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Old 07-12-2012, 07:13 AM   #1
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160-190 volts at outlet?

To continue the discussion about volt meters, etc., my Progressive EMS PT30C shows a "high voltage error code" when I'm plugged into my house on a 20a circuit. Yesterday that 20a breaker tripped three times. The only thing "on" in the AS is one Fantastic Fan.

I've disconnected. I've taken the EMS around the garage and house. I am registering 160-190 volts on every outlet in the house. Two questions:

1 - Is this a good thing?

2 - Shall I ask the power company to come out to check it?

~GH
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:35 AM   #2
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Yes!
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Old 07-12-2012, 07:37 AM   #3
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1. NO!!!!! Not a good thing.

2. Yes, call the power company. Today. As in right now.

You are running a big risk in burning out many appliances and electronics that are designed for 110-120 VAC, not 160 to 190 VAC.

We had that happen several years ago after a lightning strike on a nearby transformer. Instead of failing completely, the transformer started putting out ~150 volts.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:23 AM   #4
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Definetly BAD!
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:36 AM   #5
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Verify your readings with another voltmeter. At that level nearly anything plugged in at the house is in jeopardy. If you find the voltages are ok with a 2nd meter then you know the problem is limited to the PD device and something in the trailer tripping the breaker.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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If you are seeing high voltages with the trailer disconnected you have a bad meter or a serious problem. Another member had a problem like this when the trailer was connected because the inverter was feeding the line voltage to the trailer and causing a problem. The inverter should never feed to the input of the trailer.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Otter View Post
To continue the discussion about volt meters, etc., my Progressive EMS PT30C shows a "high voltage error code" when I'm plugged into my house on a 20a circuit. Yesterday that 20a breaker tripped three times. The only thing "on" in the AS is one Fantastic Fan.

I've disconnected. I've taken the EMS around the garage and house. I am registering 160-190 volts on every outlet in the house. Two questions:

1 - Is this a good thing?

2 - Shall I ask the power company to come out to check it?
Try this test. Take an ordinary lamp with an incandescent bulb and plug it into one of the outlets in your house. Turn it on. Does it light up? Good. Is still on 60 seconds later? Good, your voltage is below 160 volts, and you saved yourself an unnecessary visit with your electric company that may have become expensive or stressful or whatever.

I suggest taking the EMS outside the garage and placing it in the trash collection receptacle. Unless the bulb burned out, that is.

Now, was it the breaker on the EMS that tripped, or a GFCI breaker, or something else?
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:02 PM   #8
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During the recent 7 day power outage my generator put out 190 volts. Did not catch it till it burnt out 2 electric fans, a charger for my cordless drill, and welded my shore power cord to thr recepticle. The light bulbs survived. Sal.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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Sal are you referring to the 12 volt light bulbs in your trailer? Since they are behind the converter they would not see 190 volts even if that were the actual output.

In reality what's probably going on in both cases is that cheap voltage measuring devices use averaging to determine AC voltage because it's easy to do. Sometimes the waveform from an inverter will have an unusual shape so that 120V RMS (root mean square) will measure much higher on a cheap meter that uses averaging. True RMS meters are available but cost more. The fancy new inverter generators produce non-sinusoidal waveforms, and in many areas the utility power also comes off an inverter. For example, some of the western suburbs of Minneapolis run off an inverter that draws DC from the 800 KVDC northern tier transmission line. I've put a scope on it once or twice over the years and it doesn't look anything like a sine wave.
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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Project Update: Right! I was the EMS which was sending odd signals. Purchased a standalone volt meter. All circuits test between 120-122 with that one.

It appears the EMS was "shorting out" the 20a breaker in the garage as well as a GFI in which I tested it later.

Called Progressive Industries and they will stand being their lifetime warranty. I'm sending it back to them for a fix or replace. NICE!
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:15 AM   #11
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110 bulbs

Jammer it was no problem with any bulbs as none of them were ruined. It was an inverter generator made by the same people making the olympic uniforms. I forgot in my previous post that it also got my coffee maker. Sal.
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