My "rig" is plugged into an outlet that is all by itself on it's own breaker in the box. All equipment is plugged into a power conditioner/surge protector (Furman). About a month ago, new central air unit was installed into my house. Now, whenever the air kicks on, the foobar player on pc driving rig and the DAC (Chord Qute) freezes and i have to turn both off and back on.
What is going on!!!!!! why is the surge protector not working! and the whole thing is on it's own circuit!
I think the best place to start is to examine the line your rig is on. Are all of the connections - in the service panel, in the receptacle - clean and tight? If it isn’t a dedicated line, have you checked all of the intermediate connections between the service panel and your receptacle? Ideally, you want these connections made with screw terminals - not the "push-through" connectors that many electricians like to use to save time - or with proper wire nut twist-on connectors.
Checking the connections made to your new a/c is also a good idea. Did you get a permit for that work? It would certainly be required where I live, and it never hurts to have an independent inspector examine the work done by a contractor.
You don’t give much information about your Furman unit. Some surge protectors provide only that, and do not "condition" the a/c power. But before trying a Band-Aid approach to your issue, I’d check all of the wiring and connections first. That’s a good thing to do in any event.
I'm wondering if power draw when the A/C kicks on is causing a temporary sag in overall house voltage/current. Maybe that disruption is causing the freeze up. Don't think a surge protector or dedicated line are intended to remedy such. Just a guess on my part, however.
Have your AC company add a start kit on the compressor, if not already added. Should not be needed with scroll compressors, but should help with starts. Also, have them double check wire size for the unit, just in case.
I’m wondering if power draw when the A/C kicks on is causing a temporary sag in overall house voltage/current.
That is certainly possible, and something the electric utility could remedy after a "beast of burden" test to establish current delivery. But that kind of test is usually made at the service entrance, so it won’t reveal problems elsewhere in the system. That’s why it’s a good idea to check that first.
Current delivery (ampacity) is something audiophiles often overlook. For example, it’s a common assumption that if you have a 200A service panel, then you have 200A of current to distribute. But that is mistaken. The 200A rating only means that the panel can safely distribute that much current; it is no assurance that the utility is able to deliver that much current. In practice, a utility will often fall far short of being able to deliver that much current on demand.
As Cleeds alluded to, it may be helpful to indicate which specific Furman model you are using.
And if it is one of their models which provides "current reserve" at some of its outlets, that are intended for connection to amplifiers and subwoofers, a simple experiment that may be worthwhile would be to plug the computer into one of those specific outlets, if you are not already doing so.
It seems possible that when the a/c kicks on a brief dropdown in the AC voltage is just affecting the computer, and the resulting effect on its output is what is causing the DAC to freeze. And if so perhaps connecting the computer to one of the outlets providing "current reserve" would help.
Another possibility that I wouldn’t rule out at this point, btw, is that if the audio system and the a/c unit happen to be located within a short distance of each other, for example if the a/c unit is near a window of the room in which the system is located, airborne RFI that is generated when the a/c kicks on may be affecting the computer through the air. Perhaps as a result of being picked up by the cables or power cord that are connected to the computer. In which case trying a different computer may be worthwhile, if that is practicable. And for that matter, trying a different computer may be a worthwhile experiment in any event, if my first suggestion and the suggestions by the others don’t help.
Agree with acman3 and ghosthouse. The service factor on startup may be causing a temporary drop in voltage. Logic circuits usually use a 5VDC supply. You may be able to get as low as 4.5VDC and still be safe. 115VAC through a step down transformer to yield 4.5VAC is a 25x reduction in voltage. If the line voltage dips to 100VAC, the voltage on the secondary side will drop to 4VAC. Rectification has little to no affect on voltage. At 4VDC the logic circuit would likely freeze and not function until a complete reset of the logic circuit is performed.
220VAC supplied circuits will use both legs of the service being supplied. Startup will affect all service since the 220 breaker uses both supplied phases. You said when the air kicks on. Not sure where you are located but here in TN we haven’t used the air in months. Is this a heat pump in heat mode?
You may be able to prove this by testing using a uninterruptible power supply/battery backup unit like used on computers. This should keep the line voltage stable.
The start of the condenser is causing a whole house voltage drop. I’ve seen this and I’m wondering if the wires leading to the condenser are undersized. You only need a 200 amp service panel if you have a larger home( over 3500sq/ft). A/c units normally draw about 25amps during start up that’s why you have a 30 amp breaker connected to it. I would have an electrician check out the work that was done. He/she will find out what’s going on very quickly. Giid luck!
Surge protectors do not guard against voltage sags, they absorb the punch of a voltage spike.
Do the lights dim? Not just a tiny bit, but a lot. If that is the case, then have the electrician to check -- in addition to the HVAC contractor's work -- the wiring to your dedicated outlet and the rest of the house. If you have aluminum wires from the meter to the main panel lugs, have him check those. It's not uncommon for the lugs to loosen over time causing oxidation at the contacts and making voltage sags more serious than they have to be.
AC units draw a lot of current on startup and it's not uncommon (or abnormal) for the lights to dim a tiny bit. The power supply of your pc and dac easily compensate under this condition. But if the voltage drops too low, it confuses the voltage regulators in your electronics and things can stop working.
Let me be clearer on the subject of balancing. On the main breaker 200amp you have 2 legs off that, that go down the center of the panel. The breakers on the left are one one leg. The breakers on the right are on the other leg. If both the ac breaker and the breaker feeding the outlet you are having issues with are on the same leg, this may be the issue with the drop in power. You are drawing current off the same leg. Balancing would put both circuits on opposite legs. Also you may need a starter kit. I also have central ac. But my HT room is on separate leg. No issues.
On the main breaker 200amp
you have 2 legs off that ... If both the ac breaker and the breaker feeding the outlet
you are having issues with are on the same leg, this may be the issue
with the drop in power. You are drawing current off the same leg.
Balancing would put both circuits on opposite legs ...
I also have central ac ... No issues.
In the US, most central A/C units are 240VAC. That means it would be connected to both legs of the electric service.
Cleeds, At the main breaker the load is split, 2 separate bus bars each caring 120 volts. When you add a 30 amp double pole breaker you have 2 hots coming out, each hot out is 120. 30 amp double pole is like using two 15 amp singles, each single is 120. When add together that equals 240. You dont need to be on 2 separate bars to get this. the double pole breaker is on one bus bar using 2 spaces. I live in the US. Electrical is a hobby of mine for 25 yrs. I've have run electric for 2 ac in the past 2 yrs. I believe his wiring is correct or he would be popping the breaker. I believe the load is very heavy on one bus bar, which is fine. But he can balance it by putting the problem circuit on the opposite bus bar. When ac kicks on, the load will pull from opposite bus bar. Both circuits pulling loads from 2 separate legs. 240 come in at top of panel and splits, 120 each side. If this is new compressor it should have soft start built in. If not have a starter kit installed, but I would go first solution, balance. Good luck Pete
I will correct myself. The double pole is taking from both sides. But u should still Check and make sure it is balanced and you don't have all 30, 40 and 50 amp circuits on one side, which would cause phasing issues.
@pcc67 it is clear that you are pretending to know much more about electricity than you really do. Please, before you get yourself or someone else hurt due to misinformation, stop promulgating this nonsense. The “phasing” issues you are yammering about are imaginary. Perhaps you’ve confused this with three-phase, where phase imbalance can occur, but all domestic electrical service in North America is known as “split phase”, the secondary is center-tapped. The center tap is known as neutral, and is bonded at the service panel to earth ground. By the way, circuits over 20 amps are usually 240 volt circuits, which uses both legs, and therefore are inherently not creating an imbalance.
Sleepwalker it is possible to have unbalanced load. When electricians setup panels in residential they do balance loads. Also I did not say anything in my message that could hurt anyone. I don't need to pretend, i have done my share of basic electrical work. I believe this forum is for sharing experience, correcting or helping others. There is really no place to attempt to humiliate or condescend others who are trying to give solutions. Better response would be, sorry fellow audiogon member you are wrong and this is the correct way according to my credentials and experience. No need to impune others. All this creates is a diminished conversation to reply for fear of ridicule.
I’m usually a lot more easy going when it comes to people who are making technically inaccurate statements. No personal malice, just trying to send a clear message about the risks of untrained people handling electrcity.
When it comes to electricity, because I am an electronics engineer, I have the perspective from formal training that most other people don’t. You can easily create a dangerous situation with 120 volts AC, (even with lower voltages, it comes down to the amount of energy that can be (mis)-directed) if you don’t fully understand the nature of it.
I see examples every day of people doing dangerous things with electricity: failing to connect ground wires, failing to properly terminate wires to terminals, failure to put junctions in junction boxes, failure to use adequate conductors for a given circuit capacity, failure to use materials that are UL/ ULc / CSA certified, etc....
Bottom line is people who aren’t trained as professional electricians should hire the services of a professional electrician, as well as be aware of other requirements in their municipality such as obtaining permits and having appropriate inspections done by the ESA or other prevailing electrical authority as it may apply.