Continuing Problems with Cholla Power (Floating Ground)

Continuing Problems with Cholla Power (Floating Ground)

Submitted by Pete Peterson & Lowell McCulley

As noted in the report about 10 years ago, There are potential problems due to corrosion in our electrical service in Cholla.

Recently Dave & Kelly Adams experienced the problem first hand. The problem destroyed lots of appliances through-out their house. The problem is a bad connection (corrosion) on the neutral terminal on the power coming for the service entry.

The electrical service is 230 volts with the 115v at outlets provided from one “leg” of the power to the “neutral”. Your house should have the 115v load split with half on each leg of the power. The neural carries the unbalanced part of the house load. Appliances requiring 230v are connect across both power legs and don’t use the neutral. If the neutral connection fails the voltage to outlets will float depending on the load balance.

The side with the heavy load will go down and the other side will go up and damage things connected to that half.

The problem can be caused by problems other than the meter unit, however most cases it has been found to be the meter unit.

You should be alert to any surges in electrical, such as lights going dimmer or brighter when refrigerators start, microwave ovens turn on or 115v window AC turn on. Central AC systems are 230v balanced and would not cause the problem.

If you see a “clue” you should get a professional to check your system.

You can check with your neighbors to see if they have the same “clue” as it can also be at the CFE transformer effecting more than one service and would be the responsibility for CFE to fix.

Contact Dave & Kelly or Brad & Kim at CasaLinda Security to get their first hand experience on this topic. Brad has also placed power entry surge protectors on some houses to protect against surge problems although the protector may not protect against the floating neutral problem.