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Old 03-25-2011, 12:21 PM   #46
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Lights dim when Microwave runs.


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Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
If they send someone else out and they pull the meter that would be a good time to make sure everything in the panel is tight. In post 13 you had this:
I'm not sure what you mean...
Timing would be a problem. The electric company person probably won't be there long enough for you to do voltage checks in a variety of places including in the meter pan while you turn the microwave oven on and off.

So it was ovehead in plain view where the loose connection was? Perhaps you could have measured hot to neutral voltage up there yourself before calling anyone. (Preferably having a good electrician do it because if your fingers slip with the meter probes you could short circuit what could be hundreds of amperes given that you are upstream of your main panel.)

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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-25-2011 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:22 PM   #47
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Lights dim when Microwave runs.


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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
Not every place has locks on the meter!

I have never encountered a lock, just a tag.


Where I live, the HO provides the meter pan, and the POCO supllies the meter.
I saw this sub topic so I thought I would ask the power company guy (JCP&L/First Energy in NJ) what the deal was with the tags and going into the meter pan.

He said that it was OK for an electrician cut off the tags and go into the meter pans. They (JCP&L) just replaced the tags when they see they are missing.
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:55 PM   #48
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Lights dim when Microwave runs.


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Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
What is a barrel lock? I've owned and lived in several different houses in MN and all I've ever had was a seal.
It's a steel cylinder that slides through the knock out on the meter pans cover. It has two ball bearings at one end and the other end is tapered out. You ain't cuttin that with a pair of pliers. May just be a local thing. I'll try to get a pic of one for ya. I have pse&g in new jersey. Hope you got it all figured jhon. Sorry to drift on ya.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:13 PM   #49
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Lights dim when Microwave runs.


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Problem solved, but not without a struggle.... The neutral crimp connection at the roof had corroded.....

So I call the power company again this AM and they tell me that there is no record of my call last night but they will send someone out by noon. Then the dispatcher calls me and tells me I need an electrician they are not coming out again, she says it is probably in the pan. I ask why the guy that came out yesterday didnít say anything and she tells me she is not going to give me a lesson in electricity and we exchange more words and she says to call an electrician and she will send someone out the meet him. While I am on the phone with the electrician, she (The dispatcher) calls me back and tells me to cancel the electrician, they are sending someone out and can I meet him there.
So I meet the guy and he looks up at the leads coming into my house shakes his head. He then pops the meter. He puts this guage on it and it reads 120 each side. Then he flips a switch to run a fan motor that is part of the meter that puts a load on the system. One goes way up, and one goes way down.
Looks up again and tells me that the guy that came out yesterday replaced the crimp on one of the hot's where the pole wires come to the house. Shakes his head and said if he was only going to replace one, it should have been the neutral because that was obviously the problem. And wondered why the guy did not run the meter to make sure it was OK.
So he replaces all the crimps (Including the one the guy did yesterday) puts on the meter and now there is a one volt variance with a load, which he said is normal.
Looks like I was a victim of a lazy employee.

Looks like you guys hit it on the head. I just want to thank everyone for all the help I received on this forum. Without it I would not have had the knowledge to challenge the power company so they can get it right.
Great news man!! That tester they plugged in is nicknamed ,"beast." It's basically a hair dryer motor inside a unit that looks similar to a meter, but digital. It will allow the PoCo to determine wether it is an inside problem or outside. Just replacing the the two hots is pure laziness on their part. No excuse. I'm sorry you had to go through all that but at least you won't be getting any charges and no more brite and dims. On a side note, please don't let one bad apple spoil the bunch. Most guys work hard and believe me the first guy that came out heard about it.

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