New Install trying to monitor voltage

Hey guys I have owned a iotawatt for almost a year now and it’s been sitting in the box. There are some logistics issues with getting a box near my main panel in order to install it.

I am experiencing power flickering and while researching a way to log it, I discovered something about iotawatt capable of doing that. I wanted to confirm this is the case and then ask an important question: when the power flickers its for a short burst and the lights rapidly blink. Its different types of bulbs and different types of switches. I truly believe its a supply problem but when I contacted the power company they said its not showing a problem. So I guess the question is will the iotawatt help me record a short fluctuation of the power when it does occur?

Thanks!

Neil

Probably not, but you can set it up to measure only voltage without touching your main panel. Just start it up with the AC transformer and USB power supply anywhere there is a plug.

Sounds like a loose connection somewhere.

Is it worse with AC dimmed lights and/or does it happen at particular times of the day or minute past the hour? If so you might be dealing with ripple control. It’s often audible in anything with coils such as AC fans, speakers, and induction cookers.

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I can not find any pattern to it. Really we don’t use the lights all that much or the brighter overhead recessed. Sometimes its an island light that is a chandelier and the flickering is intense! I want to see if its a feed problem or something else going on. I paid electricians to check and tighten things up and it didn’t fix the problem. Of course I checked some of their work and the leads to the breakers were loose so I don’t think they really were going to solve it.

Is It not always the same light, the same lighting fixture - or the same circumstances. The lights will be perfect and then flicker out of no where, Next we will have a situation where the lights flicker intensely. I am just trying to figure out where and why.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

How often is it recording voltage? These are very short flickers and sometimes barely perceptible (or we are getting used to it)

Thanks!

Have you considered calling these guys? :wink: :crazy_face: :sunglasses:

My neighbors, unsolicited, asked me if I was having power issues. They claim they are too.

I need to get my iotawatt installed. Someone told me the update frequency was low on the iotawatt. Can someone tell me what the update interval is?

Thanks!

Neil

The iotawatt will save the average of about 10 samples every 5 seconds.

that seems slow? Am I wrong? I think my emporias are every second?

IoTaWatt is not a power quality meter. It’s an energy I don’t think it’s the appropriate tool to capture what you are describing. In any event, it would be more productive if you were to actually connect it up and see what it shows before making judgements. It’s entirely possible that it would show abnormal voltages of longer duration.

I’m referring to current monitoring not power voltage monitoring. I found a better tool for that already. My install will be costly and complex so I am tr4ying to understand if what someone told me (the intervals being long) will be an issue.

IotaWatt is great for measuring energy over reasonable periods, ie minutes to days or longer. It sounds like you are having power quality issues. IotaWatt is NOT a power quality meter.

This is a pretty good article about the tools one might use.

Note that the tools are expensive and the knowledge necessary to use them even more so.

There could be a bad/missing ground somewhere that is causing the problem.

Thanks for the insight and the link to the article. I have talked to other neighbors and it appears to be a systemwide problem. I have already sent an email to the power company and Monday I will follow up with them.

I guess my issue is - will iotawatt be worth the installation expense (mine is quite complicated) if the update interval is too long?

Thanks!
Neil

I don’t believe IotaWatt will help solve your power QUALITY issue. But, it will give you insight into you power usage. While the IotaWatt does measure voltage and the numbers are interesting, they are not frequent enough to learn anything about power quality. I have mine on a mini-UPS, so the IotaWatt keeps running when the power goes out. I can sometimes catch a major disturbance, but most of the time it isn’t very helpful. I can easily tell when the automatic standby generator kicks in, since it is generally several volts higher than nominal line voltage.

As the link I shared and other searches will confirm, figuring out power quality is complicated AND expensive. The equipment needs to have a high sample rate and a LOT of storage. Even with that, it would only confirm what you see with your eyes, the voltage is changing/not constant. It won’t tell you why. It could allow you to correlate the events to time and therefore other things. Most likely, there is a loose connection somewhere. That somewhere might be at the power company transformer.

I believe you said your neighbor said they were having similar issues. Talk to your other neighbors to see if they are having similar issues. If they are contact the power company and have your neighbors do the same and make sure you (and they) say that all your neighbors are having an issue (assuming they are).

Power company is coming out today or tomorrow. They have to get a piece of equipment to test it. I will check.

I realize now we have blended two different topics so I will stop asking but I appreciate the insight!

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