For those of you familiar with the US national grid, you know that we are 240 volt split phase, 120 volts (±6%) at receptacles. (exceptions apply of course, but we are just talking about residential service here).
What this means is, an acceptable voltage at any plug is between 112.8 and 127.2 volts. Well, around here we're lucky if we get that. With everyone running their ACs, fans, dryers, washing machines, fridges and freezers working over time, pool pumps and so many other large loads, our voltage often falls to almost 100 volts.
Attached is a picture of the front of our UPS during what is known as a "Brown Out" on the line. A brown out is defined as a low voltage event. The voltage was 102 volts. Later that night we got clear down to 98 volts and the house went out.
Brown outs are very dangerous, to your equipment, to your home, to your life. This is because an appliance, take a motor for example or a compressor in your refrigerator, still needs the same amount of power, regardless of voltage. In other words, the lower the voltage, the higher the amperage. Think of voltage like flow, and amperage pressure. The more pressure, the more heat and strain. This can lead to fires, burned up equipment and if unnoticed can cause deaths.
To our power company: We have called you over and over, our whole street has. We have voiced our safety concerns, we have given you the data, we have provided pictures and logs. Why haven't you done anything to fix this?
To our local government whom we have also voiced concerns to: Get off your ass and do something. This is a safety issue.
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