Good thing I check my wall voltage for my vintage amps


I use a variac and bring down my standard out-the-wall 125v down to 115v.

So I'm checking the wall and I get a reading of 146v

I check some other sockets and they are all 146v.

I call the fellow who manages the house I rent, he sends over his electrician buddy and he reads 146v. And the 240 wiring for the dryer is reading 280

Call the power company. I waited 1/2 an hour on hold to get through on the phone but they had a truck here within the hour.

The look on the guy's face up in the lift cart when he took the first reading said it all. He was getting 294 on the line.

He said I should expect a blackout.

Good thing I don't just plug in my vintage Marshalls. I don't think they would like to see 146 volts.


Oh. I know F-all about electricity, except for it hurts when it touches you.

Nor do i, that's why i don't touch it! I understand cogs and pistons and such, electrons are a bit abstract for my brain.

I figured though let's say your fridge, even though the voltage is higher would probably the draw same power, just less amps. I don't really know though.


This has helped me:




Ever since I moved into this house last May, I've been getting 126V from the wall.

They came and put in a new transformer on the street today in response to my call on seeing 146v.

Now I have 115v out the wall

I guess the transformer has been out of spec for a while.

Mark Robinson

Gold Supporting Member
My company is on a wierd ancient backwater line near the harbor in Los Angeles. We have our own pad mount transformers that take 16K line in and knock it down to 480v and 277 then we have transformers that knock a bunch of it down into 120 for more normal loads. A few years ago we started having all sorts of lighting ballast failures and an expensive 125 hp. blower that runs pretty hard, developed a bearing knock and was sort of scaring the maintenance guys. Our Industrial Electrician came to look at the motor and just shook his head and said, "were calling Edison right now".

Our voltages were scary high, the 480 volt three phase power was 510 volts and over. The 120 was in the 130s. Franklin Smith, the Line Supervisor, a great man who passed a while back, gave our transformer a wide berth as they mucked around selecting a different primary ratio. Something to watch , the Edison guys all ducking while one guy pulls and rotates this big switch deal with a long fiberglass pole. Whaumppp as it picks the whole plant load back up. Short turns in a major distribution transformer was the call. We did recover some equipment replacement money from Edison.

We had the opposite where I live, rusty old junk installed in the 30's through the '50's. When my neighbor Felix would run a power tool or his washer, our lights would dim too. We would return the favor naturally. They did some work around the corner with new transformers and now were high a lot, always at least 126 or so.

If your voltage is high, your bill may hopefully, actually be low, the metering is power factor and tracks current. At least I think that's how it works? If voltage is high, less current is required, that's a given. I'm just glad it does work well here. In other countries where we've got customers, sometimes it just isn't working consistently at all. Consequentially some of the electronics that control our products get worked over, fried etc.

You're smart for checking!

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