Author Topic: Odd power grid issues in Palo Alto, CA area!  (Read 412 times)
MVMH_99
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Odd power grid issues in Palo Alto, CA area! « on: February 09, 2022, 11:55:26 PM » Author: MVMH_99
Hello everyone,

I recently heard about something very peculiar not far from where I live, and thought you'd enjoy this:


In part of Palo Alto (California), there have been some ongoing issues with the power grid (which is supplied with power via PG&E, but provided to buildings/homes via the city's own utility department).  Somehow, there appears to be an issue at a PG&E (sigh... ::) ) substation where a portion of the high voltage distribution is going "wonky," and multiple homes in the area are now receiving up to 270V (!) as opposed to the usual 240-245 max.  And, sometimes it drops so low that nothing functions at all (power goes out completely), or the lights in the home flicker and appliances don't work as they should.  The smaller distribution transformers in the area are not reported to have been affected, and this issue is only isolated to this one area in Palo Alto and no adjadcent cities, as far as I know.

It obviously makes sense that if the high voltage input to "local" (neighborhood) transformers is greater than it should be it would result in higher-than-240V output from the transformer(s), but this just strikes me as odd because I've never heard of such a thing.  While 30 volts by itself may appear inconsequential, this has been wreaking havoc on people's electrical systems, especially with the "ups and downs."  Also, I find it shocking (pun intended!) that "fixed voltage" appliances like washing machines, HVAC systems, microwaves, TVs, and like devices/appliances wouldn't be permanently damaged by such excessive voltage and fluctuations.

As usual, PG&E is "dragging its heels" on this, as they haven't given any definitive timeline on repairs.  Needless to say, this would be terribly aggravating for anyone affected by this, but you have to remember PG&E is slow at best with big projects and grid improvements (just look back at those horrible CA power grid wildfires).  And, (regardless of provider) ANY project that involves substation repairs will result in massive disruption to the surrounding area and requires VERY specialized labor.  They have to send out notice to minimize disruption (as well as likely find a an "interim" power source), line up adequate labor and parts, and then do complex repairs on (potentially-energized) high-voltage equipment - NOT something that can be done "overnight," needless to say.

And get this: PG&E wasn't even willing to look into this case and/or agree to take action (despite still not releasing a definitive timeline to the public, WTF?! :curse:) until an impacted customer had an electrician come out (at their OWN expense), and check their service panel and wiring.  Once the "obvious" was ruled out (it is very true that a faulty service panel, a lost neutral, and/or faulty wiring could cause such malfunctioning as described earlier), they FINALLY admitted it was indeed on their (PG&E's) high-voltage side, with the culprit being failing substation equipment...


I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this one!  :) :o

« Last Edit: February 09, 2022, 11:59:25 PM by MVMH_99 » Logged

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Econolite03
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Re: Odd power grid issues in Palo Alto, CA area! « Reply #1 on: February 10, 2022, 12:34:43 AM » Author: Econolite03
Yeah, PG&E is a horrible utility.
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Re: Odd power grid issues in Palo Alto, CA area! « Reply #2 on: February 12, 2022, 12:55:20 AM » Author: High Intensity
Ahh good old PG&E, or as I like to call them, Phires, Greed, & Explosions. :eoled: I'm just glad to live in a city that has its own electric utility that seems to take better care of its customers.
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Bulbman256
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Bulbman256
Re: Odd power grid issues in Palo Alto, CA area! « Reply #3 on: February 12, 2022, 02:49:55 PM » Author: Bulbman256
Classic Pacific Greed and Extortion, can't seem to get their stuffs together. They seemed to have gotten worse and worse since I left California in 2017, hopefully they can get it together.
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Mandolin Girl
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Re: Odd power grid issues in Palo Alto, CA area! « Reply #4 on: February 12, 2022, 03:19:19 PM » Author: Mandolin Girl
Get it together.?  ???

All they're interested in is the bottom line and maximum dividends to their shareholders.!  :curse:
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Re: Odd power grid issues in Palo Alto, CA area! « Reply #5 on: February 12, 2022, 03:32:06 PM » Author: High Intensity
Don't forget the executive bonuses that they gave out for "outstanding safety" even after their equipment sparked multiple wildfires.
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Econolite03
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Re: Odd power grid issues in Palo Alto, CA area! « Reply #6 on: February 12, 2022, 03:42:23 PM » Author: Econolite03
I’m gonna say it right off the bat, as a California resident:

Everyone at the corporate level of PG&E should be in prison.
Seriously, It’s that bad.
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