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Old 10-10-2013, 01:50 PM   #15
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and be advised that high voltage does not make clocks or motors run fast. That is a function of the frequency which is rock solid at 60 Hz. Higher voltage is more of a threat to insulation of windings and other components that may not be built with large tolerances.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:56 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
120v is a nominal value. All that's guaranteed is 60Hz frequency. National Electrical Code (NEC) calls for 120v ± 5%, which equates to a range of 114v to 126v average over the area supplied by the source.
That's for incoming power from the utility. It can go down due to voltage drop, or up due to an unbalanced neutral, in the campground. You will lose a volt or two in the shore power cord and breaker panel especially if heavy loads like air conditioning are on.

Quote:
The closer you are to the power company substation, the higher it will be.
Most utilities in the U.S. keep the voltage in tight limits, and install automatic voltage regulators in the distribution network if the voltage tends to vary. You've probably seen them. They look like pole-top transformers, only somewhat larger, and are usually installed in groups of three, often on consecutive poles.

As such, the voltage will usually be higher the closer you are to either a substation or a voltage regulator.

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136v probably does no harm, except to protect you from the effects of brown-out during peak load times. Some cheap clocks and some electric motors might run a little fast on 136vAC, but…
Incandescent light bulbs are the most voltage-sensitive common household load. They will burn out after a few hours at 135 volts.

Clocks will not run fast due to high voltage. They will run somewhat hotter and at some point will fail with prolonged operation at elevated voltages.

"Universal" motors (with brushes) and permanent split capacitor motors will run somewhat faster although these motor types are typically not used on equipment where that can make a difference. Induction motors of any kind, and synchronous motors, will run slightly hotter but at the same speed.

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Originally Posted by Rbphoto View Post
Anyone had any issues with high voltage in RV parks? I've been to a few that had up to 136 volts
It's unusual to see it that high. I commonly see 125 volts, rarely 130.

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and was wondering of the adverse affects on my rig.
Biggest risk of damage is the heating element in the fridge. I would run my fridge on gas if the voltage was that high. Power into a resistive load like a heating element goes by the square of the voltage so your fridge element is kicking out 33% more heat than it does at 117 volts.

In practice most other stuff in an RV should be OK.


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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
No, the location of the sub station has nothing to do with it. The voltage is set at the local transformer (in my case on the pole serving my home). The transformers have various taps so they can be set close to the nominal 120 volts that is preferred, no matter how far from the substation which provides the higher distribution voltage.

Sorry, just a minor quibble.
Few present-day utilities in the U.S. utilize multi-tapped transformers for residential or light commercial (i.e. campground) loads. The ready availability and low price of autotransformer voltage regulators that operate at distribution system voltages has made that an obsolete approach.

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Originally Posted by Rbphoto View Post
I have a voltage regulator but it shuts me down anytime it exceeds 132 volts.
That's one of the reasons they're useless. They regulate voltage within the range of voltages which everything in the trailer can already accept.

I've written a detailed explanation of why I think these are a bad idea. You can search for it if you want. I'm tired of posting links to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
I purchased one of these to monitor the voltage when using generator power.

It just plugs into an unused outlet.

However, I just leave it plugged in, and have developed the habit of checking it when on shore power just to make sure we are inputting an acceptable level.

They are cheap, but I did confirm it's accuracy with a good VOM meter.
They work OK but can be deflected by 5 volts or more by static electricity in dry weather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
As mentioned above, anything over 5% above 120 volts, or 126 volts, is not in compliance with NEC.

And thus, probably beyond the design specifications of most appliances meant for use on 120 volt systems.
Typically 120v equipment is designed to work OK on 105-135 volts although it varies from one thing to another.

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Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
I took the prevailing consensus advice and bought surge protector to protect from high - low voltage and open neutral - cheap insurance arguably
Give me a call because I've got a service contract to sell you for your home appliances.

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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
I have heard ac called 110, 117, and 120. The transformer, is on my property, and my house is the only tap, gives me a consistent 122.
That's common. Typically you will not see over 125 volts in a house in the U.S. that is wired to modern standards. Sometimes it is more variable and will drop down to 115 volts or less depending on where the house is located in the distribution grid and also depending on the engineering practices of the utility the last time the distribution system serving the house was updated. There are some rural electric coops that are very, very good. There are some that are barely better than 3rd-world standards.
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:27 PM   #17
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Anyone had any issues with high voltage in RV parks? I've been to a few that had up to 136 volts and was wondering of the adverse affects on my rig.
What are you checking voltage with?

Have you checked to see how accurate it is?

I have a cheap meter sitting at home that reads 136 volts when 3 other meters read 124 volts.
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Old 10-10-2013, 02:39 PM   #18
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Edison also had to develop the metering system to pay for power, the screw socket to hold the bulb, and the switches to turn them on and off, as none were available or in use when the lamp was developed.
Speaking of screw sockets my grandfather Gunnar was a tough old Finn. Along with drinking Glogg, he would entertain company by unscrewing light bulbs and inserting his thumb and turning on the juice. He was also known for replacing burned out screw fuses with pennies,
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:47 PM   #19
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This summer I encountered more than one park where I was getting 105V. Needless to say, the A/C didn't much like that. One park actually asked me to run my A/C at the warmest setting I could.....and it happened to be 98 degrees outside (at 5 pm). Right!
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:38 PM   #20
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I took the prevailing consensus advice and bought surge protector to protect from high - low voltage and open neutral - cheap insurance arguably
AS long as you buy a good one. The $300 _+ model from Camping World will take 3 or 4 minutes to test your connection prior to allowing you to power the trailer. If it senses any abnormalities in the park's system it will shut down. So it goes beyond surge protection. It also gives you a continuous readout of the voltage.

I fried/smoked a $75 model from Camping World at an RV park with....as it turns out.....questionable equipment. It still protected the coach but destroyed itself in the process.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:21 PM   #21
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AS long as you buy a good one. The $300 _+ model from Camping World will take 3 or 4 minutes to test your connection prior to allowing you to power the trailer. If it senses any abnormalities in the park's system it will shut down. So it goes beyond surge protection. It also gives you a continuous readout of the voltage.

I fried/smoked a $75 model from Camping World at an RV park with....as it turns out.....questionable equipment. It still protected the coach but destroyed itself in the process.
Many surge protectors are designed to sacrifice themselves in the process of saving your electronics. The key in that case is to buy TWO surge protectors, so you have a spare, and make sure they cost much less than the electronics they're protecting.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:12 PM   #22
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I have had more problems with low voltage rather than high.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:36 PM   #23
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Well this is interesting.
110v is .91666666667% of 120v, so the difference exceeds 5%. So is 110 now substandard? Is my math wrong? Are there still systems that produce 110v, and if so, since it was once standard, is the +/- 5% applicable to that, or are we at 120v +/- 5%? Will my appliances survive on 110? I'm getting my tester out to see what I've go at the house.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:41 PM   #24
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110 volts has not been the standard delivered to homes or buildings since the 1930's. Even in the early '50's when I started playing with electricity, 115 was the standard voltage power companies tried to supply to homes and businesses in most parts of the country. It has since slid up to 120 volts.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:46 PM   #25
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I've seen the unbalanced issue at one campground that only had 30A sites. When I connected ANY load, the voltage would drop below 108. The campground actually told me to stay put and they would park the next person on the other side of the leg and that would Fix my problem. HA! I promptly MOVED.

I also had a bad neutral issue at my house feed. On 50A service, when the rear air cycled off, the voltage on the front circuit would drop. When the rear come on, the front voltage would rise. I almost NEVER got the utility company to understand and fix the problem.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:19 AM   #26
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Well this is interesting.
110v is .91666666667% of 120v, so the difference exceeds 5%. So is 110 now substandard? Is my math wrong? Are there still systems that produce 110v, and if so, since it was once standard, is the +/- 5% applicable to that, or are we at 120v +/- 5%? Will my appliances survive on 110? I'm getting my tester out to see what I've go at the house.
110 was the early U.S. standard voltage at point of use. There was a presumed 5 volt drop from the utility source to the point of use due to building wiring, including the service drop.

Up until about 1930, most houses were wired with 30a 115v service -- essentially the same way as RVs with 30a shore power. The loads were typically lighting only since electric appliances were too expensive for most households to afford. The service drop was 10 gauge high-tensile copper and so the voltage drop was considerable even for modest lighting loads.

From 1930 to about 1960 60a houses were typically wired for 60a 120v/240v with the 5-circuit (240v range and 4 120v plug fuses) panel made ubiquitous by the REA. There was still considerable voltage drop mainly because utility practice was still to place the transformers at street corners leading to long secondaries. In rural locations typically the transformer would be at the side of the road, or if a farm then in the center of the cluster of farm buildings. In either case there was a fair amount of voltage drop.

It was not until the 1970s that 100 amp service became a de facto minimum with larger homes or those with electric heat having even larger service. At the same time utility practices changed with emphasis on locating transformers as close as possible to the load, and pad-mounted transformers with underground wiring becoming the norm. In practice the loads are rarely as large as these systems are designed for and so the voltage drop is much less than in the old days. So the voltage you measure in your house is close to what is present at the transformer secondary.

But the nominal utility voltage has only changed from 115 to 120.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:14 PM   #27
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I bought a progressive industries 50amp protector - if I recall it takes like 60 seconds to get the power going

Lifetime warranty

Not sure what you meant about home appliance service contracts?
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:05 PM   #28
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I bought a progressive industries 50amp protector - if I recall it takes like 60 seconds to get the power going

Lifetime warranty

Not sure what you meant about home appliance service contracts?
The meaning, according to some......you wasted your money on the PD50 and maybe you'd like to buy some useless service contracts.

I'm not the only....

Bob
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