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I'm having a problem with the electric running to my shop. I have electric, but when my compressor or chop saw is running, the lights go extremely dim, and the saw is not running at full speed. The compressor is struggling when it is trying to build up. I've checked the voltage at the circuit breakers, and they all read 120V. If I run these components from an extension cord from the house, everything works normal. The wires running from the meter to the shop look fine, and nothing appears to be loose. Any advice would be much appreciated.

breaker box.jpg

electric at shop.jpg
 
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Pete999

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Arms
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You may be suffering from Voltage drop when loads are applied, get the Utility people to check, don't know how the US deal with this sort of thing. you can only report the problem, could be the cables feeding your shop are to small.
 
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Pete999 - Base on your reply I checked the voltage at the circuit breaker (123V) and then had one of my kids turn the fan on to my portacooler. The volts dropped down to 75V. Everything was working a few weeks ago with no issues. What could cause a drop in voltage like this?
 

Paignton pete

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Arms
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Just a thought if it is the voltage. Which it probably is from the description of the opening post. Would a voltage optimiser combat this problem.

Not sure how they work.

I know they increase the voltage to a property that has low incoming voltage, but would it be any good as a reactive measure of when the voltage suddenly drops?
 

Pete999

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Arms
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Pete999 - Base on your reply I checked the voltage at the circuit breaker (123V) and then had one of my kids turn the fan on to my portacooler. The volts dropped down to 75V. Everything was working a few weeks ago with no issues. What could cause a drop in voltage like this?
Supply cable not sized correctly, any extra loading recently, new machines etc, could have been OK when the supply was fitted but people are well known for adding loads without consideration for the cables supplying the building.
 
Pete999 - Base on your reply I checked the voltage at the circuit breaker (123V) and then had one of my kids turn the fan on to my portacooler. The volts dropped down to 75V. Everything was working a few weeks ago with no issues. What could cause a drop in voltage like this?
That's a 39% drop in voltage. Is this a new setup or has it worked previously and this has just occurred.
 
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That's a 39% drop in voltage. Is this a new setup or has it worked previously and this has just occurred.
It's an old setup. Literally nothing plugged into any of the outlets. Only thing running is some florescent lights. Took them out of the equation, and the voltage still drops when a load is applied. This just started happening a few weeks ago. I've not added anything electric to the shop. I checked the voltage drop with just the florescent lights turned on, and it dropped from 123V to 119V.
 

Pete999

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Arms
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It's an old setup. Literally nothing plugged into any of the outlets. Only thing running is some florescent lights. Took them out of the equation, and the voltage still drops when a load is applied. This just started happening a few weeks ago. I've not added anything electric to the shop. I checked the voltage drop with just the florescent lights turned on, and it dropped from 123V to 119V.
Definitely need the supply checked out by Utility Company, are you a shared line, if yes have any of the neighbours experiencing any problems? if not the Utility Co them an Electrician may trace the problem, as Tel mentioned. it could be a loose connection somewhere, causing the VD.
 
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  • #12
Definitely need the supply checked out by Utility Company, are you a shared line, if yes have any of the neighbours experiencing any problems?
Not on a shared line. The wires running to the shop come out of the same supply source (meter box) as my house electric. I have zero problems in the house.
 

buzzlightyear

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I just looked at the big picture looking a the catinary wirer me thinks the hot or cold is wired to it ,holy f88K.BAT MAN .
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I wonder who wired that, me thinks jumping jack flash.;)
 

davesparks

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I just looked at the big picture looking a the catinary wirer me thinks the hot or cold is wired to it ,holy f88K.BAT MAN .
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I wonder who wired that, me thinks jumping jack flash.;)
It appears (in UK terminology) that the two lives are insulated with a bare PEN conductor doubling as the catenary wire.
 
I'm thinking along those lines. That could be a bare aluminium conductor with a few steel cores to support it. The two cores looped around the support look a different material.
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the wire is looping in but comes out to the cat wire ,I might be wrong .
If you look close the two black overhead conductors pass straight into the building, the third is connected to the bare conductor.
 
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Megawatt

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Arms
Your wire is to small for what you are trying to do? I’m curious what size wire do you have going out to your building
Crew dog from looking at the picture of the wire feeding your building it appears to be done by someone not the power company, ( they don’t use split bolts ). It’s looks plenty big enough but is it copper or aluminum?
I'm thinking along those lines. That could be a bare aluminium conductor with a few steel cores to support it. The two cores looped around the support look a different material.
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If you look close the two black overhead conductors pass straight into the building, the third is connected to the bare conductor.
westward that Bare conductor does have 2 strands of hard steel, which is the grounded conductor, then we drive 2 rods in earth and bond that back to the main panel
 

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