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Low voltage

At first I thought it was just my area that was suffering from the problem of terribly low quality electricity being delivered into our home.

Electric fans were spinning slower than normal. The water pump didn’t have enough juice to fill the pressure tank with enough water so it could reach the assigned cut off pressure and automatically shut off. If the aircon was turned on, the compressor would just die on us, leaving us with a glorified electric fan.

I don’t know what kind of damage our other appliances and electric devices were sustaining from being fed low voltage every day, but I wouldn’t be surprised if our refrigerator, computer units, and other sensitive equipment are dying slow and painful deaths because of it.

I know how low the voltage that goes into my home because I have a voltmeter. And for the past few months, that voltmeter has been regularly reading as low as 189 volts during the peak hours of 7-9pm.

I know that the voltage is terribly low because I can hear the water pump whining incessantly, still refusing to cut out because it cannot reach the cut out pressure. That is despite me having adjusted that cut out pressure to a lower point a few months ago.

What is frustrating is because of the low voltage delivered by Ceneco, the water pressure in my home was adjusted to a lower point. But despite that compromise adjustment, the voltage still gets so low that even at that compromise water pressure, the water pump still refuses to work properly and there are multiple instances in a day when I have to go out and manually jolt the pressure switch so the pump turns off.

Because of low voltage, I am constantly listening for the unending whine of a struggling water pump. My home is at risk because if we don’t catch that struggling water pump, there is a chance that it overheats and starts a fire.

Because of low voltage, air compressors die on us. The service life of our refrigerator is probably affected. Any appliance or device that doesn’t have an AVR is at risk of destruction via low voltage.

Despite this miserable quality of the product being delivered by our electric cooperative, we still pay them full price every month. We cannot protest by refusing to pay for crap product because they will simply disconnect our service.

I have a voltmeter in my home because we already experienced this kind of service before. But by some miracle, it was somehow resolved and the quality of electricity improved for a bit. Unfortunately for us poor consumers, the low voltage monster has come back with a vengeance and it feels like there is nothing we can do about it.

I thought it was just my area. Maybe the transformer feeding our home is aging, overloaded or needs an upgrade. But after a recent conversation with a couple of titos, it seems like we all share this low voltage problem.

We should be getting 220V. These days, I’d be happy to see 210V on my new best friend, the voltmeter. 189V is normal during the peak hours of 7-9pm. During these information era, Ceneco people should know the horribleness of the quality of the voltage they are delivering to consumers. I bet they have line graphs of it if we asked. The problem with having this information is that they have done absolutely nothing about it for months now and that totally sucks.

I don’t know if there are affordable voltage recorders for sale in online stores, but if there are, I’d recommend that we buy and install them so we can prepare that information for a class action suit against our terribly performing electric company who has a very simple job of delivering 220-230V to our homes.

We pay for electricity but we are getting crap. If a restaurant can be punished for serving spoiled food, why are we not doing anything about the spoiled electricity that we are being charged for? Is government not monitoring the quality of service that public utilities deliver? Or is it ok to deliver muddy water, low voltage electricity and intermittent internet service while still making a handsome profit in this country?

Or should we stop complaining because their service meets the bare minimum standards and they did something good in the past anyway?*

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June 2022
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