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Old 07-07-2014, 09:49 AM   #11
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So the electric company came out and tested. Everything was fine. It was at 118 when he tested it. When I got home, I tested the same plug he tested and was getting a 130. I went to a friends house a few blocks away and was getting the same reading. Now I need to order a new volt meter before I'll know for sure.


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How much of a time difference was it between the utility guy measuring the voltage and you measuring the voltage? The line loading could have changed such that the voltage is really high. If the line voltage regulator for the power line that feeds your home is goofy, there may not be proper regulation. I've seen it many times.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:17 PM   #12
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There was about 5 hours difference. I was worried about the the load difference too which is why I'm going to get a new or borrowed one just to check.


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Old 07-07-2014, 09:46 PM   #13
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Probably a good idea. 130v is way outside the 120v+/-5%. You really need to monitor this until you can confirm whats going on. Highest I remember is 132v, due to a faulty regulator. My company paid a lot of $ for personal propery that was fried.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:25 PM   #14
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Utility company where I live run close to 125v as possible and yes it does vary with line loading especially at peak times. Also low batteries in voltmeter can give you wild readings, might want to check that.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:37 AM   #15
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Utility company where I live run close to 125v as possible and yes it does vary with line loading especially at peak times. Also low batteries in voltmeter can give you wild readings, might want to check that.

Hmmmmm. Low batteries, that could be the problem. I know that thing had died a few times but seems to come back to life later. I don't think the battery is supposed to be a serviceable part, but of course I've opened it and I think it's just a AA battery


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Old 07-12-2014, 10:58 AM   #16
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In most meters, the battery is only for reading resistance. When reading amps/volts, the current to move the meter needle comes from what you're reading. (Qualifier - This may only apply to analog meters. I'm not too familiar with the guts of a digital meter.)
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Old 07-12-2014, 01:28 PM   #17
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Utility company where I live run close to 125v as possible and yes it does vary with line loading especially at peak times. Also low batteries in voltmeter can give you wild readings, might want to check that.

So now that's interesting. I was hoping you were right but not expecting it. With a digital volt meter, make sure you have a good battery. I took out the 9v battery out of my digital voltmeter and found that it was jut about dead. Alive enough I guess to give me a zero reading before plugging into a wall jack but dead enough to sque the readings. So just now, I plug into the wall and I am getting a 124. I plug in the new battery and I'm getting a 118...... Just to make sure I do it again with the old battery an same readings. I try another plug and do the same thing. I'm getting a 6v difference in my readings. I keep the new battery and keep an eye on my "true" readings throughout the week and see what I'm getting. Thanks for all ya'lls input.


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Old 07-13-2014, 05:29 PM   #18
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the digital voltmeters will give you wild readings with low battery no matter if your trying to read volts, amps or resistance/ohms.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:50 PM   #19
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View a wire from the pole's top to the transformer. Follow that wire back to another transformer. That is where your voltage is regulated. Inside, it changes taps (adjusts voltage) so that yours remains around 120 volts. Doing many adjustments daily.

But a constant high voltage is a problem at that transformer far from you house and often surrounded by a very high chain line fence.
I may getting very technical here but the transformer on the pole outside of your house is not a tap changer one. The taps on those transformers are fixed. What does have taps is a voltage regulator.

Usually there is a piece of equipment called a voltage regulator somewhere on the line. This could be installed out on the line a distance from the substation, in the substation itself or the large power transformer in the substation may have a tap changer integral to it.

The voltage regulator is typically used to maintain voltage regulation on the line by either boosting or bucking the voltage by moving taps. It is set up by the utility to maintain voltage within limits at the farthest service point from that voltage regulator. Very long distribution lines may have several voltage regulators on the line. These do fail and the voltage may not regulate.

The electric power system is dynamic in that the voltage does fluctuate depending on many factors. The prevalent one is the loading on the line. If there is a large single load on the line, say a commercial/industrial facility, and something happens where the entire facility trips off line, the voltage will go high for a short period of time until voltage regulation can react and bring voltage back to normal. The reverse is true also.
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:10 PM   #20
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I may getting very technical here but the transformer on the pole outside of your house is not a tap changer one. The taps on those transformers are fixed. What does have taps is a voltage regulator.

Usually there is a piece of equipment called a voltage regulator somewhere on the line. This could be installed out on the line a distance from the substation, in the substation itself or the large power transformer in the substation may have a tap changer integral to it.

The voltage regulator is typically used to maintain voltage regulation on the line by either boosting or bucking the voltage by moving taps. It is set up by the utility to maintain voltage within limits at the farthest service point from that voltage regulator. Very long distribution lines may have several voltage regulators on the line. These do fail and the voltage may not regulate.

The electric power system is dynamic in that the voltage does fluctuate depending on many factors. The prevalent one is the loading on the line. If there is a large single load on the line, say a commercial/industrial facility, and something happens where the entire facility trips off line, the voltage will go high for a short period of time until voltage regulation can react and bring voltage back to normal. The reverse is true also.


Some transformers do have tap changers. Most of the time they are used for special situations. Not all that common on basic residential homes.
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