Flickering lights?

Hi,

I have the Anova Precision Cooker the 220V for Europe. The problem I have is that when I run the unit my lights in the apartment start flickering.

Anyone seen the same thing?

-J

@jronnblom Are you running anything else aside from the Precision Cooker and the lights? The wattage on the PC is scaled down to 800W to try to avoid this type of occurrence.

Yes, lots of things are on in my household.

However when I pull the plug on the Precision cooker the flickering stops.

-J

@jronnblom I’ll bring it up to the team and get back to you, usually it’s due to something else that’s running at the same time and sucking up a decent amount of power as well. It shouldn’t happen with usual appliances and whatnot running. Will get back to you on this - thank you!

@jronnblom Hello again! So, the Precision cooker doesn’t draw a huge amount of power, but during peak operating times it does pull a little under ~1,500 watts. If you have a large amount of appliances drawing power as well, light flickering is generally related to a voltage drop. While I’m not an electrician, this seems to be the general consensus from the team.

I would recommend unplugging a few large appliances (microwave, hair dryer or anything else involving heat/cooling) then using your Precision Cooker. It’s not an ideal solution, but it’d be an easy way to eliminate the other sources that are also drawing such a large amount of power and causing the voltage drop.

This is actually quite interesting. John, do you have mostly incandescent, fluorescent or LED lights in your apartment? If it is a mix, do they all flicker or just some of them?

The reason I ask is that the Anova is going to present a mostly resistive load on the circuit. If the circuit is overloaded then incandescent filament based lights will dim briefly when the Anova heating coil comes on but not flicker. If the voltage on a fluorescent (or CFL) bulb drops enough, however it might flicker while the Anova heating coil is on.

Another possibility is that the Anova pulses the heating element. It might use a modified PWM mechanism to avoid overshooting the set point. Any Anova engineers want to weigh in?

@adnewman Let me check with our engineering team - they’ve been busy working on product and app development so they haven’t been making appearances here as much, but I’ll see if I can get their thoughts to share with you :slight_smile:

Hi,

Sorry for late reply. I have mostly incandescent lights in my apartment. There are other things on the same circuit (computer, receiver, and so on.)

I don’t think the circuit is overloaded since I can run my coffe maker without problem and that one uses 1000W.

If I overload the circuit shouldn’t the fuse blow?

I have a 10A 230V circuit.

-J

Same issue here. 

If used in kitchen all lights throughout the house flicker (fluorescent and incandescent). If plugged in outside of the kitchen no issue. 

Hi,

I’m having the same issue where my lights (of varying types) are dimming in rhythm with my anova functionality. The really strange thing is that this is the 3rd time I’ve used my anova and it didn’t happen the other two times. Main difference was the cooking temperature, but I can’t logically believe that has anything to do with it. There is not anything else new plugged into that circuit and I have tried different outlets. Some folks were speculating there may be wifi interference with my smart lights? Is there any merit to that?

Same problem here.

It seems to heat up the water in short “pulses”, one per second, if the temperature difference is fairly small.
That’s not a huge issue in itself, but at least in my apartment building I can see my incandecent lights flickering at 1-second intervals, which is a bit annoying. This stops once the target temperature is reached again or when I pause it.
I’d prefer if the Anova could use lower wattage continuously for small temperature differences, instead of a high wattage for short pulses.

I am hitting the same issue now. My guess based on the power meter is similar - the Anova WIfi uses coarse PWM to essentially flick itself on and off. Even in the steady state (covered pot, target temperature reached).

I use high voltage incandescent halogen lights, and they flicker quite a bit. All other appliances are in standby mode, and the circuit easily powers much, much higher maximum wattage easily enough.

From my experience with building my own PWM bits (aren’t arduinos fun!), I’d suggest Anova considers to either use a much higher frequency for the PWM (so as to render the flickering invisible), regulates down the current for the stable state (does it have to flick the relay at the full 900W? really?), or indeed does just that - instead of using PWM, regulate the wattage and current going through. The later would likely be cleanest (similar to PWM LEDs vs the newer ones), but also unlikely to be possible with a firmware update.

I wonder if it’s just the EU Wi-Fi version that exhibits this?

I have the early square touch screen model before the WiFi and bluetooth models, model # ASVPIPE1.2. It’s the U.S. 120V version. The lights pulse once per second whenever the Anova unit is operating. I have checked all the other appliances in the house, and the flickering starts when I start the Anova unit and stops when I stop the Anova. I have tried it on a different – dedicated – circuit, and lights throughout the house still flicker, all on different circuits.

Incandescent halogen lights are affected. Some LEDs are affected, and some LEDs are able to remain stable.

I am curious if there is a model of sous vide cooker (preferably Anova, but if they don’t make one I’ll take another brand) that does not pulse its power load like this.

Same issue in Columbus Ohio and now easily found on the web. I use led lighting. No other heavy drags in the system. Anova, I think you have an issue here

Interesting. I have no such issue (location Tacoma, Washington), but I’ve a suggestion for someone who is experiencing this issue to try. If you have access to a Kill-A-Watt energy monitor it might be useful to use it to check out the behavior of the Anova power usage when you see your light flickering. If you note the behavior and then pass on the information to Anova support it might give them something to work on even if they can’t replicate the issue themselves.

Good luck!!!

btw - for those unfamiliar with a Kill A Watt device here’s one being sold on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/P3-International-P4460-Electricity-Monitor/dp/B000RGF29Q

The Kill-A-Watt is great for tracking average power and total energy usage. I use one to evaluate how effective are my attempts to insulate the system and reduce power consumption on long hauls. (I’m now in the middle of a two-day cook of a chuck steak.) A Kill-A-Watt cannot track the short transient spikes in power that people are discussing in this thread. None of my home electronic instruments can. The flickering lights are the only indication most of us have.

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My lights are barely flickering right now from an Anova Nano, 700 watts, as I recall. (The flicker is most noticed at night with a halogen lamp on a dimmer.) I’m cooking for two days at 131F with several towels providing insulation, to reduce total power consumption. According to a Kill-A-Watt, the average draw is less than 100 watts. My house consists of two buildings with separate electrical runs to the electrical source, and lights flicker in both buildings, but more in the building with the kitchen. Besides possible resistance and inductance in my power lines, my solar power unit is part of the issue. My power source is a pair of Outback 3500-Watt inverters. (There are two inverters on each of the two 120-volt legs of my 240-volt service.) Observing the response of these inverters to transients loads, especially my 2-horsepower water pump starting, I infer that the inverters can respond to a change in load in about 60-to-80 milliseconds. The power pulses of the Nano seem to ramp up or down faster than that, and my inverters, I am guessing, cannot keep up. In my particular case, it might be better if the Nano pulsed once or twice a minute, rather than several times each second. If the pulses could ramp up or down in 100 milliseconds or so, that would be even better. Fewer pulses might slightly degrade the stellar control my Nano (+/- 0.1F or better), but that would be OK. Plus or minus 1F would be fine for even the fussiest recipe, in my opinion.

@HakalauTom I agree with your comments 100%!

Last night I was thinking along the line of looking at the Kill A Watt while it was running to see if there were any odd jumps in wattage while it was displaying wattage use. It was a shot in the dark suggestion as I’ve not seen the same kind of behavior with my APC and I’ve not even a clue of the sampling rate of the Kill A Watt. (Too bad we all don’t have a handy oscilloscope in every home! :slight_smile: )

Did this issue ever get resolved? I just purchased the Anova pro that was on sale for 50% off and I’m experiencing the same thing many people on this forum are. My anova is plugged in in the kitchen and my lights in my entire condo flicker. When the anova is turned off it stops. Needless to say I have more than one circuit in my condo.

@Frankster418 No. Still happens ever time I use it. Got used to the flickering anyways…

-J