What can go wrong with a power conditoner? - diyAudio
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Old 15th March 2012, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default What can go wrong with a power conditoner?

I just picked up an older Tripp Lite LC1200 line conditioner with the hopes of getting it to work. The problem: NO OUTPUT. The switch light turns on and I've metered 120 to the board to determine the circuit breaker and switch are working properly. I've also looked for any obvious component damage but couldn't find any budging/leaking caps, toasted resistors, or any thermal damage. That's about where my knowledge ends. I need some direction as to what to troubleshoot next and if it's not straight forward how to do it.

I only got him for $5 so as long as it cost me about $25 or less to fix I'm winning.

Here's some photos of the inside:

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Old 15th March 2012, 08:27 PM   #2
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Guess is that the relay(s) are not getting energized, which would apply power to the transformer and then to the output receptacles. The bigger problem is what sensing circuitry is bad that is preventing the relays from energizing.
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Old 15th March 2012, 08:33 PM   #3
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Hmmm. What voltage should I be able to see across the transformer? Across the top I have White Brown CT(?) Yellow, then across the bottom I have Orange Blue Green Red. What should I be looking for?

Also I was thinking it might be the MOV, but there's no obvious sign of damage there.
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Old 16th March 2012, 12:12 AM   #4
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Identify the primary leads (input) of the xfmr, and the secondary leads (output). You should be able to determine this by recognizing the secondary feeds the receptacle, and the primary comes from the relay PCB. Determine if there is any primary excitation. If there is, but no secondary output, the xfmr is fried (unlikely). If there is no primary excitation, it's not getting through the PCB, and you have to identify why.
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Old 16th March 2012, 12:17 AM   #5
asmith is offline asmith  United States
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Default May need a load to run.

Try putting a load on it and see if it fires up. Some of them will not run into an open circut.
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Old 16th March 2012, 07:50 PM   #6
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I had initially tried the LC with a variety of loads on it with no change. I'll take a few minutes to meter the transformer later this afternoon. Thanks for all the help so far!
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Old 16th March 2012, 10:35 PM   #7
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I used to have a line conditioner / balanced isolation transformer of a different brand (the name begins with an F and was sort of expensive).
It got fried (along with a some of my other gear) when lightning hit nearby. I got the schematic for it and found that all of the surge clamping devices and line filtering devices were on the secondary of the balanced transformer so were never in the circuit if it was off. The unit had a controller circuit with a soft start and a relay. It also had a line voltage meter on the primary. Those circuits were energized all of the time and had nothing to protect them. Not even a power transformer since the supply for the controller was derived directly from the 120V line. I fixed the thing but couldn't stand to keep it knowing what a terrible design it was. I would have needed a power conditioner to protect it! It is an example of a good idea with a Terrible implementation. It can't even save it's own circuits!
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Old 17th March 2012, 12:32 PM   #8
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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The capacitors and the spark/spike arrestors wear out, eventually.

But follow up on the relay tip.
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Old 17th March 2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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Relay contacts can be melted/burned out. That's the only part that really will have a wear...
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Old 17th March 2012, 03:30 PM   #10
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Each time a capacitor or an MOV tries to absorb an overvoltage spike, the internal structure suffers deterioration/damage.
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