questionsanyone know anything about electricity?

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it makes for lovely hair - sorry, that's all i got lol

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solution: buy an energystar rated LED TV..

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Sounds like it's the school's problem...keep complaining to them...every 30 minutes or so should get it fixed fairly quickly.

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Sounds like something We would call a Brown Out... The demand for electricity has exceeded the ability to supply it... It is possible that a local Transformer is about to fail... In any cast low voltage is Not good for electronics....

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I know little to nothing about electricity. Did learn years ago not to try to unscrew a plate cover w/a kitchen knife. Shocking, I tell you! Am reading here to learn.

Help me.

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I am not an electrician, but I know several things about it. It sounds as if a ground wire is loose somewhere, and the receptacles are only receiving half the voltage that they need. The ground needs to be properly connected so that a circuit can be made. Hope this helps in some way...but I still stand by my first answer to contact someone who KNOWS for sure what the problem is.

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@devexityspace: Yes, but I can't afford that as a college kid. A 47" LED is $700-800, my TV only cost me $200. I don't really care about the power consumption, my school charges me enough as it is. One of those would probably work though, the 3 other 32" LCDs we have in the suite all work just fine on the low voltage.

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@jsimsace: I thought of that as well, but every receptacle in 6 buildings is experiencing this. I think it must be something with power demand. It's a bummer.

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@hobbitss: I think you may be right. It wouldn't surprise me to find out that the buildings (relatively new) weren't built using the highest grade wiring and can't carry enough current. I've kept it unplugged since it started, but my other electronics are all running fine. Is it safe to continue using them?

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@gretchena: upvoted because you make me laugh :D

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Look up the number for the local electrical inspector in the town or city that your building is in and let them know about the problem. Faulty wiring causes fires and is a problem generally taken very seriously.

Next call the fire department to check and make sure the smoke detectors and alarm systems still work with the lowered voltage.

Perhaps that will get the university to wake up and fix the problem.

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A single loose ground wire will not do this. There is another (new) load in series with your building. If it is 60VAC and not 120VAC, it would seem as if another building was added to the overall grid, not in parallel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Series_and_parallel_circuits

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@rlapid2112: I was thinking about the ground on the main breaker...didn't find out until later that it was 6 buildings. Sounds now like consumption is overwhelming the supply.

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@pinchecat: Dude, it's 1.21 Gigawatts. You're gonna fry your flux capacitor running it that hot.

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@durkzilla: Good call. I will get on that tomorrow morning. My school is great, but very slow on maintenance issues. It took a little thing called a "lawyer" to get them to replace a broken toilet in the suite. Hopefully a little pressure from the local FD will help get this resolved.

@pinchecat: Yeah, definitely need to regulate that voltage. Anything over 1.5 gigawatts won't just fry your flux capacitor, it'll short out your whole DeLorean.

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Okay, a lot of people here no nothing about electricity./

Circuits in houses are wired in PARALLEL.

That means:

1) THE VOLTAGE IS ALWAYS THE SAME IN EACH CIRCUIT NO MATTER HOW MUCH DRAW THERE IS ON THE GRID

2) It's the CURRENT supplied that may decrease or be shut off. THE VOLTAGE STAYS CONSTANT.

Because home circuits are all in PARALLEL, in a situation when everything is working, the voltage supplied will be SET AT THE TRANSFORMER.

Either there is a problem with the transformer, where it is stepping down the voltage too much, or there is a problem after the transformer in which a circuit in SERIES with yours and the ones at the 6 other buildings is siphoning off power. If it's the latter, it's probably NOT intentional and in any event represents a fire hazard.

Though my knowledge is only that of basic circuits, and not of how the electrical grid works, I would guess that it's a problem with the transformer given how wide spread it is.

THIS MAY BE SERIOUS; CONTACT CITY OR UTIL.

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@nate800: Wouldn't it be so fun if we all said the first thing that pops in our head? I'm often told I shouldn't but I don't listen well either lol

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@scyld: Thank you so much! I think I love you now.

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@gretchena: I frequently do that! I don't think before I speak or act. I once grabbed a live 320 volt 3-phase power wire because I thought it would be a good way to check if it was live. Protip: if it's buzzing, it's live.

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@scyld: Thank you. I think something is sapping power, at low-consumption times I can get a reading of around 70 volts. (For the record, when I tested the receptacles, I took the covers off and tested bare wire to ensure I didn't touch a floating ground)

The university and proper authorities will be alerted tomorrow.

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I would question the quality of the measuring device. At 60 to 70 VAC most lamps will be very dark, many motors will be slow or not starting, fridges will not work, and most computers will sut down.

If the voltage is accurate a high impedence connection in the power company distribution system can do this, or the high voltage transmission lines are switced to the wrong voltage.

A bad connection carrying the current for six buildings would be quite hot, and could cause a lot of damage, including an explosion of fire.

The "ground" wire does not normally carry any current. It is there for the safety of people. If the insulation fails in a device you have plugged into an outlet, leathal voltage could be connected to the exterior metal parts of the device. The "ground" provides a path to the service entrance panel for the current to flow, hopefully preventing current from flowing through you.

By convention in America the black wire is "hot" in an outlet. The white wire is "neutral."

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@nate800: durkzilla had a good suggestion... You might also contact the local Electrical Utility since they will be the one's on the end of the Blame Stops Here ride if something goes wrong...

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@nate800: Holy hell... how did you do that and, like, not die?

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@scyld: @gretchena:

Trust me, I was fried. They carried me outta there. Lesson LEARNED! Last effects: injured pride, burn scars, laughing parents, poor math skills.

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@moviela: @moviela: I thought about the quality of the tool as well, but it accurately gave me a reading of 110v several times while I was in the process of fixing the TV. I'm going to have the big boys check it out with their better-than-college-budget tools today.

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@nate800: Did this ever get figured out? I'm curious as to what the issue was.