Whole house power question

ajw22

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Any poorly designed power supply can generate noise on the power lines or radio frequencies.

Cheap LED lights can generate their own interference.

Your problems could be a combination of the LED lights you have, the Pentair VSP, the Insteon stuff, and your old house electric wiring.

Anyone alone works fine. Couple them together and they clash.

 
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JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
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Would that fluctuation have random spikes in the noise when set at a constant RPM ?
Different speeds require different frequencies.

The actual physics of the power signal and how it is affected by different speeds and how the noise affects the GFCI is complicated and we would need a an electrical engineer with specific experience to explain what different drives, speeds, GFCIs etc. made whatever difference.

There are also things they can do to mitigate the noise, but those things cost money and add bulk and complexity.
 
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Newdude

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Actually the VSP spike issues are the root of my problem. I have been sure of that for years
My sole intent of bringing it up. I moved and my old problem is no longer a care in the world to me, it's the other guy problem now. After exhausting several other avenues, it's a (slight) possibility to be related to yours. (y)

Swap the legs when you have a moment and see if it matters.

It may end up being a 'perfect storm' of factors like Allen said above.
 

JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
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Is there a cheap one you'd suggest that would be helpful?
Not really.

Seeing the noise would only be part of the solution.

Trying to figure out what the noise means is complicated.

You also have to know what noise affects what devices.

Even if you know what noise affects what devices, you have to figure out how to remove the noise or you have to know what devices are a better alternative to the current devices.
 

jedigrover

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JamesW Basement light voltage 104.2 with pump running on first measure. 105.5 voltage on second measure as I am waiting for pump to stop (it does a 15 min delay because pool heater was on). 104.7-104.8 on third measure, now with motor off. Turned pump on while monitoring voltage in basement and it had no effect whatsoever. I will check the pool house voltages later today to see the 240 volt side.

But two observations in my basement: (1) motor on/off does not have an obvious immediate effect on voltage in basement; and (2) there is voltage fluctuation in the basement, at least between 104.2 and 105.5 volts on 110 line. I should add that these measurements were all done while the clothing washer was on (and it has its own motor). I can collect readings tomorrow with washer off. Lights seem to blink less today while washer is running (if at all - I have not seen a blink yet today).
This could be your problem right here. You are running too low voltage & the rectifiers in the LEDs were probably designed for 110-125VAC.

You mentioned you have 300amp 2-phase power. I assumed by that you meant 300amp service of standard 240VAC split-phase power.
But 104VAC is suspiciously 1/2 of 208, which would indicate a high-leg delta 3-phase configuration.
 

Newdude

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*also worth noting, I bought a 12 pack of the same brand light bulbs (Edison style) that flickered and burned out quickly, some starting almost immediately. The company is great for replacing bad bulbs as the Edison style bulbs are more prone to flickering/burnout, but I tried a different Amazon brand the 2nd time and they did not have the flickering problem.
 

ajw22

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This could be your problem right here. You are running too low voltage & the rectifiers in the LEDs were probably designed for 110-125VAC.

You mentioned you have 300amp 2-phase power. I assumed by that you meant 300amp service of standard 240VAC split-phase power.
But 104VAC is suspiciously 1/2 of 208, which would indicate a high-leg delta 3-phase configuration.

Long thread. You missed post #62 where he said...

Update:

I installed replacement dimmers this evening in the room where I exercise and checked the voltage to the fixture at maximum output from the dimmer - 119V. The Insteon dimmers must reduce voltage, even at maximum brightness. I checked several fixtures connected to Insteon dimmers throughout the house and saw similar results.
 
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JamesW

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I doubt that the noise is only on one leg.

The noise probably radiates on both legs equally but randomly.

So, you might have different noise profiles on different legs at different times.

Different power profiles are generated as the head loss changes.

For example, even at a constant RPM, the current will be reduced if the head loss increases because the flow will decrease.
 
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pgershon

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This could be your problem right here. You are running too low voltage & the rectifiers in the LEDs were probably designed for 110-125VAC.

You mentioned you have 300amp 2-phase power. I assumed by that you meant 300amp service of standard 240VAC split-phase power.
But 104VAC is suspiciously 1/2 of 208, which would indicate a high-leg delta 3-phase configuration.
As it turned out, the dimmer switch was getting 120V but only passing 105V to the LED bulb. I changed the dimmer and fixture now gets 120V. About to see if flicker problem fixed (I suspect it will be) as I will be in that room for over an hour. I definitely do not have 3 phase - its standard 240VAC split phase.
 
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ajw22

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*also worth noting, I bought a 12 pack of the same brand light bulbs (Edison style) that flickered and burned out quickly, some starting almost immediately. The company is great for replacing bad bulbs as the Edison style bulbs are more prone to flickering/burnout, but I tried a different Amazon brand the 2nd time and they did not have the flickering problem.

I have gone through a lot of different LED lights causing various problems until I standardized in my house on only Cree or Feight LED lights. You get what you pay for with LED lights.
 

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jedigrover

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It certainly would be against code indoors. I'm wondering if being outdoors, with a very short run, protected by a secondary GFCI breaker mitigates the normal risks of doing so. (Or any combo of the 3)

Powering a regular device like a vacuum or radio sure would. But would a simple electronic that drew only a couple milliamps ? Possibly dancing that line and possibly needing a slightly less sensitive breaker ?

My electrician likely didn't have advanced degrees in EE. But he also didn't have a hard no answer, or a better explanation. He was however, well versed that it was 'a thing' and even claimed Pentair had since solved the riddle.
From what I've seen, the Intelliflow electronics consume 40-50 watts even when the pump is off, so it's not minimal. It's the one area where Hayward beats Pentair.

Most 240VAC dryers do use the neutral (or on 3-wire arrangements, bond ground and neutral and treat them the same) to power the motor for the drum (only the heating coil runs off 240) and may use it as source power for the electronics. But that will be immediately put through a transformer and rectifier to get low-voltage DC rails (12, 5, 3.3, 1.2 VDC).

If the Intelliflow were using one leg and ground to drive the on-board electronics, it would trip the GFI.
 
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jedigrover

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I have these on order and will try...


I can see how that surge capacitor might work as a power factor correction device. That might actually help.
I absolutely think adding some kind of surge protection to a pool sub-panel makes lots of sense anyway. I see some people putting in the "whole home surge supressor" breakers since there is usually space for them.
 

pgershon

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I can see how that surge capacitor might work as a power factor correction device. That might actually help.
I absolutely think adding some kind of surge protection to a pool sub-panel makes lots of sense anyway. I see some people putting in the "whole home surge supressor" breakers since there is usually space for them.
I already have the Jandy branded surge suppressor on the Jandy box (so all the pool equipment). Its 11 years old now. I installed after lightening hit nearby tree and zapped all my electronics back in 2011. But I will see if any of this helps.
 

pgershon

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Updating on the flicker - it stopped completely with the non-Insteon dimmer (using TP-Link Kasa dimmers, interest IP accessible). I am speculating that the Insteon dimmers reduce the voltage going to the bulb from 120v to 105v, and then the interference from the pump trips the bulbs to blink periodically when they are at reduced voltage to start.

Insteon is going away - company went bankrupt and the technology is old and being replaced by z-wave, IP and others. But I still have 30 or more Insteon appliances in this house so correcting the pump interference would be most helpful. I will report back after I try the filter and capacitor I have on order.
 
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jedigrover

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Updating on the flicker - it stopped completely with the non-Insteon dimmer (using TP-Link Kasa dimmers, interest IP accessible). I am speculating that the Insteon dimmers reduce the voltage going to the bulb from 120v to 105v, and then the interference from the pump trips the bulbs to blink periodically when they are at reduced voltage to start.

Insteon is going away - company went bankrupt and the technology is old and being replaced by z-wave, IP and others. But I still have 30 or more Insteon appliances in this house so correcting the pump interference would be most helpful. I will report back after I try the filter and capacitor I have on order.
Seems like you found the solution.

The Insteon dimmers probably used old Triac technology. Everything going through the triac is going to be "dimmed". There will be losses, and it seems they had a good bit of loss--which would have been imperceptible with incandescent bulbs. But LEDs are DC devices, so they put the power through a simple transformer and rectifier (usually really cheap 1/2-wave rectifiers) and will be very, very sensitive to dips in power. So some ripple on that line from the pump would definitely cause the flicker.

The newer dimmers likely are designed with LEDs in mind and also won't have as big of losses. Good deal.

I played with Insteon long, long ago & decided that Z-Wave, Zigbee, and WiFi were eventually going to take over. Now, things are potentially shifting to Thread if Matter really comes to fruition. I think you've made the right choice going to newer dimmers.
 

jedigrover

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Did you try different dimmer settings to see if the flicker stops at every setting?
Good idea. I bet it does.
FWIW, I don't think the LED bulbs themselves were his problem. I'd bet that the ripple on the line translated to ripple on the output side of the Insteon dimmer.
I bet the new dimmers are using switched mode power supplies and IGBTs to generate a decent sine-wave with variable voltage on the output side & that they have full microcontroller control over the output so as to avoid the ripple translating across. Much better than the old TRIAC leading-edge chop-style dimming.
 

pgershon

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Swap the legs when you have a moment and see if it matters.
I thought about it. No point in swapping the legs. Insteon repeats its signals from one phase to the other so I believe it would mask the effect. Further, two different lights on opposite phase (neighboring breakers) both flicker in basement. So the issue must be on both phases. But as I said, compeketly corrected in terms of LEDs by swapping the dimmer to non-insteon.
 
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