Only 111 volts on one circuit, 118 on all others?

Yesterday my TV went out, and my guess is the power board based on the error code. I measured 111.2 volts on this circuit. All others in my house seem to be 118 volts.
Sometimes I plug an appliance into the same circuit, and it works slower than on other circuits. This seems to point to less voltage posing a problem. But the TV has always worked fine.
Questions:
- do you think this voltage is too low? Most low voltage stories I hear are less than 100v. - could it have hurt the TV? - Could running the appliance simultaneously have hurt the TV?
I love this group and hope to hear your opinions.
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code. I measured 111.2 volts on this circuit. All others in my house seem to be 118 volts.

on other circuits. This seems to point to less voltage posing a problem. But the TV has always worked fine.

Andy comments: One possibility is some resistance in the terminal connections. Sometimes they loosen up.... You could check the other receptacles on the same breaker and see if they have the same voltage, with the TV plugged in to the receptacle you mentioned since sometimes the receptacles are daisy chained, and loose connections in any one of them would cause a voltage drop. Also, go to the breaker box and tighten up both the connection at the breaker, and the white neutral wire that mates with it at the neutral bar.... Loose connections here are fairly common also....
Actually, you should probly tighten up ALL of the white wire connections, since it isn't unusual to have them loosen up over time....
I am assuming you have all copper wiring. If you have aluminum wiring, you almost certainly need to tighten them all up.....
Just a suggestion, --- something you might not have thought of...
If you aren't comfortable with tightening up terminals when hot, throw the breaker first, or, get someone more familiar with house wiring to do it for you.... It's possible to get hurt if you aren't careful.
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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I forget what exactly th max acceptable deviation from full 120V is generally considered to be at the end of a run. However, I know it's right around the 111V you are seeing. And I know you'll find plenty of homes, particularly older ones, where it exceeds that, meaning you have less than 111V.
But I would not expect a TV to be among the loads that would be sensitive to having full voltage, nor would I expect it to have caused damage. I'd say whatever is going on with the TV is unrelated to your lower voltage issure. I assume you've tried it in another outlet and it does not work there either?
As others have pointed out, the voltage you will see depends on the voltage coming into the house, the state of all the connections along the way from the panel to the outlet, the wire size, and the length of the run. I've seen voltages similar to what you're seeing in new construction with long runs.
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wrote:

But there is an imbalance as he stated 111 at the TV which usually isnt that much of a load, to 118 on other outlets. This is abnormal. Having even a big hunking projection TV cause a 7 volt drop would be an indication something is wrong with the electical system. He didnt say whether the voltage he measured at the outlet was with the TV on or off or if there were other devices also running on the same circuit. Knowing the voltage at the service panel would be helpful.
Jimmie
Jimmie
Jimmie
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Not necessarily abnormal. Like I stated, it depends on what else is on that circuit, how long the run is and wire gauge. He said the other outlets were 7 volts higher. However there could be other loads on it that are not outlets. And from a practical standpoint I would not take that to mean that he checked every other outlet. Could be some outlets are not that easy to check, eg refrigerator, freezer, etc.

Exactly. Which makes it impossible to determine what exactly is going on. As I said, I've seen circuits in new construction here in NJ with similar drops. Example being long runs to 2nd story from basement panel at the other end of a 4500 sq ft house. Even with about a 7amp load, there was about a 7 volt drop. I also backtracked it as far as possible and could find nothing wrong, no apparent significant drop at a splice point, etc. I also wonder about the quality of the copper wire you get today and if it doesn't have a slighlty higher resistance than what it should have based on standard tables. I mean we all know the corners being cut and crap you get today from places like China.

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wrote:

Not necessarily abnormal but not necessarily normal either if I had a voltage drop like that in my house I would find out why. It could be there is an Edison circuit with a flakey neutral, thats alway fun when you get nearly the full 240 across your TV, or just a long run of wire like you said.
Jimmie
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Andy comments: Well, I would suggest that Bryan go to his input service panel and determine, first of all, whether each side of the 240 coming into his house measured 120 to ground, or otherwise. If it is unequal here, it isn't going to get any better in the house. Also, if the unbalance exists there, he should call his electric company to see if they can correct it......
Heck, it's even possible that he has a breaker that has high resistance in the internal contacts..... A 7 volt imbalance is being caused by something, and, if it were me, I would track it down rather than dismiss it by saying "things will probably work anyway"....... Personally, I've NEVER seen a 7 volt imbalance at the service entrance..... While uneven loading can certainly cause an imbalance, a constant 7 folts difference means something is going on that wasn't planned for ----- most likely resistance in a connection somewhere, either external on terminals or internal in switches or breakers...
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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Probably wont hurt the TV but I would cerainly look into the cause. Often this is caused by a bad neutral connection at either the service panel , meter, or pole transformer. If some of your circuits are reading 8 volts low this means there may be others reading 8 volts too high which is much more likely to cause damage. If this is the case that 8 volts to high may become 118 volts too high. This could definately do some damage to some expensive equipment.
Jimmie
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Bryan Scholtes wrote:

code. I measured 111.2 volts on this circuit. All others in my house seem to be 118 volts.

on other circuits. This seems to point to less voltage posing a problem. But the TV has always worked fine.

Hi, Your TV problem is separate issue. Go check the voltage at you main breaker panel first. Start from there. What kinda TV?
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On 6/25/2011 12:20 AM, Bryan Scholtes wrote:

code. I measured 111.2 volts on this circuit. All others in my house seem to be 118 volts.

on other circuits. This seems to point to less voltage posing a problem. But the TV has always worked fine.

I had this situation several years ago. It was due to an open neutral where the cable from my house was connected to the distribution line along the street. Unfortunately I couldn't convince my power company to visit ("the problem is in your house; get an electrician") until I hired a licensed electrician, who, for $150 told me something I already knew ("you have an open neutral in the power company's wiring to your house"). When I told the power company that I had just had a licensed electrician confirm my conclusion, they sent a crew and fixed the problem. Of course, they never re-reimbursed me for the electrician's charge!
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nominal range is 110-125 VAC.
You also have to watch out for some inexpensive DMMs,like Harbor Freight DMMs,that may not read voltage accurately. I had one of those $3 HF DMMs that read a 1.5 volt cell at 2 volts.I had to return it for a new one. If a DMM doesn't read right on the DC volts ranges,it won't on any other modes.
(DMM = digital multimeter.)

low voltage is called a "brownout".
your TV operators manual should have the operating voltage range listed inthe specifications. Usually,switching power supplies such as TVs,PCs,work from 90-250 volts,so they don't have to use a switch for other nations voltage standards. But check your unit's OP manual to be sure.
What low voltage hurts are things like refrigerators and items that use motors or have iron-core transformers.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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Andy comments further
It just occurred to me another simple test. At the outlet that measures 111 volts, does it still measure 111 when there is no load on the outlet ? Measure the no load voltage, then measure the loaded voltage with your TV set or otherwise..... There should be no appreciable difference with loads under, say, 10 amps ( TV will be around 1 amp)....
This is a clue as to where the drop is occurring...
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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Bryan Scholtes wrote:

code. I measured 111.2 volts on this circuit. All others in my house seem to be 118 volts.

on other circuits. This seems to point to less voltage posing a problem. But the TV has always worked fine.

There's a lot of ambiguity subject to interpretation in your statements... as evidenced by the replies.
Without knowing more about just what you measured under what conditions, about all I can say is, "it doesn't seem normal, GET IT CHECKED OUT".
I've lived in two houses demolished by fire. It ain't pretty... GET IT CHECKED OUT!!!
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Sometimes stuff just breaks randomly for no reason. You can waste your life trying to find out why, or you can buy a replacement (which you had to do anyway) and move on.
I would try to find out why you're only getting 111V from that wall outlet, though.
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Is 111 volts good on a circuit breaker
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