I'm hoping someone can help me stop my brain dribbling out of my ears.
Recently (a few months) we have suffered from orangey lights, from the
electric oven taking noticeably longer to cook, and from the vacuum
cleaner barely sucking (it sounds kind of mournful now).
Being naieve with all thing electrical, I assumed the voltage was low,
and called in Powergen. From the symptoms over the phone, they said
"low voltage", and put a recorder on for a week. It was mostly at
about 230, on one or two occasions when everything was normal it was
at about 236, and when everything was as described above it was at
about 225. (I simply checked these figures on the screen at intervals,
I haven't seen the chart produced.)
Of course, they have now analysed the data and sent a standard letter
saying it's in limits so "no further action is required".
Would anybody have any suggestions as to how to proceed, other than
"live with it"?
Well, they're right. Although the supply in the UK should not have actually
changed, the nominal voltage through the mains is now 230V. The voltages you
state are well within the tolerances allowed. Indeed, under the new system,
they are remarkably accurate!
The changes in voltage you mention will not have changed the power rating of
the appliances to the extent you say, though. A vacuum cleaner designed for
240V won't fail because it has only 225V. A typical 2.5kW oven will become
2.2kW, which won't massively affect the warm up time, and due to
thermostatic control, won't affect the cooking time at all.
All appliances sold in the EU, except light bulbs, must cope with a wide
range of voltages, well outside the tolerances you state have been recorded.
One thing to ask, is what your house installation is like. A poorly designed
and heavily loaded system might have an unacceptable voltage drop on it,
that isn't apparent at the input terminals where the recorder was connected.
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