Buck Transformer

The voltage at my home is constantly at 125 volts. As a result, light bulbs don't last that long. We tried 130 volt bulbs, but they don't have the same color temperature at 120 volt bulbs. CFLs don't last any longer than incandescent bulbs and ultimately fail with brownish (burned) bases.
The power company refuses to reduce the voltage to my house because they say it is within specification and that people down the line will not have enough voltage.
How practical would it be to have an electrician install a buck transformer to knock the voltage down to something meaningful, like 115 volts? I realize the core of the transformer has to be energized, so there is some power loss, but would it be noticeable?
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Get hold of a heavy 12 volt transformer, and put the 12V in series with the incoming 125V. If done correctly, you get 125-12, or 113V.
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THAT COULD BE DONE VERY EASILY HOWEVER TRANSFORMERS FOR YOU TOTAL HOME COULD BE EXPENSIVE EVEN SO BUCK TR. ARE CHEAPER THEN ANY OTHER.
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buy some CFLs with warranties save the paperwork and make warranty claims as needed:) Cost near zero. Buying quality non cheapo CFLs will help too.
What causes the brownish burned bases? Are you using the CFLs upside down in sealed can lights?
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250 Vac with neutral 200 Amp Service breaker box would require two 2400 Watt 12 V buck transformers. From memory, that's pretty husky 30 to 50 lb. 6 to 8 inch cube. Most of the transformers I've seen are 120:12, which means that with 125 you'll get 112.5 If you start getting your voltage too low, you'll trade off shortening the lives of any motors you have
To get an ideal 115 Vac, you need 250:10:10 or two 125:10. You can configure the transformers several ways. Either two transformers that ideally go from 125 to 10 to cut the voltage to 115, or one 250V transformer with two secondary windings [could use a single secondary with center tap but more tricky to wire]
Your best bet at availability is probably to go for a 'tapped' transformer, then you can adjust the voltage to your liking.
From memory our home used to be 127 Vac at the outlets. and we also had short lifetime light bulbs, but not as bad as yours. From postings on this group other factors seem to dominate, like poor switch contacts 'killing' the bulbs, vibration at the bulb locations, even strong magnetic fields near the bulb.
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I have had 125 volts in my house for years. Many years ago we had low voltage due to a undersized line transformer which dropped to 95 volts at suppertime. The local power company changed the transformer and since then the voltage has been within a few volts of 125 all the time. We have no problems with bulbs failing, and we have a lot of various types of bulbs in my house.
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On 1/3/13 3:10 PM, mcp6453 wrote:

You might also ask this at the alt.engineering.electrical group. Wouldn't it take an awfully long time to recoup your expense?
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On 01/03/2013 04:10 PM, mcp6453 wrote:

The voltage here is almost always 125 and I don't have short bulb life.
Maybe installing a few dimmer switches would be cheaper than a buck transformer.
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How do you know it is 125 all the time? I found that my house was up around 130 to 135 about 6 AM for about an hour. Bulbs used in the morning were going fast. A call to the utility got the problem fixed. They normally boost the power for a time when industry in the area is starting up.
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1. Deduct the cost of burned out light bulbs and other stuff from your electric bill, and send them the receipts for proof.
2. Contact your state energy board and file a complaint.
3. File a lawsuit against them, but be sure to save all receipts and volt readings/days.
4. Shoot your transformer with a high powered rifle, they will be forced to replace it, but there might be a nasty explosion, so I think I'd just stick with #1 and #2 or #3.
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On Thu, 03 Jan 2013 22:24:18 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@home.com wrote:

5- Shoot yourself dead and these problems go away fast.
On 2nd thought, maybe best to NOT consider #5.
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You will likelyfind that the voltage varies depending on use and the size and distance away your local transformer is
Transformers don't affect the change in voltage, they can raise or lower it but unless you get an automatic adjusting one it won't help. Obviously the self adjusting ones cost more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck%E2%80%93boost_transformer
They use a small amount of power but as it is there all the time it becomes significant.
You might be better to get lamps (rough service lamps) intended for use in inspection lamps. They have more filiment supports and last longer. I'd certainly try that first before going to expensve options. Also speak to your neigbours & see if they have a similar problem. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trouble_light
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I wonder if uninterruptable power supply would regulate the voltage?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
The voltage at my home is constantly at 125 volts. As a result, light bulbs don't last that long. We tried 130 volt bulbs, but they don't have the same color temperature at 120 volt bulbs. CFLs don't last any longer than incandescent bulbs and ultimately fail with brownish (burned) bases.
The power company refuses to reduce the voltage to my house because they say it is within specification and that people down the line will not have enough voltage.
How practical would it be to have an electrician install a buck transformer to knock the voltage down to something meaningful, like 115 volts? I realize the core of the transformer has to be energized, so there is some power loss, but would it be noticeable?
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On Fri, 4 Jan 2013 08:24:03 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

A "line interactive" or "on-line" would, but not a standby. A ferro would do the job too.

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On 1/4/2013 9:00 AM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

A lot of older equipment I've worked on/with had Ferroresonant Transformers in them. This was before switching power supplies and regulators took over the world but there are CVT's widely available for high power loads and are very reliable. ^_^
http://www.ustpower.com/Support/Voltage_Regulator_Comparison/Ferroresonant_Transformer_CVT.aspx
http://tinyurl.com/bx63rpb
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltage_regulator
TDD
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On Sat, 05 Jan 2013 21:51:39 -0600, The Daring Dufas

The only problem with Ferros is they are TERRIBLY innefficient, unless you are using them to run heaters.
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On 1/3/2013 4:10 PM, mcp6453 wrote:

Our line voltage has been nominally 124 VAC every time I have ever measured it and we don't experience what you are describing. Maybe something else is going on?
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There is a strong corelation between voltage and bulb life. That's why there's some 100 year old bulb still burning 24/7 in a firehouse somewhere, as I recall. It's running at a small fraction of normal voltage. So, I think the over-voltage could cause his incandescents to fail in substantially shorter time. CFLs I don't know about.
However I would suspect it would take a long time and a lot of bulbs to pay for a tranformer to fix the voltage. And as you say, there could be something else going on as well.
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On Fri, 4 Jan 2013 06:54:37 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

The number I've heard thrown around is that bulb life goes as the twelfth power of voltage, so a 6% increase in voltage halves the bulb life. That said, I don't think I'd notice the difference. I rarely change bulbs so wouldn't remember the last time for that particular one.
Vibration is the other big killer. Any movement at all greatly shortens the life of common bulbs. Some are far more sensitive than others. One variety I've been using is so fragile that I've broken filaments carrying the bulbs to the fixture (no power).

To cover a whole house is going to require one big transformer. Never is a long time.
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Have you checked the other side of the line, are both sides at 125V???
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