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Power Conditioners Voltage regulation to AC Regeneration

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Old 04-30-2017, 01:16 PM
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Default Flicker me this, flicker me that... Need UPS advice

Happy Sunday to all,

I live in South Florida, home to the thunderstorm capital of the US (I've been told), and Florida Power & Light (FPL), source of not the most consistent power. I get cleaned up power through a PS Audio P5 but I recently have a new power problem that happens before the juice gets to the P5.

Starting a month or two ago, I am getting power flickers (momentary drops of power to "0"), sometimes as frequent as twice a day, sometimes 2 or 3 days go by without one. I am getting worried about my sound and video equipment and other powered things in my house, Even if my equipment is not adversely affected, it's a real pain in the ass. I have to run to the other side of the house to turn back on my NAS, the DIRECTV boxes can take 15 minutes to restart and recycle, cable modem and routers take 10-15 min to get going--like I said, a pain... I was already starting to look at whole house surge protection and my house was built to take a emergency generator including automatic transfer switch which I will probably drop in before hurricane season. The power drop-outs, however, are such that power is back before a generator would kick in, even if I already had it. So, it looks like I need a UPS, or maybe several. Any recommendations would be appreciated, and I also have a couple of questions:

1. For my P5 and the equipment powered by it, will a UPS protecting it adversely affect the south? Are some UPSes better at not negatively affecting the sound of equipment supplied through the P5? Which ones?

2. My DIRECTV boxes are not on the P5- would that warrant a different (model) UPS?

2. Besides sound and video equipment, I would want to protect my cable modem, routers, etc. - would these want a different model UPS to be optimal.

3. Are there different types of UPS I should be aware of? I m is of APC, and other brands to consider?

Thanks,

Robert
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Old 04-30-2017, 01:29 PM
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Default Flicker me this, flicker me that... Need UPS advice

First thing I'd do is call FPL and have them put a power monitor on the line to your house to help identify the severity (frequency and duration) of the problem so THEY can address it rather than you.

But it's never a bad idea to put a UPS on your network stuff (NAS & modem) and on the Directv stuff for protection as well as to prevent them from long reboot times. I use several APC UPSs; not on my audio gear though. If there's a hint of bad weather, I unplug my amps, preamp, server and DAC.

Good luck!

Last edited by Cohibaman; 04-30-2017 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:19 PM
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You could consider an APC unit with a built-in battery backup. Enough juice in the battery to allow you to power you equipment down properly in case of a rolling brown out.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:56 PM
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I agree with Cohibaman: get the power company involved since this is a recent occurrence ("one or two months ago").

A UPS would be useful for your computer, modem, and direct tv to avoid/eliminate having to reboot.

I think that you would need a sizable UPS to take care of the audio equipment and electronics. So maybe your best bet is to talk to the folks at PS Audio. They may be able to have experience with equipment that works well with the P5.

In any event, something is not right with the power that you are getting and the power company needs to get involved.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:12 PM
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Unfortunately PS Audio doesn't make any UPS power units.
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cohibaman View Post
First thing I'd do is call FPL and have them put a power monitor on the line to your house to help identify the severity (frequency and duration) of the problem so THEY can address it rather than you ...
I agree, absolutely. Electric utilities are governed by tariff, and it sounds like FPL is failing to meet minimum performance. It's also likely that you're experiencing other deficiencies in your service, and that the flickering power is just the most obvious symptom.

However, it's also possible that the problem is not with FPL, but in your house. The cause could be corroded circuit breakers, corroded connections from the service entrance to your main breaker, or loose connections somewhere. An electrician can check this for you.
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Old 07-21-2017, 03:25 PM
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I love my furman f1500 , it has awesome filtration. Anything that is critical I put on the UPS.

Router, Computer, Gaming systems, rack fans, home automation.
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleeds View Post
I agree, absolutely. Electric utilities are governed by tariff, and it sounds like FPL is failing to meet minimum performance. It's also likely that you're experiencing other deficiencies in your service, and that the flickering power is just the most obvious symptom.

However, it's also possible that the problem is not with FPL, but in your house. The cause could be corroded circuit breakers, corroded connections from the service entrance to your main breaker, or loose connections somewhere. An electrician can check this for you.
This is what I would be doing in addition to calling FPL.

A UPS is a good idea in general, but if there are bigger underlying issues that need to be addressed, they should be addressed. When it comes to electricity it's better to be safe than sorry
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Old 07-21-2017, 09:48 PM
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About 10 years ago I had a similar problem following a direct lighting strike to a tree at my neighbors house across the street. Both my wife and I were watching the storm from our garage (doors up). The strike, the first I had actually seen from a 50-75 foot distance, was intense.

The tree caught fire, but the heavy rain doused it over a period of time.

The lightening strike took out 1 HVAC, all TV's & satellite receivers, a M/W, a refrigerator, a freezer, a desktop PC, and to show how intense it was, it blew a 2d floor corner spot light and metal housing located on the soffit 50 feet into another neighbors yard. I believe it also melted 1 15amp breaker.

That same evening, as the storm passed, I noticed a flickering of our lamps. Intermittent, yet repetious but not one where you could record or notice a duration nor pattern.

A few days passed, and opened a trouble ticket with Duke Power. They came out, put a recording monitor on my meter. While that was collecting data, I took out my Fluke VOM and attached the leads to an empty outlet near the chair I sat in during the evenings. Armed with paper and a pencil, I recorded voltage readings. Sure enough, 121V, 109V, 112V, etc. Nothing IIRC below 106V but definitely not a steady 120V.

Two days later the Duke Crew returned and retrieved & analyzed the incoming voltage data. I presented them with what I recorded, etc.

It took them nearly a month to resolve and understand it was related to a bad tap on a transformer in the corner of a yard adjacent to where the strike occurred. Why it only affected my house is anyone's guess.

After that & being in communications where all our facilities are equipped with Transient Voltage Surge Protectors (TVSS); I started looking into them & other Surge Protection Devices (SPD's). Not inexpensive when one adds up install costs -- an APC or ABB or equivalent Square D unit attached after the meter (can't attach to prior to the meter) would be a cool $3.5K plus.

Around that time, Duke Power began offering their version of a whole house protective device which attached to the meter base & then the meter clamps to that. Monthly costs at the time $4.95 (now around $7). Not as robust as a standalone unit by those other companies, but it does offer a peace of mind to a degree. A direct strike like my neighbor experienced with millions of volts going every which way towards least resistance -- nothing can protect from that 100%. Like many here on AA, during storms and weekend getaways, I unplug all audio gear/TVs & to preclude a water fiasco while away, I also turn it off to the house as well.

Like others who have commented to the OP, I'd be on FP&L like SoS and hound them until the issue was resolved; especially if you were the only one in your area experiencing the fluctuations (the OP didn't say if others left & right of him nor across the street were also experiencing the issue -- I'm assuming they aren't).

Additionally, FP&L must be extremely proud of their power surge protection devices they offer at $15 per month. IMHO, regardless of FP&L pricing, it should be seriously considered. The link to it is here (fill in the missing "tt" characters):

h..p://www.fples.com/surge-protection-homeowners.html

I have also attached a word doc you may be interested in.

Best of luck to you,

Bob
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File Type: pdf TransientVoltageSurgeSuppression.pdf (80.0 KB, 5 views)
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