Fridge causes spikes that harm equipment

Hi all,
We've got a fairly new fridge, maybe a year old, and we've
discovered that it's causing power spikes especially when
it clicks on. Sometimes these spikes continue for some time.
These spikes hit any equipment that's in the kitchen and using
different outlets. It's an old house, so my question is,
is this a fire hazard? And is this indicative of a fridge that's
defective or could it just be the old wiring? These spikes
cause the screen on my laptop to flicker, which doesn't
happen when it's connected to outlets in other rooms
(or buildings) or on battery power.
Thanks.
Reply to
xuyy9
Loading thread data ...
On 9/22/07 10:06 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@19g2000hsx.googlegroups.com, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com" wrote:
Usually, I would expect spikes when the power goes OFF--inductive spikes you know. Try using a surge protector for your fridge. It should keep spikes from going out as well as keep spikes from hitting the fridge.
Bill
Reply to
Salmon Egg
I would suggest you refer to IEEE 1159. You can then chose the appropriate term for what is happening. That will help people in this group answer your question.
The fridge probably is creating voltage sags, not "spikes", when it turns on.
Charles Perry P.E.
Reply to
Charles Perry
It certainly shouldn't be but ......
If you get a different result in othe rooms in the house, it sounds awfully like your wiring is suspect. You ought to get an electrician to inspect it.
Graham
Reply to
Eeyore
I agree that the OP's problem is likely to be a wiring problem. However, if it's causing voltage sags or momentary dropouts, I'd be inspecting the outlet that the fridge is connected to for loose connections. And I'd also be suspicious of the circuit breaker or the fuse in the distribution box (or the connections to them) that's feeding the kitchen. The fact that it isn't affecting any other circuits in the house seems to put the blame on the kitchen circuit. Of course, it *could* be the fridge, but if that were the case, it would likely be pulling down the voltage in other circuits as well. If you're not comfortable with repairing electrical fixtures, then it's best that you call a qualified electrician to make the repairs. As to whether it's a fire hazard... any time you have a loose or intermittent connection in a house wiring fixture, it's a fire hazard. A loose connection constitutes a high resistance in the circuit. The current through the resistance causes heat to build up, hence, the fire hazard. The heat might not be bad now, but if allowed to continue, it will be a major problem in the future.
Reply to
DaveM
Check all of the outlets on the affected circuit for loose wiring. Specifically look out for outlets that are "back stabbed". this means that the installer pushed the wires into friction holes (provided for that purpose) in the back of the outlets instead of looping the wires around the connecting screws on the sides of the outlets. The option to "back stab" is controversial and in my experience, I have seen as a result, loose and severely overheated wiring in a 27 year old house. While you are at it, make sure any associated splice wire nuts are secure. If this is unfamiliar territory for you, hire a licensed electrician IMMEDIATELY.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
Reply to
**THE-RFI-EMI-GUY**
I think I'd have the wiring checked out. Is it so old that there might not even be an earth system?
Reply to
CWatters
I HAVE A UNIVERSAL CERTIFICATION IN REFIRGERATION AND AIR CONDITIONING, THE REASON THIS IS ONLY HAPPENING IN YOUR KITCHEN IS BECAUSE THOSE OUTLETS ARE WIRED IN SERIES AND ARE ON A DIFFERENT BREAKER/FUSE THEN THE OUTLETS IN OTHER ROOMS, IF THIS IS OCCURING WHEN THE REFRIGERATOR "TURNS ON" IT IS MOST LIKELY CAUSE BY THE COMPRESSOR. 80% OF REFRIGERATION PROBLEMS ARE ELECTRICAL, IT MAY BE EXCESSIVE CURRENT DRAW IF IN FACT IT IS CAUSING THE LAP TOP SCREEN TO FLICKER, WHICH SOUNDS TO ME LIKE THE LAP TOP ISNT GETTING SUFFICIENT CURRENT BECAUSE THE REFRIGERATOR IS PULLING TO MUCH, YOU MAY HAVE TO MANY THINGS RUNNING OR YOUR BREAKER ISNT LARGE ENOUGH, ALL BREAKERS SHOULD ONLY RUN 80% LOAD OF THERE RATING (20 AMP BREAKER SHOULD ONLY HAVE 16 AMP DRAW DURING NORMAL OPERATION, THE OTHER 4 AMP IS FOR A START UP DRAW, IF YOUR PULLING MORE THEN THE BREAKER RATING IT WOULD POP THE BREAKER) YOU NEED TO CALL A SERVICE TECHNICIAN TO CHECK YOUR COMPRESSOR ON THE REFRIGERATOR.. IF IN FACT THIS IS ONLY OCCURING WHEN IT "TURNS ON" ..THIS IS ABOUT ALL THE ADVICE I CAN OFFER WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO PUT MY METER ON THE COMPRESSOR, CK. YOU DATA TAG ON THE COMPRESSOR TO SEE WHAT THE SPECS ARE AND HAVE SOME ONE WHO IS CERTIFIED CHECK THE START, RUN AND COMMON ON THE COMPRESSOR AND SEE IF IT MATCHES THE SPECS ON THE DATA TAG
Reply to
beaverhunter1962
Evidently your training did not include anything about the proper use of the "Caps Lock" key.
Charles Perry P.E.
Reply to
Charles Perry
Sorry, can you clarify.
Are you saying the problem occurs when your laptop is connected to an outlet in the kitchen but not when it's elsewhere or on battery power, or are you saying that it doesn't happen to your laptop, regardless of which outlet it is connected to, if the fridge is connected to an outlet in another room.
Modern fridges /should/ be fitted with suppressors across the thermostat to prevent spikes occuring.
Reply to
Stuart
Quite so.
I also think it would have quite interesting effects if all the outlets were wired up in "series" as he claims :-)
Reply to
Stuart
Hmmm, amongst many other things apparently :-)
Reply to
Rheilly Phoull
FWIW, I once complained bitterly to my power company that they were generating noise that was preventing me from getting the best low signal performance from my short wave receiver. The noise was synchronized to the line voltage. They could find no problem. This was decades ago.
I kept on investigating myself. Finally. to my chagrin, I found out that the noise was being generated by the butter warmer in my refrigerator. To keep the butter from freezing hard as a rock, there was a resistor controlled by a thermostat that would raise temperature in that compartment a bit. The thermostat was noting fancy at all so that the slightest vibration would make and break the circuit.
To solve the problem, I just went along with hard butter by disconnecting that circuit. I never did tell the power company that I had tracked down my problem.
Bill
Reply to
Salmon Egg
I have to correct myself: I've now detected it upstairs as well, and that circuit uses a different circuit breaker.
Reply to
xuyy9
Check your line voltage. You may be at the extreme "end of line" of a segment, and have a voltage that is already at the bottom of the acceptable range. When your fridge kicks on, it sags the entire house's line voltage to brown out levels, causing many items to barf.
Reply to
ChairmanOfTheBored
Hahahaha... good catch!
Reply to
ChairmanOfTheBored
First of all, NOTHING would work unless something was plugged into ALL outlets in the chain, and all would have to be energized, and then the fireworks begin! (on at least on item in the chain)... maybe...
Reply to
ChairmanOfTheBored
It could be a loose main conductor on your circuit panel or meter box. This would be a good time to call an electrician.
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
Reply to
**THE-RFI-EMI-GUY**
I am sure this is a wiring or power distribution fault in the electrical of your home. You should have this professionally checked by a qualified electrician. There may be a problem with the circuit panel or the entry.
Reply to
JANA

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.