Voltage Problem

norulez43September 16, 2013

I've been having this problem with battery backup units that kick into battery mode repeatedly. They either click or beep every time they do so and it is quite annoying. Looking at the manuals, it seems that there are certain voltage tolerances (ranges) and if the voltage drops or spikes out of that range, it kicks into battery mode. I wanted to see what was happening so I hooked up a digital multimeter to the same receptacle. I could not see the voltage move when the battery backup kicked on (it was still a good 117V at the time). Is it possible that it is happening too fast for the multimeter to pick it up? Or, should I be looking into something else? I've been looking for a good voltage data logger to record a history of voltage but I don't want to bother unless it can pick up these possible quick sags/spikes.

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Ron Natalie

It's possible, or it could be the battery backup has problems of it's own

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 10:21PM
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norulez43

It happens with multiple battery backups so it is not the UPS.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 8:34AM
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jreagan_gw

You need at least an RMS digital multimeter. What kind are you using?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 4:13PM
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bus_driver

What is happening with other things in the house such as microwave ovens and digital clocks with lighted displays?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 6:09PM
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norulez43

I am using a Fluke 324 which says True-RMS. This is actually happening at work, not my house, and I'd like to buy something that can record these voltage drops or spikes if possible so I can show them to the electric company. We had a spindle drive crash a few weeks ago out in the shop and the repair guy said he was sure it was due to a power problem but we can't prove that.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:28PM
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bus_driver

Stingy with information complicates the offering of solutions. The POCO may be blameless in your situation. If your premises has 3-phase Delta service, the onsite single phase power may be supplied by customer-owned and installed transformers. If so, the problem may be there. A pro is needed in person at that premises.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 7:17PM
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weedmeister

There are such things as power quality monitors and data loggers. They sample a fairly high rates and log the data.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2013 at 1:26PM
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