Lights/computer Monitor Flickering In Boss's Office - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 05-25-2010, 07:50 AM   #1
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Lights/computer monitor flickering in boss's office

Let me start by saying I'm an HVAC guy with limited electrical troubleshooting experience. My boss called me last week to tell me that 2 of the 4 flourescent lights in his office have started to flicker. His computer monitor has as well. Said items will flicker for 10-15 minutes and then function normally. Two of the lights function normally all the time. Here is what I know for sure:
1. The lights used to be fed off of dimmers, but they have been replaced with standard switches.
2. There is a dedicated circuit feeding only his office.

When he first mentioned the lights I suspected the previously installed dimmers had negatively impacted the ballasts, but that doesn't explain the monitor. Any suggestions on what to look for? He's dead set on me at least "checking it out" before we call an electrician.

I have a good working electrical knowledge as it pertains to making my HVAC equpment run, and I have all the necessary test and diagnostic tools. This isn't the sort of problem I usually work on, but it is a good chance to earn a few extra atta boys from the big guy so I'd love to correct it! Thanks for the help folks!


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Old 05-25-2010, 07:58 AM   #2
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Looks to me like a loose connection somewhere.

Could be as simple as a backstabbed connection to a receptacle having worked loose. Finding it could be time consuming.


The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:10 AM   #3
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Lights, lights, and lights. Florescent in particular. Turn off the lights and see if the monitor stops flickering.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:27 PM   #4
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If the lights are affecting the monitor you need RFI filters, but first check the AC voltage with a DVM. If it's OK, load it down with an addt'l known amp load and check it again.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-25-2010 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:55 AM   #5
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It was an easy fix. The first thing I did was pop the cover off the four gang switch box. The flourescents were never on dimmers, three rows of can lights between the flourescents were. When they added the can lights (before we bought the building) the goobers didn't pull enough wire and USED THE METAL BOX/MC JACKETED CABLE AS A CURRENT CARRYING NEUTRAL!!!!! Literally, the neutral wires were jammed into the crack between two of the gangable boxes!!!!!

Two of the three dimmers were bad, so I powered all three switch legs (from another accessible box upstairs) with one dimmer, and used my extra switch legs, one for a true neutral, and one for an honest to goodness ground.

All better now! Thanks for the help guys, I love this site!
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