How to Improve Your Power Quality
The Importance of Power Conditioning: Power Conditioning may help prevent Electrical Failures from Abnormal Conditions, Power Conditioning to Protect Your Electronic Devices and Cell Phone
Installing Power Conditioning to Protect Your Home
Electrical Question: An electrical spike zapped our transformers and I’m trying to figure out what caused it. I’m not an electrician by a long shot, so I’ll put in all of the information that I know about, and hope that one of you electrical whizzes can help.
Electrical Spike Causes Damage
- I live in Israel, which has 240 voltage, DC, in the walls.
- Our electricity is 3 phase (I don’t know what that means, but it’s what an electrician said.
- When we moved into our new apartment, our refrigerator began to short occasionally, and when it did, the main fuse shut off.
- After a 12-24 hour wait, the refrigerator works again. An electrician suspects moisture between two wires, but he hasn’t been able to find the problem.
- Recently, we had an air conditioner using an inverter installed.
Electrical Loads Affected by Spike and Surge
- The air conditioner was running. The main fuse shut off. This time, even after unplugging the refrigerator I couldn’t turn the main fuse on.
- I called an electrician. He tested the inverter and said that it was shorting and was the cause of the problem.
- He also said that the wiring of the air conditioning unit had been installed incorrectly. It should either have an on/off switch or be attached to a wall outlet, but it was attached directly to wires in the wall.
- He also said that the blue neutral wires in the fuse box had an electrical current in them, which he fixed.
- Although the electrician said verbally that he thought the air conditioner had caused the problem, when I asked him to put that it writing, he didn’t want to.
- Following this episode, our laptop transformer cords and a cell phone charger stopped working, so we had to replace them.
Problems with Electrical Installation Wiring
- The air conditioner installers came to the house and disowned all responsibility for the short.
- They claimed that it was impossible for there to be an electrical spike throughout the house caused by an appliance.
- They looked at the incorrect installation of the air conditioner wires in the wall and said that it didn’t look burned, so there was no problem there.
- They attached the wires to a cord that plugs into an outlet. They looked at the inverter and said that there was no damage there, stating that it didn’t look burned.
- However, after I insisted that they test it, they said that the inverter was causing a short, and called the company that has it under warranty to send a repairman to fix it.
My main question is whether I can reasonably lay the blame on this outage (and my burned out transformers) on the air conditioner installers.
Thank you for your help!
This home electrical repairs question came from: Yaacov, from Israel
Thanks for your electrical question Yaacov.
The Importance of Power Conditioning
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Power problems may be prevented with Surge Strips and Power Conditioners, however a whole solution will require identifying the power abnormalities and then selecting and installing the appropriate device.
Power Conditioning may help prevent Electrical Failures from Abnormal Conditions
Yaacov, I commonly try to stay away from arbitration issues due to my limited exposure to the projects of others and I understand your situation, so I will discuss this matter somewhat and hope that it will assist you.
- To start with I too have a few questions of my own about the Quality of Power in your area, such as:
- Is the electrical power from the local power company very reliable or are browns outs and voltage fluctuations common?
- My point is that all electrical appliances or devices have a voltage tolerance or idea power threshold for reliable operation, and if the supplied power fluctuates outside of this then damage may occur.
Power Conditioning to Protect Your Electronic Devices and Cell Phone
- Power Conditioning
- I often suggest that a power conditioning unit can be installed to provide clean stable power, either for one device or the main electrical service.
- If reliable or stable power is an issue then power conditioning would be a good consideration. Because the refrigerator has a problem before the air conditioning was installed then I suspect there was another issue, and it may have been related to the voltage which was found on the neutral as explained by the electrician.
- Electrical Power Fluctuation
- From my vantage point the transformers were damaged due to a fluctuation of electrical power, however what cause this is still unknown and may yet be discovered.
- Even though the initial installation of the air conditioner was not correct this should not have caused the damage.
- There may be a problem with the inverter for the air conditioning which could have affected other devices, and this should be discussed with the repair man for the inverter.
- Surge Protection
- I would recommend that a quality surge protection strip is obtained where the transformers and cell phone charger may be plugged into and protected against future occurrences.
- Protecting Battery Chargers
- To ensure your cell phone will be reliable when you need it, make sure to have a good quality cell phone charger, and a new cell phone battery.
- Protect battery chargers with a plug strip that has built in surge protection.
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The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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