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Old 12-08-2010, 11:59 PM   #1
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House dimming problem getting worse


I have been searching these forums looking for what my electrical symptoms are from and the more I read the more nervous I am getting but still not sure.

Tonight when I got home I noticed that the lights were dimming occasionally which has happened a few different days starting a week or 2 ago. I had thought it was an outside problem as it was windy on those occasion. We loose power too often so I thought it was something on POCO lines.

Well tonight I did not pay not much attention to it until I started using some other appliances (i.e. elec stove) and I noticed that the lights dim more drastically then they ever did before when they turn on. Some appliances like the microwave will not work right at all and the lights that I can see stay dimmed the whole time. I lived in this house for over 8 years and never had this issue before even with tons of tools, vacuums, and appliances running at the same time.

I went and checked the voltage in several outlets around the house and they were all in the 120-123v range and as long as there are no appliance surges, everything seems OK. As soon as the a refrigerator or furnace turns on then the lights start dimming.

Is this a loose house neutral, a loose hot lead, ???

I have started unplugging some unnecessary items and plan on call an electrician tomorrow. Is there anything else to look at?

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Old 12-09-2010, 07:45 AM   #2
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House dimming problem getting worse


Call poco now. If it seems to be on all circuits, it is likely house feed. I assume both sides of the line are nominal 120V, and between the lines is 240V. Loose connections don't improve with age, have it checked out.

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Old 12-09-2010, 08:04 AM   #3
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House dimming problem getting worse


Agree with JustBill, need to check both legs, and loose connections will cause this voltage drop and won't get any better.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:34 PM   #4
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House dimming problem getting worse


A friend had a very similar problem. It was a bad connection outside where the service came to the house.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:24 PM   #5
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House dimming problem getting worse


Problem fixed now.

Synopsis:
I started to power down and unplug stuff last night (including this PC) and noticed even more dimming and pulsing of lights. I checked the voltage again at an outlet that I had previously saw as 120 a hour earlier and it was now showing 130. I went in high gear and switched off the main breaker. This was not ideal as the temperature was dropping into the teens and without power my boiler doesn't work but I took the previous warnings is saw in this forum to heart and did not want to take chances.

I call the electrician and power company first thing this morning. The electrician got here first. He checked the panel and everything looked OK. He then went outside and discovered a loose neutral connection on the main line to the house. This loose connection was actually inside an expansion box that his partner put in a few years ago .

He replaced that connection and everything was good as new.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:52 PM   #6
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House dimming problem getting worse


Yay! We love happy endings here!

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Old 12-09-2010, 07:16 PM   #7
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House dimming problem getting worse


"Bum Job my Partner Did!" That would be the day I would blame an associate to a customer for an electrical failure.Glad it was solved.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:30 PM   #8
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House dimming problem getting worse


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobelectric View Post
"Bum Job my Partner Did!" That would be the day I would blame an associate to a customer for an electrical failure.Glad it was solved.
Trust me in that he did not take or pass any blame for the problem to his partner. His non-invasive response was that "it just happens". I did not push it on how a lug still wrapped in original tape, sealed in a large junction box, will loosen in like that - I have other things in my life that are more important than looking for blame.

Anyways, thanks for everyone's feedback and for this forum.

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