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Suncoast Audiophile Society Message Board Main discussion area (visible to non-members) › Ground loops, cable isolation, and dedicated lines

Ground loops, cable isolation, and dedicated lines

Brad R.
user 13948254
Tampa, FL
Post #: 2
I believe that surge suppression is of help for line fluctuations but the average bolt of lightning is 1,000,000,000 volts at anywhere from 10,000-200,000 amps. I don't think anything short of unplugging your equipment will help if you get hit. Just my opinion.
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 92
Luis Espel, my electrician (and new best friend) installed the 20A quad outlet today. He is EXTREMELY thorough, and discovered the REAL source of the intermittent hum... our clothes dryer (on 220 V line) is leaking power into the ground! I had never thought about turning off remote appliances when the hum issue reared it's ugly head! Fortunately, my wife fortuitously turned on the dryer just as he was checking the main panel ground, and he saw the sudden spike! He confirmed the dryers 220 V outlet and the power cord are properly wired, so the problem is internal to the dryer. It's about 15 yrs old, so probably easier to replace vs. trying to repair.

BTW, my main panel connections were all tight, and everything else checked out OK. Unfortunately, Luis discovered that my previous electrician used 12g instead of 10g wire (as I had requested) when running the dedicated 20A line (probably needed the extra flexibility), however he assured me it should be more than adequate, even with my high-power C-J amp.

For those interested, I highly recommend Luis Espel (LEE Electric 813-908-0035). Although he's based in North Tampa, he told me he also covers Pinellas and Pasco counties. He's definitely one of the "good guys" in the service sector.

Now, time to hook every thing back up, unplug the dryer, and crank out some tunes!
Philip R.
inline_phil
Brooksville, FL
Post #: 8
Fantastic! Congratulations for finding the mystery. Who would have guessed?

Now, May I recommend an unbelievable whole-house surge protection device for your main CB panel:

http://eclipspts.com/...­

I used to work there and knew the designer before he passed away. It is truly unique by the definition of the word. No one protects from lightning as well as these do. From what I understand, the new owners still carry on in his tradition.
Brad R.
user 13948254
Tampa, FL
Post #: 3
Glad to hear you finally got to the source of the problem.

Does this mean that in your list of audio equipment you will add the name of the new dryer since its purchase effected the quality of sound.smile
ENIGMA
user 13935015
Tampa, FL
Post #: 14
I thought a ground loop was something you did with a "tail dragger"....
Brad R.
user 13948254
Tampa, FL
Post #: 4
OK explain that one to me.
Alan N
user 13931748
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 93
...Does this mean that in your list of audio equipment you will add the name of the new dryer since its purchase effected the quality of sound...

Can't wait to see the salesperson's expression at Sears when I ask where their "tube dryers" are located! smile

Interestingly, after hooking everything back up, I *still* have some continuous background hum (not nearly as bad as before), which is totally eliminated by a single cheater plug on my amp. Guess I still somehow have a residual ground loop, or the amp is the source. Will need to investigate further, but I can live with the status quo right now.

We definitely oughtta schedule a meeting "theme" to discuss ground loops, RFI, and similar electrical gremlins!
A former member
Post #: 4
I believe that surge suppression is of help for line fluctuations but the average bolt of lightning is 1,000,000,000 volts at anywhere from 10,000-200,000 amps. I don't think anything short of unplugging your equipment will help if you get hit. Just my opinion.

I have always used Brickwall filters before any power conditioning or regeneration. Seems like a solid product; not sure if it would save you from a direct hit though.
ENIGMA
user 13935015
Tampa, FL
Post #: 15
...and a little more on lightning..

I can attest that even unplugging equipment is not 100% safe (but the best option). We use to design and build Tesla coils for testing "strikes" on aircraft canopies and some of the test equipment input signal rectifiers would get smoked due to EMF from the "artificial lightning" even when the unit was unplugged. As Jonathon states above, the power in a bolt of lightning is insane! We performed "lightning" tests at UF in Gainesville using "fixed" lightning rods about 30 ft tall in the middle of a field to test the magnetic fields around such a strike. The test was conducted using a simple transformer about 50 ft from the rods and the "induced" voltage was substantial enough to "toast" small rectifier diodes. (Reverse bias)

Ciao
Harley A Day J.
user 13950200
Saint Petersburg, FL
Post #: 4

This happened to me some years ago. During what was to be a violent storm, I unpluged all of my electronics and was waiting out the lightning. A bolt hit the transformer at the back of my house where the unplugged TV sat. The TV lit up and showed a broadcast on its screen a split second before it blew up. I am ignorant of the working of surge protectors but I do know 2 things. A lightning bolt arcs 40 miles and nothing impedes that jolt. Surge protectors are laden with MOV's and they are adversely detrimental to the sound of an audio system. My audio rig suffered minor damage because it was located at the other end of the house. I suspect that a surge protection device is benefictial if the surge is a mile or more away.
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Tampa, FL

Founded Feb 3, 2011

Organizers:

Alan N, Edward Matura, Ernie Kautzmann, francis endryck, Gary Eickmeier, Richard Setera
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