Jump to content
Chapala.com Webboard

Low Voltage protector


Bigrig1919

Recommended Posts

My hot tub has burnt out a circuit board twice. The NOB service tech told me that their tubs are very reliable, but are subject to failure if low voltage is incurred. I see my house lights dim every now and then, so I know I'm getting " brown outs" in my neighborhood

Is there a simple device I can buy down here that will shut the power off if the voltage drops below a certain level?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can install a voltage stabilizer to power just the circuit board. The minimum quality voltage stabilizer costs at least $400 pesos. A better quality voltage stabilizer costs $700 - $900 pesos. The voltage stabilizer should be installed to isolate the circuit board from the 127V power that runs the big pump and isolates the circuit board from the 127V or 254V power that runs the heater because common voltage stabilizers costing less than $2000 pesos do not provide enough wattage to run the big pump or the big heater. The $750 peso Koblenz models from Office Depot do a decent job, but I have seen one brand new Koblenz voltage stabilizer that incorrectly boosted 127V up to 145V. Check the actual output voltage of whichever voltage stabilizer to see that it delivers a well regulated 118V - 125V when supplied with 127V CFE power.

Does your NOB hot tub tech know that Mexican CFE voltages are centered at 127V and are considered withing specifications from 114V up to 140V? The good voltage stabilizer protects your board by regulating both too low and too high voltages.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exceline makes a line of products specifically for brown outs (and they also protect against surges). They were developed in Venezuela which is the brown out capital of the world. They are sold by a company In Monterrey, MX. You can order them by phone (Spanish required) and once you pay for them at a bank they ship them. If you are interested I can dig out the details.

If the voltage gets too low or high they shut the power off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if you are trying to cut off the whole hot tub or just protect the circuit board.

Protecting the PC board can be done with a small uninterruptable power supply. If the PC board takes 110vt, you just plug the board into the UPS. If it runs on a low voltage, you just buy a small plug in power supply of the right voltage.

If you are looking for a way to cut the whole system off, I looked all over the web and found nothing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we have an ISO Sola Basic corrector de voltage 60A

it came with the house installed, but I understand your electrician can buy these units in Guadalajara they are 60A or *80A

for under $1000. its worth the investment if you add up over the years items that get fired. the unit is over 10 years old and works great, never had any equipment get fried by brownouts.

this link was posted on the web board last year

http://www.tiendaclic.mx/ver-detalle/regulador-sola-basic-isb-cvh-8000-va-ferroresonante-sola-basic-isb-63-13-280

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we have an ISO Sola Basic corrector de voltage 60A

it came with the house installed, but I understand your electrician can buy these units in Guadalajara they are 60A or *80A

for under $1000. its worth the investment if you add up over the years items that get fired. the unit is over 10 years old and works great, never had any equipment get fried by brownouts.

this link was posted on the web board last year

http://www.tiendaclic.mx/ver-detalle/regulador-sola-basic-isb-cvh-8000-va-ferroresonante-sola-basic-isb-63-13-280

They don't protect against brownouts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They don't protect against brownouts.

Sola models do protect very well against brownouts, and some Koblenz models too. We have two 15 year old Sola voltage regulators that work great at raising low voltages, even during brownouts, (as long as the current draws are not too high - like running an airconditioner compressor). Causes that need to troubleshooting: If your block's transformer, or 1 of your house lines, have crummy oxidized connections, on 1 or 2 of the three 127V legs that come over to our houses, then those individual bad connections on a single 127V wire can cause voltages to sporadically droop and give only very low currents as the neighborhood's airconditioners kick on. These poor connector issues are best solved by having CFE come out and replace the bad connections. Notice if the brown-out is occurring on both of your 127V legs, or on just one circuit. Next note it the problem is happening at all of your neighbors. If there is a grounding problem with your block's transformer, then all the neighbors power will suffer the brown outs. Sometimes intermittent brown outs are from tree limbs touching wires during the wind, or when wet from rain. If only one circuit (of the two) in your house is drooping low, then move key things over to the good circuit.* If one circuit in your house is drooping low, and your neighbors are not having problems, then the problem is occurring on 1 of your 2 lines. Since there are three 127V lines coming off each block's CFE transformer, your neighbors can be on completely different lines than your 1 bad line. Get CFE out to check and fix the problem.

Out of all the common causes of drooping voltage, there is one when the current droops so low that voltage regulators and stabilizers will not supply enough power. When CFE has problems at the substation, causing all 3 High Voltage lines to droop low, then the current can drop too low to operate some higher powered things. Still, a good voltage stabilizer then simply cuts-out automatically, shutting power off to your devices. Our old constant-voltage transformer based Sola units simply cut-out (shut off), protecting our electronics and computers.

*If only one circuit (of the two) in your house is drooping low, then move key things over to the good circuit. This advice can work well for the original post, where the hot tub likely has two 127V legs coming in, and just one of those legs is the one that droops low. Add a voltage regulator or stabilizer to the good leg, and connect the circuit board to that voltage regulator connected to the good leg. Similarly, you may have one leg that is flying high, and cooking the circuit boards. Most US techs have never seen the effects of CFE's 140V - 145V coming into a "110V" line, because this just does not happen in the US. The good voltage stabilizer, along with moving the sensitive device off of the offending "too high" line, also fixes the problem. Ultimately, have CFE come to adjust the too high (over 135V) voltages down at your transformer - since too high voltages raise current usages in your home, raising your electric bills.

If you know what you are doing, check your voltages one each line using a good digital meter (DMM) to help make the best decisions, otherwise call in a good professional who has a good DMM or VOM, and knows how to use it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have two Sola Basic voltage regulators. When I got them I was told they would protect against brownouts so I was amazed to see when I had the next brownout my fridge and pool pump were struggling to work. What brownouts damage is motors. Like fridges, pumps for pool, fountain or aljibe. The motors struggle to work and then burn out. They don't usually damage TVs. All the Solas do is raise or lower the voltage a little bit. During a brown out you need to shut the power off to any motor. Solas don't do this but Exceline do.

If you do some searches here you will find some threads where this has been explained in great detail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure if you are trying to cut off the whole hot tub or just protect the circuit board.

Protecting the PC board can be done with a small uninterruptable power supply. If the PC board takes 110vt, you just plug the board into the UPS. If it runs on a low voltage, you just buy a small plug in power supply of the right voltage.

If you are looking for a way to cut the whole system off, I looked all over the web and found nothing.

I'm not sure if I can just protect the PC Card or have to do the whole unit. It's a sealed unit and I have not taken it apart yet.

The Nob teck told me that the motor on some of his installed units just hummed and would not turn over in a brownout, besides burning out the PC Card

Since I can only get parts in the US, I want to protect it as well as possible and I know I'm getting some low voltage at the house.

He also told me some of his installed units had problems if users connected the tub up a Long exstention cord. Not enough power was getting to the tub. He said most of his installed units had no problems and most were installed over 10 years

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my cheaper ($450 pesos or so) Koblenz regulators fried the on / off switch. So I took it apart to look at. Inside, I found that there is a simple potentiometer (use a small screwdriver blade) to adjust the voltage at which it starts to regulate or cut back the voltage. (When the yellow light comes on.) I've started adjusting all mine since then. The factory setting is too high. I forget the actual numbers, but it doesn't start regulating until 132V or so, then when it does, and the yellow light comes on, it cuts back nicely to 115V or so. These cheap ones do not offer any low-voltage protection. I tested it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...