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Old 06-07-2013, 12:27 PM   #16
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Light flickering/diming problem


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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
An a/c compressor will pull more than 12 amps on start up.
Unless you have a min/max function on your meter, you will not be able to see the max amps at start up.

Martingale, you have to know the size of the A/C, listed in tons, from 1 1/2 up.
You will have to get them from a supply house.
JB....and Oso Thanks... (The Klein the OP showed did designate it had a "data hold" function... which I assumed would be a min/max hold function... I don't know what else you would hold.... but an ac compressor I would have no trouble believing it could pull more than 12A, especially if V was somewhat compromized)

But... is swapping in a hard start consistant with OP stating that

2) Flickering on all circuts with GD, shopvac, other loads creating same flickering symptom.

Just exploring

Peter

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Old 06-07-2013, 12:55 PM   #17
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Light flickering/diming problem


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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
An a/c compressor will pull more than 12 amps on start up.
Unless you have a min/max function on your meter, you will not be able to see the max amps at start up.

Martingale, you have to know the size of the A/C, listed in tons, from 1 1/2 up.
You will have to get them from a supply house.
Thanks jbfan
I will try home depot this weekend. mine is 3 ton.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:30 PM   #18
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Light flickering/diming problem


Martingale, When Jbfan says supply house, he doesn't mean Home Depot.
You need to call around and find it today. Check their business hours. A lot of Electrical supply houses are not open on the weekend.

Peter, I don't mean to ignore your questions, but I think the confusion caused by "exploring" sometimes detracts from getting the problem fixed.
Especially if someone is attempting to step through the problem, one step at a time. We can hold the exploration discussion later.

Last edited by Oso954; 06-07-2013 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:59 PM   #19
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Light flickering/diming problem


[QUOTE=Oso954;1196987]Martingale, When Jbfan says supply house, he doesn't mean Home Depot.
You need to call around and find it today. Check their business hours. A lot of Electrical supply houses are not open on the weekend.

Peter, I don't mean to ignore your questions, but I think the confusion caused by "exploring" sometimes detracts from getting the problem fixed.
Especially if someone is attempting to step through the problem, one step at a time. We can hold the exploration discussion later.[/QUOTE]

Oso.... Just a different approach..... My use of "exploring" means exploring for a solution that explains and solves (diagnozes) the problem consistant with the facts supplied by the OP (specifically lights flickering unassociated with startup of the ac compressor and a A reading well below V compromising draw...which the A draw issue may be explained by a faulty reading).... rather than just replacing /installing parts that may or may not be the solution.

You probably do know something I don't ...in why the hard start would solve flickering on other circuts that occur unassociated with startup of the compressor..... but I'm not sure why that explanation detracts from solving the problem... I would think it would only help.

I'll admit, it sure seems likely that a hard start might be beneficial to the issue, especially as it concerns the flickering at startup of the AC... I just don't understand why it would be a sufficient fix as it relates to the flickering unassociated with the AC..... maybe the OP has left out some factors/data,or maybe it's a different issue?

Best

Peter
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:11 PM   #20
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Light flickering/diming problem


Question for the OP... are the lights dimming, as in the intensity drops momentarily then is restored, or are they flickering, as in going out then coming back on?

Dimming is a symptom of voltage drop generally seen when a large motor starts; flickering is a symptom of a loose connection that is exacerbated when a large current passes through.

Which is it?
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:17 PM   #21
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Light flickering/diming problem


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Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
Question for the OP... are the lights dimming, as in the intensity drops momentarily then is restored, or are they flickering, as in going out then coming back on?

Dimming is a symptom of voltage drop generally seen when a large motor starts; flickering is a symptom of a loose connection that is exacerbated when a large current passes through.

Which is it?
Hi househelper. it blink quick quickly, but with the helps of all the electricians and contractors in my house, I can say that it only dims, as in it just get dim for a fraction of second, and DOES NOT get brighter after that.

I heard that if it get dim then brighter, it could be an unbalanced neutral.
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #22
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Light flickering/diming problem


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Originally Posted by martingale2012 View Post
Hi househelper. it blink quick quickly, but with the helps of all the electricians and contractors in my house, I can say that it only dims, as in it just get dim for a fraction of second, and DOES NOT get brighter after that.

I heard that if it get dim then brighter, it could be an unbalanced neutral.
Does the AC work?
Is it a heat pump?

A hard start unit might not help, but it will not hurt either.

The reason I ask, one day I was in the reading room, and noticed my lights would dim, then go back to normal.

I went outside and found the condenser fan was not running due to a bad start cap.
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Old 06-07-2013, 02:42 PM   #23
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Light flickering/diming problem


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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Does the AC work?
Is it a heat pump?

A hard start unit might not help, but it will not hurt either.

The reason I ask, one day I was in the reading room, and noticed my lights would dim, then go back to normal.

I went outside and found the condenser fan was not running due to a bad start cap.
it all works fine. it's a central a/c. so does all my other appliance, drill, saw, shop vac.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:03 PM   #24
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Light flickering/diming problem


If it's that bad, have your power provider put a recording meter to see if everyone on their line upgraded but them. Don't waste money and time with a hard start cap kit.
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:35 PM   #25
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Light flickering/diming problem


Martingale....

We all have some varying opinions.... I tend to think it's good in that we compare notes, ask questions, and finally figure it out....IMHO

What really makes me wonder is that you said you somehow jumped a light before your main (upstream from your main) (and downstream from your meter) and you got your flicker there also. To me, that seems indicative that your problem lays upstream of your main.... in your meter pan... service wires, or transformer delivery.

You did say that you had the POCO put in new service wires... are you sure, or was that just when they hooked up your service drop. Did they have to put in a new meter and pan when you upgraded to 200A.?

My experience with POCO field crews is that they are not necessarily top notch electricians (I actually don't know if they have to be lisenced). They perform their routine job over and over, and don't necessarily specialize in diagnostic type work. (This is not to say they are not great guys...they've sure helped me alot)

But they may not have tested your service through (downstream of the) your meter, and not tested it under load conditions. Sometimes they just take a MM and see 120 to neutral and 240 accross hot and assume everything is fine.

I like Bob's idea above, and I think POCO will do it for you, especially if you show them the dimming of your light at before the service entrance...

Just another set of thoughts to consider.

Best

Peter
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:51 PM   #26
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Light flickering/diming problem


I agree with bob also.
And you can totally turn off the breakers to ac and it will still dim from saw on another circuit, vac on another ,etc. The ac is not the issue,but a symptom.
Hopefully ur poco can trace it.
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Old 06-08-2013, 04:22 PM   #27
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I know I'm late to this conversation, but I had the exact same symptoms as the OP. Lights dimming when a medium to large load drew power. I had an older house with a 60 amp service. I upgraded to 200 amp service with all new wiring, new panel, new can and new service entrance wires right out to the transformer.

Lights were dimming all the time especially when the 3.5 ton AC kicked on. I checked everything, no one could find the problem. I just lived with it.

Little did I know that the transformer was a 10kW, way undersized for my loads. I spoke with the POCO and they agreed that I was under served. A week later and they installed a new 25kW and problem solved.

Go out to your transformer and look for a large number on it. Standard residential transformers are either 10kW, 15kW or 25kW.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:29 AM   #28
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I know I'm late to this conversation, but I had the exact same symptoms as the OP. Lights dimming when a medium to large load drew power. I had an older house with a 60 amp service. I upgraded to 200 amp service with all new wiring, new panel, new can and new service entrance wires right out to the transformer.

Lights were dimming all the time especially when the 3.5 ton AC kicked on. I checked everything, no one could find the problem. I just lived with it.

Little did I know that the transformer was a 10kW, way undersized for my loads. I spoke with the POCO and they agreed that I was under served. A week later and they installed a new 25kW and problem solved.

Go out to your transformer and look for a large number on it. Standard residential transformers are either 10kW, 15kW or 25kW.

Thanks Dan

I will look for that tonight and I'm ordering a supco hard start kit
http://www.amazon.com/SUPCO-SPP6-Sta...hard+start+kit

Home depot doesn't carry any kit in store.
hope I don't need to install it and PECO will check the transformer.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:44 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by DanS26 View Post
I know I'm late to this conversation, but I had the exact same symptoms as the OP. Lights dimming when a medium to large load drew power. I had an older house with a 60 amp service. I upgraded to 200 amp service with all new wiring, new panel, new can and new service entrance wires right out to the transformer.

Lights were dimming all the time especially when the 3.5 ton AC kicked on. I checked everything, no one could find the problem. I just lived with it.

Little did I know that the transformer was a 10kW, way undersized for my loads. I spoke with the POCO and they agreed that I was under served. A week later and they installed a new 25kW and problem solved.

Go out to your transformer and look for a large number on it. Standard residential transformers are either 10kW, 15kW or 25kW.
Hi Dan
I checked the transformer last night and cant find any letters on it to identify if it's 10KW or bigger.
I will post a picture tomorrow. is there anything else I can check to know it's spec?
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:19 PM   #30
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Light flickering/diming problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by martingale2012

Hi Dan
I checked the transformer last night and cant find any letters on it to identify if it's 10KW or bigger.
I will post a picture tomorrow. is there anything else I can check to know it's spec?
First, does your transformer serve only your house? Is it rusted or black looking? Some older transformers can get pretty nasty. Hopefully no oil is dripping out, that would be a problem in itself.

POCO around here have a list of every transformer on the system with specifications. If you can't find a number on the unit, a quick call should help you identify. They do not need to show up at your house to give you this information. But like most companies, your POCO may do things differently.

Good luck.

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