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glockmail
03-21-2016, 09:42 AM
I have some under-counter lights in the kitchen that are the low voltage LED type. They use a transformer block plugged into the house current to power little "pucks" mounted below the cabinet. I have about 5 of these. Every time there is a power outage I lose one of them. They start to blink annoyingly when the power comes on. Not sure why until now. Over a period of a year or so my kitchen just gets darker.

Last night we had a another outage and I guess it was a bad one. Power went off-on three times before it shut down completely. When the power came back on at midnight I found that I had no pucks operating in the kitchen.

This morning I found that my my router didn't work, did some troubleshooting and found that its transformer voltage was about 11.5 vs. the 12V DC stated on the unit. I have a box of unused transformer blocks and found one rated at the correct voltage- it actually runs at 17 or so- and I soldered on the connector from the burned out one and am back in business.

Maybe I have low voltage in the puck light blocks too.

aboutime
03-21-2016, 05:41 PM
I have some under-counter lights in the kitchen that are the low voltage LED type. They use a transformer block plugged into the house current to power little "pucks" mounted below the cabinet. I have about 5 of these. Every time there is a power outage I lose one of them. They start to blink annoyingly when the power comes on. Not sure why until now. Over a period of a year or so my kitchen just gets darker.

Last night we had a another outage and I guess it was a bad one. Power went off-on three times before it shut down completely. When the power came back on at midnight I found that I had no pucks operating in the kitchen.

This morning I found that my my router didn't work, did some troubleshooting and found that its transformer voltage was about 11.5 vs. the 12V DC stated on the unit. I have a box of unused transformer blocks and found one rated at the correct voltage- it actually runs at 17 or so- and I soldered on the connector from the burned out one and am back in business.

Maybe I have low voltage in the puck light blocks too.



Glock. Ask an electrician to install a SURGE PROTECTOR on your fuse box. Go to home depot, or some other place where they have experienced people. Surge Protectors are a big item in new construction. But that should solve your problem.

Gunny
03-21-2016, 07:06 PM
I have some under-counter lights in the kitchen that are the low voltage LED type. They use a transformer block plugged into the house current to power little "pucks" mounted below the cabinet. I have about 5 of these. Every time there is a power outage I lose one of them. They start to blink annoyingly when the power comes on. Not sure why until now. Over a period of a year or so my kitchen just gets darker.

Last night we had a another outage and I guess it was a bad one. Power went off-on three times before it shut down completely. When the power came back on at midnight I found that I had no pucks operating in the kitchen.

This morning I found that my my router didn't work, did some troubleshooting and found that its transformer voltage was about 11.5 vs. the 12V DC stated on the unit. I have a box of unused transformer blocks and found one rated at the correct voltage- it actually runs at 17 or so- and I soldered on the connector from the burned out one and am back in business.

Maybe I have low voltage in the puck light blocks too.

Sounds like your ground sucks. How old is your house?

hjmick
03-21-2016, 08:23 PM
OPTIMUS PRIME! NOOOooooo!

Gunny
03-21-2016, 08:42 PM
Had to make me go and do it, huh? Sound like I know something.

Common mistakes people make ... a transformer, surge protector and power strip are all completely different animals designed to do different things. Everything begins with the ground. Old houses were not grounded properly. Houses in general from a professional electrical standpoint houses are shit to begin with. And no offense, but Donald the developer is skimping his dimes to make money at the buyer's expense. And yes, I HAD to throw that one in. :)

In the meantime, they used to not ground houses properly. AND, a transformer is NOT a surge protector. A transformer regulates voltage to a certain amount but it cannot withstand a spike. A surge protector, if used properly, is supposed to automatically shut off any spikes. A power strip is nothing more than a lazy man. It adds outlets to your still only 120v plug.

Oh, and for glock ... anything above 15.5 is exceeding the actual load. Always calculate at 75% rated capacity. Then you have to figure the load on your panel at 75%. Most old houses carry WAY to much load because they weren't built to sustain today's technology. Computers actually don't pull shit but they can't withstand a spike. Heating elements like space heaters, hand dryers ... THOSE pull the load. That's why your stove is on a separate circuit, and the dryer as well.

glockmail
03-23-2016, 09:19 AM
Glock. Ask an electrician to install a SURGE PROTECTOR on your fuse box. Go to home depot, or some other place where they have experienced people. Surge Protectors are a big item in new construction. But that should solve your problem.

That's probably a good idea. I had loads of problems at the cabin until I installed a whole-house unit. Now I have less problems there.

That said, my router was on a surge protector when that transformer block went south.

glockmail
03-23-2016, 09:21 AM
Sounds like your ground sucks. How old is your house? House is 22 years old. I don't have any other problems that would suggest a grounding issue.

NightTrain
03-23-2016, 10:03 AM
AC isn't my forte... I know a bit about DC, though!

Agree about having a Sparky check out your grounding to the house. Might cost a little up front, but you'll save money & hassle from smoked electronics.

Also agree about surge protectors, and I had the same thing happen to me with a laptop that was fed by a surge protector that didn't protect it when the power surged before & after the outage. Unfortunately, not all surge protectors are created equal. The spikes that happen as the grid goes down can be powerful, especially if it's a tree knocking the power lines during a storm and the grid surges to clear the problem.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zlh1ihUR6xw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


In addition to your AC grounding that Gunny is talking about, there's also one for your telephone cabling that grounds from the NID (gray plastic telephone box on the side of your house). If that isn't properly grounded, any spike can travel into your house via the phone lines and blow up your Comm equipment... I installed a bunch of those working line crew years ago.

The best one I've had is this UPS... I've had it for about 8 years now :

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=8664&stc=1

Not one piece of electronics has smoked since I started using it. Plus, if you have your modem & router fed through it on the battery side, you'll still have internet during a power outage because your ISP also has battery backup. Having your LEDs operational during a power outage would be nice, too.

glockmail
03-23-2016, 12:04 PM
AC isn't my forte... I know a bit about DC, though!

Agree about having a Sparky check out your grounding to the house. Might cost a little up front, but you'll save money & hassle from smoked electronics.

Also agree about surge protectors, and I had the same thing happen to me with a laptop that was fed by a surge protector that didn't protect it when the power surged before & after the outage. Unfortunately, not all surge protectors are created equal. The spikes that happen as the grid goes down can be powerful, especially if it's a tree knocking the power lines during a storm and the grid surges to clear the problem.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zlh1ihUR6xw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>


In addition to your AC grounding that Gunny is talking about, there's also one for your telephone cabling that grounds from the NID (gray plastic telephone box on the side of your house). If that isn't properly grounded, any spike can travel into your house via the phone lines and blow up your Comm equipment... I installed a bunch of those working line crew years ago.

The best one I've had is this UPS... I've had it for about 8 years now :

http://www.debatepolicy.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=8664&stc=1

Not one piece of electronics has smoked since I started using it. Plus, if you have your modem & router fed through it on the battery side, you'll still have internet during a power outage because your ISP also has battery backup. Having your LEDs operational during a power outage would be nice, too.

I have one of those on my 'puter that I use for work. I have just a cheap-o for my wife's 'puter. Neither has ever had problems.

Nothing else in the house has ever been damaged by these power failures, only these cheap little "pigtail" transformers. They are so cheap, in fact, that it makes sense just to replace them when hit, instead of spending lots of cash hunting down problems that may not be the cause.

The problems I had at my cabin were far worse, so I installed a whole house surge protector there. Since I built that house myself (with subcontractors), inspected the electrician's work, and installed extra grounding myself when I added on a spa, I'm pretty confident that grounding isn't the issue.

Gunny
03-23-2016, 12:21 PM
House is 22 years old. I don't have any other problems that would suggest a grounding issue.

It should be grounded if it's only 22. You can always check by walking outside and looking at your service entrance where the meter is. There should be a ground rod attached to the disconnect. Otherwise, the surge protector is the way to go. The one you pictured looks pretty high speed. They wire houses so sh*tty it's ridiculous. Most of us commercial electricians won't have a thing to do with housing wiremen. They're usually stoned, and they are short-cut artists from Hell. Part of that is them, and the other part is the developer/boss. They want that crap done quick and cheap.

I WILL lMAO if you get hit by a bolt of lightening though. :) NOTHING you got is going to save you from that. :)

Speaking of, I heard some goob on the tube talking about sending 27000 volts into someone for something. If you ain't hooked to the line, you'll need a capacitor as big as room to get 27k volts. That's just absurd. Not to mention a little bit of overkill. It isn't the voltage that kills you. That's how they get away with tasers. If you got hit with a taser and were grounded, toast. Just an FYI. It's the return (neutral) that wipes your ass out. And yes, as a commercial electrician I've been hit more than twice.

glockmail
03-23-2016, 02:20 PM
It should be grounded if it's only 22. You can always check by walking outside and looking at your service entrance where the meter is. There should be a ground rod attached to the disconnect. Otherwise, the surge protector is the way to go. The one you pictured looks pretty high speed. They wire houses so sh*tty it's ridiculous. Most of us commercial electricians won't have a thing to do with housing wiremen. They're usually stoned, and they are short-cut artists from Hell. Part of that is them, and the other part is the developer/boss. They want that crap done quick and cheap.

I WILL lMAO if you get hit by a bolt of lightening though. :) NOTHING you got is going to save you from that. :)

Speaking of, I heard some goob on the tube talking about sending 27000 volts into someone for something. If you ain't hooked to the line, you'll need a capacitor as big as room to get 27k volts. That's just absurd. Not to mention a little bit of overkill. It isn't the voltage that kills you. That's how they get away with tasers. If you got hit with a taser and were grounded, toast. Just an FYI. It's the return (neutral) that wipes your ass out. And yes, as a commercial electrician I've been hit more than twice.

My dad's a retired electrical engineer so I've been around the stuff my whole life. One of my first memories is watching him convert the fuse box to his 1930's house to a circuit breaker box. We've put plans together for small commercial buildings.

You can usually rate an electrician by looking at the breaker box. Take the cover off, and if his bends are neat and orderly, chances are the rest of the house is OK. Mine are OK. I just checked the ground at the cabinet here and it's still in place, looks to be a #10 solid copper, the connector buried under the soil. It won't hurt to put in a second a little further away. I'll update my Lowes list.

At my cabin I scored the lottery with my electrician. Super smart guy, gave me a lot of good suggestions, actually read my plans and followed them, putting switches and outlets were I drew them. Shocking (pun intended). The utility there is Mountain Electric, and they require the meter to be at the street with a buried cable to your main. Then the ground at the meter with a short piece of 2" conduit to protect the connector, which has to be above ground. I helped him pull the wires through the 2" conduit that we routed from the meter. Thinking back, I added three ground rods to his system: one outside the entrance, one at the spa, and a third at the light at my driveway entrance.

glockmail
03-23-2016, 02:33 PM
Thinking about my cabin installation some more, most of the problems I had were before they replaced the transformer that serves my house and the adjacent lots.

This was a brand new development and my house was the first built. All the electrical is below ground with ground mounted transformers. Lots of electrical problems in my house early on. Plug in clocks would break, Hair driers would burn out. My refrigerator ice maker stopped working. Two spa heaters, three coffee makers kaput. I had a dishwasher that began to operate when the door was opened, spraying hot water all over the kitchen.

One Friday night I drove up to spend a quiet weekend, and the mountain was completely dark from my house to the top. I called up Mountain Electric and they said they were already on their way. An hour later they were swarming around the 'hood trying to find the problem. I woke up at 2 am to find them with a small crane replacing the transformer that served my house. Apparently it went bad and then shut down everything downstream. Since then my problems have been greatly reduced, so I'm thinking the thing was installed wrong or manufactured poorly to begin with.

Gunny
03-23-2016, 05:59 PM
Thinking about my cabin installation some more, most of the problems I had were before they replaced the transformer that serves my house and the adjacent lots.

This was a brand new development and my house was the first built. All the electrical is below ground with ground mounted transformers. Lots of electrical problems in my house early on. Plug in clocks would break, Hair driers would burn out. My refrigerator ice maker stopped working. Two spa heaters, three coffee makers kaput. I had a dishwasher that began to operate when the door was opened, spraying hot water all over the kitchen.

One Friday night I drove up to spend a quiet weekend, and the mountain was completely dark from my house to the top. I called up Mountain Electric and they said they were already on their way. An hour later they were swarming around the 'hood trying to find the problem. I woke up at 2 am to find them with a small crane replacing the transformer that served my house. Apparently it went bad and then shut down everything downstream. Since then my problems have been greatly reduced, so I'm thinking the thing was installed wrong or manufactured poorly to begin with.

They are quite infamous for overloading transformers.