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Kohler - unsteady voltage

Trekrider2001

Registered
Bingo! We are actually in a power fail right now (Seattle storm) so I took the opportunity to kill everything and re-torque L1, L2 and N. I did not do the receptacle thing, as the lights oscillating happened without the TV (just happens faster with TV). So I opened these connections, re-positioned the cable and torqued the lugs to 12 NM (no documentation I could find as to the torque). It seemed that this was just a tad bigger than what they were. So far so good. We are on generator, turn the oven on, turn the TV on and I only get a small dip as the oven cycles on and off, but otherwise the voltage is stable. Will continue to monitor throughout the power outage, but so far this looks like a fix. Anyway, I am unable to create the problem.
 

Trekrider2001

Registered
On reading the literature, it seems like these connectors need to be torqued to 250 inch pounds or about 26-28 NM. Would you guys agree that I need to torque these more? I just don't want to strip the threads as it is only aluminum.
 

Zephyr7

Registered
On reading the literature, it seems like these connectors need to be torqued to 250 inch pounds or about 26-28 NM. Would you guys agree that I need to torque these more? I just don't want to strip the threads as it is only aluminum.
Yes, but do it after the storm unless the wire is hot near the lug (feel the insulated part of the wire close to the lug). I’d pull the wire out and make sure it’s not corroded too. If you see corrosion, clean the lug with a wire brush and restrip the wire to get a clean end for termination.

It’s unusual to actually use a torque wrench to tighten these lugs. Most everyone just does it German style — “gutentight” :) you do need some practice to know how tight is right though. Use the torque wrench if you want to be careful.

Bill
 

dkamp

eMail NOT Working
Electrical connections are subject to a variety of strange things... electrical HEATING is obvious enough (once the connection gets a little resistive, it gets warm). Another... is corrosion... a little dissimilarity in metals develops a slightly dielectric film between the two, causing strangeness. Cleaning and retorquing generally resolves it. Aluminum conductors DEMAND the use of corrosion-resistant paste... NonOX and De-Oxit are two trade names that come to mind.

If that solved your problem, GREAT! (now check all the rest... they probably need a little attention too... ) :rolleyes:
 

Trekrider2001

Registered
The connections all needed a good amount of tightening. I used the torque wrench just to be sure as all those connectors are just aluminum and I have big wrench! I did a load test and there was no problem or oscillation of voltages. In other words, can't reproduce the problem, so is it fixed? At this point yes. Let's see at the next power outage. We have two more storms coming this week (first is tomorrow morning) so we don't have to wait long. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions from everybody.
 

Zephyr7

Registered
If you want to play it safe, check the tightness of all the connections once a year. Best time is around a big season change (like spring) due to the big temperature changes which tend to make any problem worse; and thus easier to find.

If anything loosens up before your next storm then something is wrong with the lug. I’ve seen pugs crack before and once that happens they won’t stay tight.

Bill
 
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