Off the shortwaves – the story of one failure

Off the shortwaves is a thing that pretty much every ham operator or radio enthusiast knows firsthand. It’s caused by an electromagnetic interference aka as radio-frequency interference that occurs in the radio frequency spectrum. So this disturbance is triggered by an external source affecting the circuit by an electromagnetic induction, electrostatic coupling, or conduction. That’s as close as you will get to the Wikipedia definition. 

So I’ve experienced being off the shortwaves for a couple of weeks. Though I’m not an operator, merely a listener, I’d like to share my story with you as well. 

First of all, I feel that it’s important to establish beforehand – my house was built in early 2000s, which makes it a relatively modern one. In the past, never did I experience any RFI issues. Well, there is one small exception – when my dishwasher is running, I don’t have any reception.

The issues began manifesting after connecting the pool equipment. Though I’m no expert, I know for sure that the pool is grounded by a copper wire. Furthermore, a copper wire ring is encircling the pool as well – you can’t see it cause it was cemented below the pool deck. So the copper wire goes down beneath the ground and comes out where the pump and the filter are set up. It then connects to the remote master switch for the pump and the filter. 

I called an electrician and when he connected the pump and the filter, any and all radio bands were slammed out because of the RFI of gargantuan proportions. We’re talking every single band, be it AM/MW, FM, SW, VHF, or even UHF.

I know what you’re thinking, but no, I have not installed any updated appliances or gizmos whatsoever. Anything RFI unfriendly was unplugged to begin with. The pool equipment was the only thing that I added. 

To keep the long story short, I never had any kind of issues with my radio when I was building the house or the pool. The trouble occurred when the pool’s electrical line got connected to the primary breaker. 

I guess visiting may be helpful but I would also like to leave it right here – just in case. Chances are, someone out there already had a similar experience and may be able to help me out with that. If that is the case, please, do not hesitate to let me know.