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Post by Katydid on Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:30 am


Should we call in an electrician to check our rental’s wiring?

We have burned out two microwaves which were brought down from the USA 3 years ago when they were nearly new. They were used 2 years in different homes in Ajijic, but moving to Chapala Haciendas seemed to hasten their demise. First one died, and the other lasted only a few months after being pressed into service as a replacement. Initially, we attempted to use a standard, small voltage regulator, but they tripped off, so we plugged directly into the wall outlet.

Our latest investment is a 1500 watt Samsung bought at the Ajijic WalMart which we have plugged into a refrigerator voltage regulator with no problems -- so far, after 2 entire days of use. Are we correct in thinking that something sold in Mexico is configured to adapt to the erratic power feeds here? Or is every appliance the same except for bearing a control panel in the language appropriate for where it is being shipped? The Samsung’s controls are in Spanish, but the readouts when the microwave is operating are in English. So how Mexican can this made-in-Maylasia microwave be?

Advice will be appreciated.

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Post by sundown on Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:38 am

If you turn on a Microwave without anything inside(non-metallic) , it will
"burn-out"

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Post by Trailrunner on Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:41 am

Yes, you are correct in thinking that. You should have better luck with the current microwave and using the VR for the fridge.

Additionally, your other 2 microwaves may have been able to be fixed by one of the clever domestic appliance repair guys locally.

Suerte
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Post by Katydid on Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:48 am

Mexicantrailrunner,
Thanks for the response.
After two unsuccessful repairs we dumped the first one and decided not to go thru the same thing with the second.

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Post by hockables on Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:53 am

Katydid wrote:Mexicantrailrunner,
Thanks for the response.
After two unsuccessful repairs we dumped the first one and decided not to go thru the same thing with the second.

Very likely a burned out Diode ( one way fuse ) Easily fixed!
You might want to look into a Voltage Regulator/Surge Protector
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Post by seisdedos on Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:25 am

Katydid wrote:


Our latest investment is a 1500 watt Samsung bought at the Ajijic WalMart which we have plugged into a refrigerator voltage regulator with no problems -- so far, after 2 entire days of use. Are we correct in thinking that something sold in Mexico is configured to adapt to the erratic power feeds here? Or is every appliance the same except for bearing a control panel in the language appropriate for where it is being shipped? The Samsung’s controls are in Spanish, but the readouts when the microwave is operating are in English. So how Mexican can this made-in-Maylasia microwave be?

Advice will be appreciated.

The "appliances made for Mexican electrical system" is a myth for the most part.
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Post by Jim W on Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:49 am

We are on our 3rd microwave over the past 7 years, also live near you, in the Haciendas. This is the only appliance we have had issues with....after 2 attempts to repair the 1st.....gave up...., far less hasstle to buy a new cheap model....this one is nearly 3 years old
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Post by johninajijic on Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:29 pm

We have a GE Microwave bought at Tio Sam's about 7 years ago, still OK, but don't use it a lot.

We have an LG Microwave in the casita, about 4 years old, don't know how much it gets used.
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Post by Zedinmexico on Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:55 am

You folks do know the voltage is different in Mexico 127V than US 120V? Now this
would not be so bad except for last night I saw 134V in the middle of the night.
Voltage in US doesn't wander much but it does wander here. We don't drop
phases of power up north we do here. Power sucks here and I don't think
something rated for 120V would like 134 especially if the power has other
problems like neutral to ground voltage from improper distribution of load
accross the three phases of power. I would monitor your power if you are
losing appliances. I have seen as high as 140 in certain areas at night as the
voltage floats up as the load goes down. Whether Mexican and US appliances
are the same I can't answer but I do notice mexican appliances have the
proper rating for the voltage whereas many non world NOB appliances do not.

Z

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Post by johninajijic on Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:30 am

What ZED has said is entirely correct. CFE can't do anything right nor do they care if you burn out any of your appliances, TV'S, etc. CFE sucks!!! You should have voltage regulators on all sensitive stuff like computers, TV'S, refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, etc.
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Post by Trailrunner on Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:39 am

The other easy things to do to protect your appliances from the Mexican power supply Z spoke about is to simply pull the plugs when not in use. Additionally, when the power does go out, pull all the plugs to avoid any possible surges when it comes back on. Even with surge protectors and voltage regulators.

I'm on my third micro in 8 years. The US one died shortly after arriving, the second Mexican one - LG -, only lasted a few short years, and I've been on my third - Mexican GE - for a few good years now. I keep it plugged in most of the time. Almost everyone I know has lost appliances a couple of them lost all of them with one surge in Joco.

My computer equipment is the first plug to be yanked if there is any doubt.
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Post by ComputerGuy on Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:58 am

A couple of years back, I worked with a professional electrical engineer here for several months, doing "whole house" installs. It was not unusual to see regular fluctuations to 137 volts.
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Post by Katydid on Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:18 am

I have no idea how to test the voltage. Please explain in detail.

Thanks for all the feedback so far.

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Post by Zedinmexico on Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:28 am

Katydid wrote:I have no idea how to test the voltage. Please explain in detail.

Thanks for all the feedback so far.


Well you measure it with a simple Volt Meter. You measure Voltage, measure Neutral to ground, Look for spikes, Look for drops. I
have an instrument that does all this. Get help if you do not know what you are doing. Doing this requires some modest skills for
safety reasons.

Z

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Post by Zedinmexico on Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:01 am

Trailrunner wrote:The other easy things to do to protect your appliances from the Mexican power supply Z spoke about is to simply pull the plugs when not in use. Additionally, when the power does go out, pull all the plugs to avoid any possible surges when it comes back on. Even with surge protectors and voltage regulators.

I'm on my third micro in 8 years. The US one died shortly after arriving, the second Mexican one - LG -, only lasted a few short years, and I've been on my third - Mexican GE - for a few good years now. I keep it plugged in most of the time. Almost everyone I know has lost appliances a couple of them lost all of them with one surge in Joco.

My computer equipment is the first plug to be yanked if there is any doubt.


Yep but don't forget your Sat wire, Cable wire, phone wire etc etc. Pulling the plug on a computer doesn't help if it has a modem and phone
line connected to it. If someone hits a pole and the phone wires and electrical wires touch. This includes your cable or DSL lines that come
into your house. If you own a house put in a whole house surge protector that also includes cable and phone wire suppression. Also be
sure to put a lightning shunt on your sat dish. Now the odds are low of being hit by lightning or having someone hit the power pole in front
of your house but these could be issues beyond pulling the electrical plug.

Its always something isn't it.

Z


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Post by MexicoPete on Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:23 pm

johninajijic wrote:What ZED has said is entirely correct. CFE can't do anything right nor do they care if you burn out any of your appliances, TV'S, etc. CFE sucks!!! You should have voltage regulators on all sensitive stuff like computers, TV'S, refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, etc.

John, it depends upon your neighborhood. Sorry, I couldn't resist. But seriously if you live close in and close to a transformer, you seem to have better reliability and better service. You say, CFE sucks. It aint perfect that's for sure. But you would be surprised how much more helpful they are if you speak to them in Spanish, even if it's broken Spanish like mine. If you are humble and don't demand anything but rather plead for help, more often than not, you will get help. And things are so much better today than they were 15 years ago when there were power outages all the time.

The one problem I had at my location, near Las Salvias was high voltage. Sometimes at night my continuously plugged in Kill-A-Watt meter would show as high as 142-3 volts, yet when CFE came out in the daytime when many clients were using electricity it would always be OK (Per law or regulation the voltage must be 127 + or - 10% which means from about 114 to almost as high as 140 volts)

To make a long story short, Jsun at eSunEnergy lent me some equipment that measured and printed out a 24 hour chart showing very high voltage in my neighborhood which only occurred at night, CFE, came out and stepped down the transformer about 3 steps. Now its always about 127 plus or minus a few % points.

Oh and remember folks that the voltage regulators that most of you get are really step up or step down transformers that can either lower or raise the voltage by about 8 to 9% or do nothing when the voltage is correct. So if your voltage before the voltage regulator is close to 140 Volts that regulator is only going to lower it to about 127 which is still higher than desirable for a US rated product.

Also remember, if you have a surge protector, that it is only as good as the ground the surge protector is shunting the surge to. (In my case 3 two meter rods placed deep in the ground in an area that is watered.
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Post by seisdedos on Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:42 pm

Zedinmexico wrote:You folks do know the voltage is different in Mexico 127V than US 120V? Now this
would not be so bad except for last night I saw 134V in the middle of the night.
Voltage in US doesn't wander much but it does wander here. We don't drop
phases of power up north we do here. Power sucks here and I don't think
something rated for 120V would like 134 especially if the power has other
problems like neutral to ground voltage from improper distribution of load
accross the three phases of power. I would monitor your power if you are
losing appliances. I have seen as high as 140 in certain areas at night as the
voltage floats up as the load goes down. Whether Mexican and US appliances
are the same I can't answer but I do notice mexican appliances have the
proper rating for the voltage whereas many non world NOB appliances do not.

Z

What do you do, walk around with a voltmeter 24 hours a day checking voltage?
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Post by Zedinmexico on Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:56 pm

seisdedos wrote:
Zedinmexico wrote:You folks do know the voltage is different in Mexico 127V than US 120V? Now this
would not be so bad except for last night I saw 134V in the middle of the night.
Voltage in US doesn't wander much but it does wander here. We don't drop
phases of power up north we do here. Power sucks here and I don't think
something rated for 120V would like 134 especially if the power has other
problems like neutral to ground voltage from improper distribution of load
accross the three phases of power. I would monitor your power if you are
losing appliances. I have seen as high as 140 in certain areas at night as the
voltage floats up as the load goes down. Whether Mexican and US appliances
are the same I can't answer but I do notice mexican appliances have the
proper rating for the voltage whereas many non world NOB appliances do not.

Z

What do you do, walk around with a voltmeter 24 hours a day checking voltage?

Gauge for voltage on box under TV. Walk by and look. After a while you can guess by the
time of the day what the voltage is. I also have a small box you can plug in and it tells you
if you have spikes or drops over time. Engineers have wierd toys.

Z

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Post by MexicoPete on Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:19 pm

I'm weird that way. I have voltage meter plugged in 24/7 in the master bathroom. I don't look at it much unless there have been problems. Usually when I’m brushing my teeth. I also regularly check my CFE meter. I do not check my water meter. Yes they are putting in water meters slowly but surely.

But if you were to ask me to cook something, I wouldn't know how to do it if it couldn't be cooked in a microwave.
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Post by johninajijic on Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:26 pm

Hi Pete - Good informative post. At least you're not busting my chops. Thanks. We have 2 huge transformers, one services 9 homes, the other services 10 homes. The transformer is approx 450 feet from my house.
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Post by ComputerGuy on Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:27 pm

Peter never busts anybody's chops. Don't let that fool you...
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Post by Zedinmexico on Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:19 am

MexicoPete wrote:I'm weird that way. I have voltage meter plugged in 24/7 in the master bathroom. I don't look at it much unless there have been problems. Usually when I’m brushing my teeth. I also regularly check my CFE meter. I do not check my water meter. Yes they are putting in water meters slowly but surely.

But if you were to ask me to cook something, I wouldn't know how to do it if it couldn't be cooked in a microwave.



LOL guess I am not the only tecno geek with a volt meter in my house!!! 126.9V right now at 9am. Will be 129 at 3am. I am very lucky
on an end run of the three phase so the voltage is down a little so I don't have to use regulators. Lucky me. Lower central Ajijic has
very good power.


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Post by Kiri on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:08 am

Katydid wrote:I have no idea how to test the voltage. Please explain in detail.

Thanks for all the feedback so far.

P3 International P4460 Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Usage Monitor[url=]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RGF29Q?ie=UTF8&tag=dddnc-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000RGF29Q]P3 International P4460 Kill A Watt EZ Electricity Usage Monitor[/url]
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