Originally Posted by Robinson_A
. Even during non peak hours I've seen my power drop down to 110v even...gulp...108v. I'm having new dedicated lines pulled to my rack in two weeks that I'm told will fix the problem.
The Truth About Dedicated Lines
The idea of running new "dedicated" lines to audio rooms has been misinterpreted by several postings as meaning their systems are now "isolated" from utility problems. It is simply not true.
There are a couple of good reasons to install separate lines to audio room outlets. The most important is to provide a guaranteed uninterrupted ground wire to remove common mode noise possibilities (i.e. unwanted signals between the ground and neutral conductors). This also requires careful attention to the actual ground connection between the distribution panel and the earth connection in North American systems - usually to a copper plumbing pipe. Bad grounds at that junction are very common and not helped by a new line.
The second valid reason to run over-spec wire gauges to the audio room is to mitigate (I said mitigate - not eliminate) the voltage drop at the wall outlet that occurs each time there is a demand for high current from a high power amp.
The fact is, the only dedicated part of a so called dedicated line is the safety ground. The line and neutral wire are still connected directly to every other outlet in your house - and probably to several neighboring houses. You can check this by tracing your wiring back to the nearest distribution transformer - probably on a pole top or underground vault in a home setting - or an electrical room in an apartment or condo building.
Every house or apartment connected to that transformer shares a common electrical source, and each electrical device connected to it contributes to its characteristics - by adding noise, distortion or causing sags and surges. When your neighbor turns on his laser printer, the distorting effects of its power supply can be read on a good power quality meter in your wall outlets. Add up all the computers, air conditioners, appliances, noisy vacuum cleaner motors etc an you can imagine what the waveform looks like in every outlet in your house, "dedicated" or not.
Then add the fact that some disturbances arrive from the utility supply in the form of surges, sags, brownouts, switching transients and other uninvited guests - plus effects from nearby lightening strikes -- and it's not surprising the dedicated line offers no real defense for poor power.
Some sort of power conditioning is mandatory if you want your system to be free from the effects of bad power from the utility or from your neighbors. If you are sophisticated in power engineering and own the analysis tools you can determine which of the 10 unique power problems is affecting your system (see www.purepoweraps.com/gremlins.htm
) and then purchase a device that fixes just that problem. So if it is noise from fluorescent lights you can buy an emi/rfi noise filter power conditioner. If it is just surges you can buy a surge protector. If it is sags and brownouts you can buy a voltage regulating power conditioner. If it is frequent blackouts you can buy a battery back up.
If you have no idea which problems you suffer from - or you want to make sure you cover all the bases as power problems not detected today have a habit of appearing tomorrow - you need an AC regenerator that will provide complete isolation from the power grid with power quality equal to that provided by an all battery system.