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electrical question...smart meters..cable tv


 
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glennster
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:31 am    Post subject: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

have a tenant in one of my rentals that called with a problem. cable and tv have been randomly going out. she said it makes a popping sound and then shuts off. turn everything back on and it re-boots and then works. i checked the voltage at all the outlets and get 124v. checked all the breakers in panel, all read the same. checked the temperature of the breakers and connections with a laser temp probe, all the same. tightened all the connections in the breaker panel just to be sure. the cable guy has been out several times and changed the box, and found nothing wrong. he thinks it is a power problem. the power company did a smart meter upgrade a month or so ago, and she stated the problem started not long after. i cannot find any type or power fluctuation to cause this when i am there. is it possible something in the smart meter is affecting the cable/tv? none of the other tenants in the building are having any problems. all have separate smart meters. any thoughts on what is going on? maybe some type of rf interference? have the power company check or a private electrician? the circuit only has living room on it, just lamps and tv.
 
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Inno
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It's not a switched outlet is it? I've come across those in places with no living room lights, they have switches on one of some of the receptacles.
 
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glennster
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:38 am    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

that is a possibility, i will stop by and check tonight.
 
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leroy in ne
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

loose connection on outlet? bad outlet? (check plugs on tv and box for indications of arcing) is outlet fed from another outlet that may have a loose connection? (check by turning off breaker and see what all is off to find fed from source). just a few thoughts from my end
 
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ptfarmer
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Have the cable company come out, and test the signal, but if it has a dvr, or other type cable box the box is probably on it's way out. That's been my experience.
 
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GEO-TH, In
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've seen a bad connection in meter base, a bad connection behind main circuit, bad breaker cause strange electrical issues.

Try using an extension cord and power TV from a different circuit.
 
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Dusty MI
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:40 pm    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

[quote="CVPost-glennster"](quoted from post at 11:31:59 08/17/1Cool
Have them plug a turn on lamp in with the tv and see if it goes out at the same time, it might just flash.

Dusty
 
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kcm.MN
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:04 pm    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-leroy in ne wrote:
(quoted from post at 12:53:47 08/17/1Cool loose connection on outlet? bad outlet? (check plugs on tv and box for indications of arcing) is outlet fed from another outlet that may have a loose connection? (check by turning off breaker and see what all is off to find fed from source). just a few thoughts from my end

This would be my guess. It's a fairly common problem, but difficult to see. Worst case scenario is the arcing can start a fire.
 
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Mule Meat
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Start at the TV and work your way back.

If the TV and Cable box are on an surge protector. Replace it. Surge Protectors are not made to last forever and do go bad over time.

Remove the outlet. Do this carefully.

If it were a switched outlet. The top should be controlled by a switch and the bottom remains hot. Normally a switched outlet will have four black wires on the hot side on the bottom and a white wire (also hot when switch is on) will be on top. The tab connecting the two will be broken on the hot side. The common side will have 3 white neutral wires. Most times the wire that is connected to the switch will be a smaller size than the rest. 12ga and 14ga (switched).

Regular outlet will have one each of black and white or maybe two of each if it is supplying another outlet down the line.

Either one you have I would suggest changing it while you have it out.

These are the two main outlet types I use.
A = Single or when connecting another out down the line.
B = I use these mainly for switched outlets for they are safer and easier to work with than the A on switched outlets. My entire house is wired with them on all 120 outlet except GFCI's.




Now back to the breaker box.. Pull the cover and then the breaker that supplies the outlet. Look closely at the Load Center where the breaker makes contact. If you see any discoloration of the load center or signs of arcing. Shut off the main power and clean the contact. I have a small Mill (YT does not like the B word) file that I use for cleaning them.. Replace the breaker and apply a good die-electric grease to the contact areas including the slot and screw for the wire.

While the box is open with the main shut off (if you have a service dissconnect throw it and check the main also). It is a good idea to go ahead and check all of the breakers for corrosion and signs of arcing. No matter how good the volt mater or temp gauge you use. They will never give you accurate information on condition of contacts in a breaker box or outlet until something serious is wrong.
 
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glennster
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:28 pm    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

update.... stopped by breifly tonight and rechecked . tenant was on the phone with the cable guys. i had my dvom hooked up to another outlet in the circuit that has a lamp plugged in. i probed the other half of the outlet with the dvom. after about 10 minutes the lamp made a very breif flicker and i saw a 4 volt drop from 123 to 119 just for an instant. i will have to go back and start pulling breakers i guess to look for possible arcing or corrosion.
 
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JML755
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:31 pm    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-glennster wrote:
(quoted from post at 20:28:30 08/17/1Cool update.... stopped by breifly tonight and rechecked . tenant was on the phone with the cable guys. i had my dvom hooked up to another outlet in the circuit that has a lamp plugged in. i probed the other half of the outlet with the dvom. after about 10 minutes the lamp made a very breif flicker and i saw a 4 volt drop from 123 to 119 just for an instant. i will have to go back and start pulling breakers i guess to look for possible arcing or corrosion.

Since you know the circuit that has the issue, you might swap a breaker from another circuit to see if it's the breaker or.... breakers are cheap, just replace it. If the problem persists, try replacing the duplex outlet. Again, they're cheap.

If it still happens, I'd suspect a staple that was banged in too deep into the Romex (NM) during installation. I've seen that before. Can take years to cause a problem. The problem is that most Romex is buried behind drywall and very difficult to replace. It's also a fire waiting to happen. (Don't ask me how I know).
 
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Janicholson
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:36 pm    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

A bad neutral bond will do that. It could be at the entry, or the power company. Low volts on one side of box, high on other. Jim
 
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Steve@Advance
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Start with finding all the receptacles on that circuit.

Pull each one out of the wall, look at the connections. Lots of houses are wired with the contractor grade receptacles that the wires plug into the back. If any have a high amp load, like a heater, that would be the first one to check.

I found a similar problem once where the receptacles were the screw type, but the electrician dodn't bother to strip the ends of the wire, just let the screw cut through. It worked that way for years, but eventually started arcing.
 
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westom
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:24 am    Post subject: Re: electrical question...smart meters..cable tv Reply to specific post Reply with quote

CVPost-Steve@Advance wrote:
(quoted from post at 03:27:01 08/18/1Cool Start with finding all the receptacles on that circuit.

Pull each one out of the wall, look at the connections. Lots of houses are wired with the contractor grade receptacles that the wires plug into the back.

Back stab connections are safe for humans. But are bad for appliances.

Wires must be attached to side screws. Only a cover plate need be removed to perform that nspection. Receptacles using the back stab method are bad for all electronics - but do not threaten human life. So it is code acceptable.

An incandescent light bulb is a best diagnostic tool. A defect that does not even affect electronics will be obvious because that bulb will change intensity. (LED and CFL bulbs are not effective.)

Bulb should not change intensity even when a major appliance power cycles. Intensity change may be reporting poor workmanship (as others have discussed). In rare cases, that intensity change can report a serious human safety issue.

A best diagnostic tool is a light bulb.

A meter, that reported a 5 volt drop, may have actually seen a 100 volt drop - but only for a very short time. That voltage drop implies, at minimum, a workmanship defect.
 
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