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Old 02-02-2012, 11:09 PM   #1
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LOW VOLTAGE FROM A 110 AC OUTLET

What problems would I have if I plugged in and the electrical current was too low? Would it ruin anything in my SMB? Do I need a device that will turn off the current if it is too low?

Or, would I be buying a unnecessary gadget? I can get a gadget that will tell me the current, but what good is that if the current goes down and I am not there to unplug?

Angel
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:40 AM   #2
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Re: LOW VOLTAGE FROM A 110 AC OUTLET

Are you talking about plugging into shore power? If so, I don't think anything would get damaged, just that it would take longer to charge the house battery. No need to worry about unplugging.

If you are using something that draws a high current (such as a hair drier, electric fry pan, etc.) while plugged in, then the circuit breaker on your outlet should pop.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:49 AM   #3
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Re: LOW VOLTAGE FROM A 110 AC OUTLET

I you are plugged in to shore and have low voltage check the shore power to see if it matches. If not then you could have a loose connection or a miswire on the neutral.

If not do the same from the inverter to the spot you have the low voltage.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:59 AM   #4
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Re: LOW VOLTAGE FROM A 110 AC OUTLET

It really depends on what you have plugged in. For example a computer might be damaged by a low voltage sag while a light bulb would just dim. Do you have sensitive instruments that you are concerned about? Appliances shouldn't be damaged by low voltage, they just won't work.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:30 AM   #5
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Re: LOW VOLTAGE FROM A 110 AC OUTLET

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel
What problems would I have if I plugged in and the electrical current was too low? Would it ruin anything in my SMB? Do I need a device that will turn off the current if it is too low?

Or, would I be buying a unnecessary gadget? I can get a gadget that will tell me the current, but what good is that if the current goes down and I am not there to unplug?

Angel
Angel, your post says low voltage but you're saying low current. The two terms are related but are apples and oranges. If you are reading low current (amps), itís just indicates you are using less power from the devices on board...that's good. If on the other hand you are reading low voltage, then what is posted by the members above applies.

Are you having this problem in all the vanís outlets? It could be a problem with a single breaker, a single wire, or plug.

Standard acceptable voltages range between 114V to 126vAC. Compressors such whatís in non-12vDC air conditioners are prone to damage by low voltages. Electronics donít like high voltages, and variable high and low voltages. I also agree that you need to compare the pedestal voltage to the voltage from a socket in the van...it should be the same. Always have the park staff check the pedestal voltage first before working on the van, just don't take the park staff's words for gospel...many won't tell the truth.

Check the voltage under no-load (nothing on in the van) and with something that pulls a high amount of wattage (such as a microwave, hair dryer or space heater). The voltage should be equal (or within a few volts difference) at the shore power pedestal and the van outlets but both should stay within the parameters I stated. If you have an air conditioner, use that as the high watt device instead of a heater, dryer, etc.

If the voltage drops in the van but stays normal at the pedestal, take the van to a qualified electrical business the works on RV's. A poor connection or compromised wire can cause a fire and is not worth taking a chance on.

If the voltage falls below 113 or so at the pedestal, the shore power panel or parks electrical system may have a problem. Actually that is quite common. Contact the park manager.

My prosine inverter alarms when low/high voltages occur...some inverters don't have these features.


As far as an open neutral from the shore power pedestal or a poor neutral connection in the van, most electrical houses carry and sell a cheap plug-in device that indicates an open neutral and some even have a digital voltmeter on them. Open neutrals can be difficult to detect and at work I carry several instruments to expose poor connections and monitor erratic voltages. Just because it goes away doesn't mean all is good. Feel free to call me if you wish. Maybe you don't even have a problem...good luck.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:53 AM   #6
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Re: LOW VOLTAGE FROM A 110 AC OUTLET

Thanks for all your answers.

I do not have a problem now. I was talking about low voltage. I will get the device to plug into an outlet to ck voltage to make sure all stays well.

I just want to make sure I do not have a problem when I use shore power/plug in somewhere. I will be running a laptop but it has a good battery in it and I have a surge protector I use at the shore power plug.

Angel
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:11 PM   #7
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Re: LOW VOLTAGE FROM A 110 AC OUTLET

just know that they are not 100% accurate. A plug-in voltmeter is very helpful and needed as well.

good luck.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:29 PM   #8
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Re: LOW VOLTAGE FROM A 110 AC OUTLET

Most laptop power supplies are rated to work from 100-240Vac. And they have all kinds of Certification marks on them (UL, CSA, TUV, NOM, CCC, CE and more). Having a Certification mark means they must work properly at +/- 10% of the rated voltage, or from 90V to 264V. Unless you have a very unusual laptop power supply, you probably won't have any problems running it, even from a low voltage outlet.

Mike
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