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 Post subject: identifying a specific Building Wiring Fault
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:36 am
Posts: 208
My surge suppressor usually indicates that my house electric supply in my new room has a Building Wiring Fault, but the polarity is not reversed, the voltage when measured at hot-to-neutral or hot-to-grounding is 125VAC and 125 is normal for the city, electric conduction continuity is available through hot-to-neutral and hot-to-grounding, and there's no voltage or grounding continuity when measured at neutral-to-grounding and there shouldn't be. Once the red LED did not light up and once it changed brightness while I was looking at it, but usually it's on and steady when the suppressor is switched on. Meanwhile, I've been using my suppressor's output to power my laptop and to recharge my main cell phone battery, with my laptop working normally whether plugged in or not and my main cell phone working normally when not plugged in. I just moved in late May using a luggage cart by my hand (thus no truck bouncing off potholes), so the supressor is probably still fully functioning, and it didn't light up at my last address in the same neighborhood, almost certainly served by the same electric utility and perhaps by the same generator (it's not a good idea to go back to that address to test it there). Although I plug the suppressor into a grounded extension cord and that into a grounded relocatable 6:2 tap itself plugged into the pair of room outlets and APC says not to plug the suppressor into a relocatable tap, plugging the suppressor directly into either of the room outlets also causes the LED to light up and I used the same relocatable tap the same way at my old address without the LED lighting up. I tried two outlets on the tap and got the same effect; the two outlets connected to different wall outlets in the wall pair. Asking the building superintendent absent an emergency may not be a good idea, for unrelated reasons. According to other LEDs, protection is working and there's no overload. The suppressor is an APC SurgeArrest, bought by January, 2011. Either I misunderstood its box (the inside literature doesn't say much) or I've tested what the box says. What else could be causing the suppressor's red warning LED to light up? Or need I probably not be concerned? Thank you very kindly.


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 Post subject: Re: identifying a specific Building Wiring Fault
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
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I would contact APC to see what they say. Suppressors using MOVs have a finite life and that one may be finished. What happens when you try a new one? Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: identifying a specific Building Wiring Fault
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:36 am
Posts: 208
I'm not home now, but I recall it has a LED for displaying that it is no longer suppressing and that LED is not lighting up, so it is apparently suppressing. Since the problem arose when moving to a new address, I suspect the problem is not lack of suppression anyway. I don't have a new one for comparison. If there's another idea, I might be able to check that, but otherwise I'll likely ask APC or check for a forum at their site; I should have thought of that. I can try plugging the suppressor into other outlets, if not at the present address then elsewhere. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: identifying a specific Building Wiring Fault
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:36 am
Posts: 208
Maybe this is about to be solved.

I found APC's answer at http://www.apc.com/site/support/index.cfm/faq/ today. What I haven't tested for in their list is "[o]verloaded neutral wire (>5vdc measured between Neutral and Ground)." Checking their forum (it looks like if I post there I risk warranty coverage) in http://forums.apc.com/message/27798#27798 it appears I can test by measuring AC voltage using my multitester's AC scale without testing for DC in an AC circuit (as APC seems to suggest) and in http://forums.apc.com/message/14846#14846 it appears that a device plugged into the same electrical branch can dump electricity into the neutral that is coming out of my outlet, while http://forums.apc.com/message/2387#2387 is supportive, in http://forums.apc.com/message/16301#16301 there's a complicated answer I won't try parsing now, and I didn't check http://forums.apc.com/search.jspa?peopl ... +Fault%22* for all the possibilities.

When I plugged the suppressor into another outlet elsewhere in the same apartment, thus likely on the same electric meter, the Building Wiring Fault LED no longer lit up. And (to correct a minor error in my posting above) the suppressor has an LED that signifies that protection is working and that LED is always on. So the suppressor is still suppressing and the problem is isolated to just part of the apartment. I wish I could trace the branch circuit to all the fixtures and outlets it connects but I don't think I have that kind of access.

Thanks.


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