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drewryjams 07-26-2012 06:39 PM

Bad home wiring? Turn off light-internet drops or motion light turns on

I have an electrical problem in my home, not sure if it's related to wiring, a device (e.g. CFL light fixture) or ?.... but it only seems to be a problem with sensitive devices? and this problem is intermittent as well.... I first noticed a problem when my xbox power was on and connected to the internet (hardwired). I would turn off a light (built in home lights such as recessed kitchen lights, etc.) and I would get disconnected from the internet but my xbox power is always fine, it seems to drop my internet connection. It didn't seem to matter if it was a CFL light when this happened but maybe it was.... I tried a cheap power strip with an EMF filter and plugged the xbox into this but this did not do anything. I also tried a different power supply for the xbox along with a surge protector but all the same results. Internet to my home is fine as this this would not happen to my computer when online. Next, I installed CCTV cameras and put a monitor in the kitchen to view the cameras. If I turned off a light (possibly built in CFL lights?), then sometimes my monitor screen will turn black for a couple of seconds but the monitor power is fine, it just seems to lose the signal momentarily (similar to my xbox dropping the internet connection). Next, I installed an outdoor motion light. This power source came from my side garage door light. I can turn off a light in my house, and this sometimes triggers the motion light outside to turn on...All this is very unusual. Anyone have any ideas for me to troubleshoot?

westom 07-28-2012 06:53 PM


Originally Posted by drewryjams (Post 974994)
All this is very unusual. Anyone have any ideas for me to troubleshoot?

Not unusual when beginning with a simple proposition. A voltage difference - a spike - is causing those failures. An major anomaly between neutral (white) and hot (black) wires is made irrelevant by circuits already inside all electronics. However, the wire that can bypass all that 'robustness' is safety ground (green or bare).

Those power cycling devices create spikes that any ground wire would even make totally irrelevant. Except if the ground is connected to those many devices AND not properly connected to a breaker box safety ground bus. Sometimes that defect can be measured with a meter or even the crude and less reliable three light tester. Sometimes it cannot.

One trick used to find a defective ground is to temporarily connect an incandescent bulb between the receptacle hot wire and safety ground. Major caution: if a defect exists, then you are putting up to 120 volts on all other appliances. Best done with other appliances disconnected.

Now, when the bulb (hot to ground) is lit, then a meter must measure VAC (voltage) from that ground to neutral wire. If more than 2 volts, then you have quickly identified (without any doubts) a serious wiring problem.

drewryjams 07-30-2012 04:55 PM

Thank you westom. I am going to try to troubleshoot this week. I will get back as soon as I can with rthe results

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