Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 28 July 2010 11:13
The John S. DaVanzo Community Pool has been experiencing power supply issues during the last few weeks when the sun was brutal and the temperatures were high. According to Public Works Superintendent Tom Rini, LIPA has been making frequent trips to the pool to remedy a solution.
The community pool sits in an industrial area surrounded by businesses and factories that require massive amounts of electricity to operate on a daily basis. Rini said the motors that pump the water into the pool have been experiencing a major drop in “inrush” voltage during days of high heat, specifically during the week of July 5-9, most likely the hottest week of the year.
Representatives from LIPA told Rini that most of Long Island was under electrical stress during that week since the temperatures were so high and the demand even higher. Rini met with an electrician on July 13 to get a handle on the situation.
According to Rini, when the inrush voltage goes down, the amperage increases and heats up the pump motors. When this happens, the motor activates its mechanism to shut down and cool off. It’s not the village’s intention for this to happen, rather it’s how most pump motors work.
Representatives from Public Works have stated that there have been no rapid changes in the way the pool system is operated and that it’s certainly not an in-house issue. Furthermore, it could be a problem with the provided power.
Rini stated that the power issues tend to occur around 7 and 8 a.m. and level off around lunchtime. LIPA went to the pool on July 7 to check the motor, and transformers outside the pool. He likened the issues to the factories in the area that begin operations in the early morning and taper off at noon and kick up again until the end of the workday.
“I know we’ve been in touch with LIPA and I know that they’re aware of it and now we’re awaiting a resolution,” Mayor Jack Martins said. “I’m sure that once we have an opportunity to inspect the results of their analysis, then I think we’ll all be happy.”
The pool started experiencing power issues last summer. At that time, a monitoring system, which only LIPA can access and read, was installed at the pool to get a sense of when power is fluctuating. Rini said he looked into getting a separate system so that Public Works can track the changes. He stated further that only in the last two years, the pool has been having motor problems.
“I’ve been here 18 years,” Rini said. “We re-did the pump house in 1995. One of those motors that we were using is a 15-year-old motor that we haven’t had any issues with up until the last two years.
“I’ve looked to find one to put on and read as it’s happening because we want to see where during the day, when were losing or having voltage spikes because that’s the difference,” he said. “Also, general with electrical motors, there’s a certain amount of voltage required for incoming voltage in the morning. Then as it’s running it levels out and runs on a consistent base. It generally takes more to get it started. When there’s a high electric demand in the system, and I can’t get enough of that voltage, that motor won’t start.”
LIPA could be moving power around to offset the increase factory usage during hot days, decreasing the inrush voltage at the pool. However, the pool has not had any issues since July 10 and has been up and running at peak conditions.
“I can’t tell you how upsetting it is when it happens on the hottest day of the year,” Rini said. “We hate telling people they have to leave the pool.”