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Lights flikering and meter failure

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by Sylvia Else, Feb 23, 2013.

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  1. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Guest

    A goodly few years ago, I had a problem with flickering lights, and was
    trying to diagnose it. I had a scope looking at the mains, and was
    turning on and off a fan heater.

    I had done this a few times, getting surprising images on the scope,
    when the entire power went out. I hadn't blown the fuse - the meter
    itself had failed.

    When the guy from Energy Australia (this was before Ausgrid) came along,
    as soon as he determined that the meter had failed, he asked whether
    we'd been getting flickering lights.

    Now, the meter was the old rotating wheel type. I have been unable to
    understand the link between flickering lights and meter failure. Any ideas?

    Part of the reason I'm asking is that I'm seeing a similar problem at my
    current property.

    Sylvia.
     
  2. yaputya

    yaputya Guest

    As far as I know, all the old meters have a current coil and a voltage coil which
    operate together to rotate the disk in direct proportion to the power.
    So when you say the meter has failed does that means the current coil has blown ?
    Or is there some other hidden fuse inside the meter?
    You should have asked the guy from Energy Australia when you had the chance.
    Are we talking about the same meters as before, or a different meter?
     
  3. T.T

    T.T Guest


    Many years ago a similar thing happened at my place, and after the fleet of
    trucks had come and gone, the local electrician said it was a faulty earth
    on the supplier's side.
    No doubt he was dumbing it down for the likes of me, but the physical
    problem was at the power pole.
    He said it was not uncommon.>
     
  4. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

    some of those meters have brush-motors with the line current flowing
    in the rotor (and through the brushes).
     
  5. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Jasen all Betts are Off"

    ** No they don't.

    Mechanical energy meters use induction motors like this one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ElectricityMeterMechanism.jpg

    At the bottom of the pic you can see wire loop terminals where arcing
    trouble might eventually develop.



    .... Phil
     
  6. Jasen Betts

    Jasen Betts Guest

  7. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

  8. yaputya

    yaputya Guest

    Have you dropped dead, Sylvia??
     
  9. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Guest

    Er, no, why?

    Sylvia.
     
  10. yaputya

    yaputya Guest

    No replies to the thread you started, that's all!
     
  11. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Guest

    Apart from a reference to a clearly obsolete style of meter, no one's
    said anything relevant.

    Sylvia.
     
  12. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Sylvia Else Congenital Fuckwit Troll" "

    ** Wot a fucking, insane bitch.

    Every reply was relevant.



    ..... Phil
     
  13. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Guest

    If you bother to read my original posting, you'll see that my query
    related specifically to the way in which a failing meter can cause
    flickering lights. It was not a general query about the causes of the
    latter.

    Sylvia.
     
  14. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Sylvia Else Congenital Fuckwit Troll""

    " Mechanical energy meters use induction motors like this one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ElectricityMeterMechanism.jpg

    At the bottom of the pic you can see wire loop terminals where arcing
    trouble might eventually develop. "



    ..... Phil
     
  15. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Guest

    I discounted that posting as being nonsensical.

    Arcing from live to neutral or earth would soon blow Ausgrid's fuse if
    it were sufficient to drop the voltage noticeably.

    The kind of arcing that causes light flickering is the kind that occurs
    between wires that are meant to be connected together when they become
    corroded or loose.

    Sylvia.
     
  16. The Ausgrid fuse you are relying on blowing because there is some arcing
    from phase to neutral in your meter typically has an 800 amp rating. I
    think you will find that the meter wiring (typically 16mm2 in domestic
    installations) will well and truely burn before this fuse blows
     
  17. Phil Allison

    Phil Allison Guest

    "Art Vanderlay"

    ** IME arcing from active to neutral tends to be a dramatic event -
    accompanied by a loud bang.

    A cable of 16 sq mm can handle up to 15,000 amps for 100mS.

    Even an 800 amp HRC fuse is not gonna stand up to that.



    ..... Phil
     
  18. Sylvia Else

    Sylvia Else Guest

    FWIW, Ausgrid seem to have decided it's a fault on their line. This
    explains how, in the process of replacing the wire connecting their line
    to my power pole, they moved the fault from one of my phases to the
    other (yes, I do indeed have two phases). It's also consistent with the
    streetlight that I last night observed to be flickering. However, the
    implication is that a number of other households have also been
    affected, but haven't bothered to complain, perhaps assuming that if
    they ignore it, the problem will go away, as, indeed, it will.

    Sylvia.
     
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