Reef nutrition

Low Voltage

Blaise006

Supporting Member
Hi All,

With the heat today came some surprisingly low
voltage which I assume is only going to get worse as the heat persist.

The situation is a bit weird. We bought the house last year, and we were told that the garage is wired with a 100amp sub panel. While technically true, they didn’t mention/might have not known that the sub panel was wired into our main breaker with a 15 amp fuse. So we are gated to the 15 amps. I unfortunately only came to learn this after the tanks were set up.

Today voltage dropped down to 106 which is quite alarming. I confirmed with a multimeter.

Does anyone else have an issue like this? Is the only solution upgrading the main breaker and running a new line (costly as the structure is surrounded by cement on all sides)?

I’m open to suggestions, because I expect the breaker will trip if if drops any lower and the wire gets hotter.

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Blaise006

Supporting Member
Then I‘d get an electrician out for a professional evaluation and fix. Not the time for random internet advice :)
I did.

Almost 5k seemed a bit high to me. Specially when I am more than capable to run the conduit, once I find it. Obviously once the walls open up, there could be any number of issues.

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Qwiv

Supporting Member
Thats a pretty good price actually. I'd need to call a favor for a cheaper price then that or have someone do it as a side job.
What is your actual load in watts or amps? You should have been hitting higher usage in winter with heaters I would think, unless you have a monster chiller.
PS, There was a fire in RWC Emerald Hills area and we had a few black-out/brown outs in the area due to them killing power. Might have added to the voltage drop. Measure your load in Amps. I have a Clamp Amp meter you can borrow if you can get to the feeder line. Know what gauge wire the feeder is?
 

Qwiv

Supporting Member
If you want to get that price down, have everything opened up when an estimator looks at it. He needs to see that the job is easy and one guy can do it in a day. Have as much stuff prepped as possible. You won't get a price less then a days work though. You could even have the sub panel installed and the standard wiring complete so they only touch the 220v 50amp feeder. You will need to make sure you get the correct 220 panel and not a 110 one.

Make it and easy after work job and I can see if I can get a guy to visit you as a side job. Have a small electrical contractor working at the San Mateo Boys/Girls club soon and can ask him if he would want to take a look at it.
 

MolaMola

Supporting Member
Does this brown-out type of situation happen to you intermittently and your house is pretty old and has power from the pole (not underground)? Had that at my house and PG&E said there was no problem. I went up for a look, saw power source line had some bare wire showing. Ended up with PG&E replacing the supply line and electrician replacing the masthead it attaches to. Talked to a few neighbors who had the low voltage issue, too, and they all had masthead replaced and problem was solved.
 

Blaise006

Supporting Member
Does this brown-out type of situation happen to you intermittently and your house is pretty old and has power from the pole (not underground)? Had that at my house and PG&E said there was no problem. I went up for a look, saw power source line had some bare wire showing. Ended up with PG&E replacing the supply line and electrician replacing the masthead it attaches to. Talked to a few neighbors who had the low voltage issue, too, and they all had masthead replaced and problem was solved.
Thanks, I will direct some more calls to PG&E.

Power from the pole, house is old. We haven’t lost any power or tripped the breaker yet. Just the low voltage issue on the garage circuit.
 

Blaise006

Supporting Member
If you want to get that price down, have everything opened up when an estimator looks at it. He needs to see that the job is easy and one guy can do it in a day. Have as much stuff prepped as possible. You won't get a price less then a days work though. You could even have the sub panel installed and the standard wiring complete so they only touch the 220v 50amp feeder. You will need to make sure you get the correct 220 panel and not a 110 one.

Make it and easy after work job and I can see if I can get a guy to visit you as a side job. Have a small electrical contractor working at the San Mateo Boys/Girls club soon and can ask him if he would want to take a look at it.
The sub panel is already in place. I assume since the garage is surround by concrete there is conduit somewhere to the sub panel. I could run the line ideally and just have them hook it up to the breaker. I really appreciate the help!
 

Meshmez

Supporting Member
The sub panel is already in place. I assume since the garage is surround by concrete there is conduit somewhere to the sub panel. I could run the line ideally and just have them hook it up to the breaker. I really appreciate the help!
Is the feed to the garage new(ish) or original? if it's original it may not be in conduit
 
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