Electricity too hot?

I think my household electricity is out of spec and causing me problems. I have to replace lightbulbs frequently, and a power conditioner I have (to protect some electronics in one room) shows unexpectedly high input voltage. A digital VOM shows 123.0 to 124.8 volts in my house, compared to 118 and 120 in other locations in the city.
Is there anything I can do about this, or have an electrician do? Or should I talk to the electric company?
Thanks.
Mitch I.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would talk to the electric company 1st, then go from there.

Don't seem too high Tony D.

I
voltage.
should
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I
voltage.
should
5% is considered in spec, and you are only about 3% high.
In principle they could lower your voltage, but I doubt they would be willing to.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Assuming, as I expect, the power company is going to blow you off, you could tart switching over to 130 volt lightbulbs, or compact flourescents.
Happy New Year,
Jeff
--
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"If you can smile when things are going wrong, you've thought of someone to
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes, I ment to mention that (yea, right ,sure ya were,) Tony D.

could
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I
voltage.
should
Here in the US, IEEE ,,,, I think 519 says plus 5% to minus 10 % except for short periods of time.
Nominal is 120, so your using the extreme your at 104%. The utility will basically ignore you. Your digital vom is RMS? if not it is averaging so your peaks could be higher. Can you do a min- max on the circuits? Even with my Fluke 87 calibrated yearly, I would not bother the utility. Bite the bullet and by a surge protector for your service. Install it and thank god your not in a low voltage condition. Check to see that your electrical connections are tight especially the ground and be glad your not in a low voltage condition.
You could buy a ups that regulates the incoming voltage, for a grand for the sensitive electronics. I would not bother.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You're within 5% of the 120V nominal so I wouldn't worry nor expect the power co. to worry (but you can try). If you are running *over* 125V consistantly you could call the utility and see if they could retap the local transformer for a slightly lower voltage. For equipment design the expected normal range is assumed to be +10/-15% or 132 to 104V for a 120 V nominal service (including minor brownouts, voltage drops in wiring *after* the service entrance, things that go bump in the night, etc.). Much modern equipment using switching power supplies should tolerate either 87-132V or 190-264V input (if dual voltage) or 87-264V if universal input (so as to be useable in Japan at 100V, N.A. and parts of S.A. at 120V, Europe, etc. at 220, 230 or 240, plus parts of S.A. at 127V)
If you have equipment that cannot tolerate 125V you could have an electrician install a boost-buck transformer to make a slight reduction in voltage. The power conditioner should tolerate the higher voltage,and presumabily reduce it slightly in addition to keeping it stable and reasonable dropout/spike free. For incandesent lighting (I suspect your biggest problem), the best solution may be to buy 125-130V (128V design) bulbs (or just "Long Life" labeled bulbs, basicly the same thing but for labeling) instead of 120V bulbs, for, as you notice, a 120V lamp at 124V has about 2/3 rds the life, is about 10% brighter and uses about 5% more power -- a tradeoff of efficency for life.
Here's a lamp performance calculator: http://www.deepsea.com/lampcalc.html

I
voltage.
should
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I
voltage.
should
This is Turtle
123 to 124 volts on electric service is normal on service in my area. I would want 123 volts in stead of 110 volts.
TURTLE
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Mitch I." wrote:

I would say, "Thank you God." Mine reads as low as 118.5, depending on the meter, and as high as 124.3; none of those meters read true rms. The power company says it should read above 120 most of the time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"George E. Cawthon" wrote:

By the way, I don't have light bulbs burn out frequently and nothing has ever hurt my computer or other electronic equipments, audio, TV, etc. I think you have some other problem, especially if you experience unusually high input voltages. 125 is not a high voltage.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

123-124.8 is well within spec. Besides, unless you have a properly calibrated DVM, I don't trust them on AC.
This shouldn't be the problem with your lightbulbs. And I expect that a power conditioner wouldn't consider 124.8V "abnormally high".
One thing you consider is whether the lightbulbs that are going bad are subject to a lot of vibration (ie: ones on bottoms of stair cases ;-), and it's worthwhile trying a different bulb manufacturer.
There's one thing you should try with your DVM however. Open up your main panel, and test the voltage on two adjacent breakers. It should be 240V (+- 5%) between the two, and when measured from each breaker to neutral buss bar, both voltages should be the same.
If they're more than a volt or two different, then you have a neutral problem. This would explain the bulb failures, expecially if you have flickering (both down and _up_) on multiple circuits when large 120V loads fire up.
If you do see a difference, call your power company and say "loose neutral".
They'll be there fast...
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
As others have noted, I don't think it is the delivered voltage.
Other possible problems:
Vibration Cheap lights Cheap fixtures (results in poor connections) Floating neutrals (causes changing voltage some high some low) Too high wattage lamps for the fixture
Good Luck
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Put dimmers on the light circuits. Simply dimming a tiny bit, will lengthen bulb life considerably. And you can get 130 volt bulbs, for longer life, great for hard to reach bulbs.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.