California Storm Brown out ... will it damage refrigerator?

We are experiencing a "brown out" because the recent storm. We are
getting some current in the house, but not much. I have no way to
measure it but the lights come on very dimly. the refigerator is cold
inside.
Will this damage my refrigerator? Evereything else is "off" It has
been this way for 28 hours and PGE says it could be two or three more
days?
Should I disconnect it?
Thank you.
Reply to
TG1514
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Turn off everything electronic or motorized until you get stable power. A few incandescent lights won't be a problem. If in doubt, open the main service breaker.
Are you sure a neighbor isn't inadvertently running a generator back into the utility lines? That could kill a lineman.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
Reply to
**THE-RFI-EMI-GUY**
Turn off everything electronic or motorized until you get stable power. A few incandescent lights won't be a problem. If in doubt, open the main service breaker.
Are you sure a neighbor isn't inadvertently running a generator back into the utility lines? That could kill a lineman.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
Reply to
**THE-RFI-EMI-GUY**
Turn off everything electronic or motorized until you get stable power. A few incandescent lights won't be a problem. If in doubt, open the main service breaker.
Are you sure a neighbor isn't inadvertently running a generator back into the utility lines? That could kill a lineman.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
Reply to
**THE-RFI-EMI-GUY**
| Turn off everything electronic or motorized until you get stable power. | A few incandescent lights won't be a problem. If in doubt, open the main | service breaker.
[elaborating ...]
Electronic devices that can automatically handle the full voltage range of 100-240 volts, when plugged into a 240 volt outlet, will be OK if the voltage at that point is at least 100 volts. It may well be in certain cases. However, the crisis time is not the time to rig up something to connect a computer to a 240 volt circuit.
A common cause of this kind of brownout is the loss of one phase of the three phases supplying the primary of a delta-wye transformer. Without one of the phases, the two that remain are powering one winding in the normal way, but powering the other two windings of the delta loop as if they were wired in series. The effect is to split the voltage to each of those two windings, with the proportion depending on the load balance, which will typically be fairly near balanced in normal circumstances. So 2 out of 3 of the secondaries will have about half the voltage.
Even at half the voltage, enough current could be drawn through a motor winding of a stalled motor to create sufficient overheating to damage it. So definitely unplug appliances with motors, or switch off the breakers.
| Are you sure a neighbor isn't inadvertently running a generator back | into the utility lines? That could kill a lineman.
That is one possible cause of a brownout. Even though it is quite rare, since the load would typically cause the generator to trip or stall, it is very possible, and very serious if it is happening, due to the risk it poses to the linemen. Do check all your neighbors to be sure everyone is OK, and while that, see if anyone is trying to run a generator without the essential transfer switch.
Equipment that intentionally feeds power back to the grid should have the ability to cut off when the grid is down. But something defective could be trying this as well. It would have to fail both at detecting power and fail at tripping on an overload ... but don't rule it out because of seriousness of the danger.
Never touch any utility wires, even if the power is off, even if you are are handling the insulated part, and even if you are sure they are just telephone or cable wires. Damaged power lines can introduce primary distribution voltages into any other wiring, and the insulation intended for lower voltages will not protect you.
Reply to
phil-news-nospam
with insufficient voltage/amps available, it will attempt a re-start over and over without enough amps to fully spin the compressor.
that will do two things, overheat and destoy the motor and burn the startup switch/capacitor to hell.
then you have to >>
1, spend time getting the refrig replaced or fixed
2. spend time replacing all the food
3 spend time haggling with either your insurance company AND the power folks about how to pay for it
4 in the meanwhile you are out of that sum of money since you must get the thing replaced before the wife forces you to eat out all the time (even MORE expensive!)
so, its just cheaper AND easier to unplug stuff, see? ;-))
,
Reply to
HapticZ
Almost all motors of the type used in household appliances have what is cal led thermal overload protection. Once the motor overheats the overload kick s it off until it cools down. Thats not to say the motor can't be damaged b ut it's repeated cycles of overheating and restarting that can cause eventu al damage. We have a vacation home that we leave the refrigerator on. We ha d to replace it a couple years ago when it died for unknown reasons but I s uspect that since we aren't there all the time brown outs are the most like ly reason. We got many years of use from it so it's not like it died from a ny one single power outage or brownout. TC
Reply to
tommyeccampbell

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