (including me) speaks to. He would also if approached deny anything/everything. This why he is the neighbour from hell (past personal experience has shown this to be true).

    Do I say to EDF that I think that this could be the cause - When I don't actually know?

    Can an industrial Log Splitter draw this much current that it would have the effect that we see?
     
  2. artyman

    artyman Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I would have thought that if caused by the log splitter the time of reduced power would be whilst it was in use, can you confirm it happens when it's used by visual or audible observations.
     
  3. Ted

    Ted Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Is it single or three phase?
    If it is single phase, It cannot take more power than a 3Kw heater - so won't be the cause.
    TBH, I think that with a drop such as you are seeing, it is unlikely to be that, but the inductive load as it switches on might be causing a brief dip.
     
  4. Palfrem

    Palfrem Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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  5. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

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    Log splitters come in all shapes and sizes single phase, 3phase and petrol driven. Because they are geared even a 7 ton electric unit will run off a 13 Amp supply. which by definition is going to draw no more current than a 3 bar electric fire. If it was 3 phase then things might be different. Sounds as if the circuit breakers on the overhead lines are tripping every so often causing your power outage. One of them could be faulty and a bit " premature" in operation. Overhead lines in the country are prone to this sort of thing especially if running at close to maximum demand. Out of interest it might be useful to monitor your supply voltage with decent digital voltmeter at regular intervals over the period of several days to see if your company is meeting its statutory supply conditions and this might also give an indication how marginal your supply is at periods of peak demand.
    Ted beat me to it.:eek:
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  6. Sp!ke

    Sp!ke Administrator Staff Member

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    As other have said, I doubt this is a household causing this over a 15a or 13a supply.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

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    gents

    As always. Great responses thank you. I do know that it is a three phase machine. However it seems that this is unlikely to be the cause.

    This is good as I didn't really fancy hiding in the bushes in an attempt to catch him at it. ;ˆ)

    I will try and monitor the power (as suggested) thanks again.

    Bruce
     
  8. Meldrew2

    Meldrew2 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It is very unlikely that a neighbours power load would cause such voltage drop - to do so he would need to be drawing several hundred amps and would blow his supply cut out (usually a 80 or 100 amp fuse) well below any noticeable dip. Of course, your neighbour from hell may well have bypassed these - but this would only be needed if he was growing cannabis on an industrial scale - a log splitter wouldn't draw much current, especially on 3 phase.

    As your power supply is via overhead cables this is almost certainly the cause. When uninsulated overhead cables touch trees current leaks to earth and you can experience a "brownout" such as you describe. Most prevalent in wet, windy weather conditions.

    Tell the electricity board that they need to cut back the trees (or replace the overhead cables with modern insulated ones)
     
  9. Ted

    Ted Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hmmmmm neighbour growing cannabis...........

    Les go and find the barstad Bruce!! - you get a clean supply, I will dispose of the contraband! Perfect!!
     
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  10. nigel cross

    nigel cross Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thats what I would have thought. Any house round your wat with the curtains allways drawn, and all the birds sitting on the roof warming their feet
     
  11. Harrythedog

    Harrythedog Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    If it's only for a short period of seconds it could possibly be a large generator of some sort starting up. In a past life we used to test run the standby generators, even though they were started with batteries there was always a dip for a few seconds when they eventually cut in
     
  12. STUR32

    STUR32 Active Member

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    Ask EDF to fit a voltage recorder to monitor your supply and with the results they will have to act.
     
  13. RBYCC

    RBYCC Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    An induction motor will draw 5-7 times full load amperage on starting.
    Compressors can draw even more.

    A log splitter by it's very design may get jammed and caused the motor to temporarily stall and reach a locked rotor current even when running.

    A transmission line that is known to have even small inductive loads typically have capacitors installed to prevent any voltage drop problems.

    Ed A.
     
  14. Piff

    Piff Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Even though they will have claimed to investigated, it's unlikely they will have done much
    We live next to a sub-station which feeds a small estate underground and a dozen or so houses (including ours) overhead.They have replaced parts of the overhead cables but have avoided the first length from the first pole to the second.
    We suffered several power cuts over a period of time, which only affected 1 phase. A neighbour had multiple problems and UK Power Networks claimed "not their fault". The neighbour carried out no end of re-wiring & investigation as they kept telling him the fault was with his wiring.
    Turned out to be the cable from the substation to the top of the first pole was dodgy & ivy removal from the pole disturbed the cable & made the fault worse.
    UK Power Networks gave all sorts of bullsh1t, including blaming underground cables that could be moving around:doh::dk:
    Eventually after 2 power cuts in the same day they spent a whole day re-making the joints at the top of the pole and said they would be back to replace the cable at a later date. They've since replaced equipment in the sub-station and connected the new equipment to the old cable:doh: They had all the gear & the manpower but left approx 10m of old cable in place:wallbash:
     
  15. c63chris

    c63chris Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I don't know anything about the above but I do work for UK Power Networks. If you want, PM me your details/address and I will get someone to look into what has happened where you. When a fault doesn't get fixed it is easy to assume nothing has been done and certainly what you describe doesn't read well. Happy to help a forum member out if I can. To the OP you can ask for the power quality to be monitored as others have said. There are voltage and frequency levels which the power must stay within.
     
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  16. OP
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    brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

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    An update and thanks to all on here who responded.

    I spent 30 minutes on the phone with UK Power Networks who were really helpful. Yesterday at 08:30 I get a knock on the door from - UK Power Networks. Nice guy listens to our story. Goes out puts a clamp meter and some other voltage reader on our feed in before the meter. Guess what?

    Bingo... We have a steady 213 Volts AC. Whoops. UKPN say that class this as having No Power as it does not come anywhere near their standards.

    A few more checks and he then explains why our Oil Central Heating has been playing up and our Emersion Heater (Back up for the Oil Heating) has also being failing.

    More to the point he believes that this explains why EON (anagram of we dont give a ****) have been telling us that we use 30% more electricity than any other house in the area!!! a figure that we disputed for over a year.

    UKPN Engineer did a fairly basic test by switching a few things on/off. This showed that our consumption is minimal - We cook on gas and have oil heating- but get bills bigger than our neighbour who uses electric central heating.

    Last night. Huge Generator arrives and is connected up to the nearest pole. Brilliant (excuse the pun) we have lights that are light. Things work without cutting out.

    UKPN now say that the supply to the transformer mounted on the pole is also very low. They continue to investigate and will leave us on a generator till they trace the issue.

    My next battle will be with EON, who despite repeated requests to investigate our bills and complaints about our service, have done absolutely nothing. This meant that we have paid for an oil engineer to check out our boiler, an electrician to check out our wiring and emersion heating. Had a Plasma TV PSU fail and have had to claim for a new TV on OUR insurance.

    Watch this space.
     
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  17. Harrythedog

    Harrythedog Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That's a good result Bruce in as much you now know there is a problem. Now the "fun" begins I suppose
     
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  18. camerafodder

    camerafodder Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'm sure you've already done this but I'll say it anyway! :D Save your tradesmen's invoices for inspections/repairs bills Bruce, see if you can get confirmation letters of the supply issue investigations from UKPN and also take some piccies of the genny etc to show the trouble they are going to.
     
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  19. Howard

    Howard MB Club Veteran

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    Not made by Lake and Palmer is it ?
     
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  20. OP
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    brucemillar

    brucemillar MB Club Veteran

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    ^Boom Tisccchhh
     
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