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Old 09-18-2006, 10:29 PM   #16
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


Could someone explain the problem w/ a multiwire branch circuit as far as creating a condition where 240 is applied to a 120 vac circuit.
Thanks

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Old 09-18-2006, 10:37 PM   #17
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


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Could someone explain the problem w/ a multiwire branch circuit as far as creating a condition where 240 is applied to a 120 vac circuit.
Thanks
This old article from EC&M (fantastic magazine, by the way) explains it best. http://www.ecmweb.com/mag/electric_m...its/index.html
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:10 PM   #18
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


I called power company out again because I noticed a bad spot on the sevice line neutral. The spot turned out to be only mold from tree above, but the guy replaced connectors at the house and utility pole and everything works fine now. Thanks again for your help.
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Old 09-25-2006, 01:07 PM   #19
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


Its great that there has been such an evident display of concern on the part of the folks on here. It's settling that The poster showed as least the diligence to follow up with the advice of the guys that warned him. But what the hell is wrong with A. the power company and B. the electrician? The power company says at first that everything is ok on their end? Have we become so automated that the power company just checks a monitor and says there isn't a problem that people know they are experiencing. Especially a serious problem. Not, "there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the delivery, but what you've got is a very serious issue", but just basically " well, we don't think it's our fault, good luck". Thats BS. And the electrician? "Ok, so If you still haven't burned to death by Monday, I'll come by and give you an estimate." Then what? Setup an appointment to take care of it next week?

Well, you have a blocked artery in your heart....call me next week sometime and we'll get that taken care of....

People's laxadasical attitudes put your family in jeopardy and these are the people we are supposed to trust?
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:42 PM   #20
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


I want to thank the people on this thread for teaching me about "loose neutrals" and the dangers they pose. The dimming/brightening phenomena started in our house yesterday and I found this thread with a Google search. Neither my husband nor I had considered this possibility. After I found your advice, he tested the outlets and found that many of them were running high in the 135-140+ range.

We unplugged the non-essentials in the house and I called the power company this morning. They showed up in under 2 hours and sure enough we had a loose neutral outside.

We probably would have waited longer to do something had I not stumbled on this thread, so thank you all for saving our house and appliances. The cable box may be a casualty, but that's the small stuff.

Great advice!

Last edited by boggievan; 10-21-2009 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:24 PM   #21
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


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many of them were running high in the 135-140+ range.
It always adds to 240v, so the 140v on one side means 100v on the other side.

It also means there was 20v across your bad neutral. Less than 0.1v is probably OK.

If your stuff starts failing prematurely months from now, it might have been the 140v.
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:24 PM   #22
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


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It always adds to 240v, so the 140v on one side means 100v on the other side.

It also means there was 20v across your bad neutral. Less than 0.1v is probably OK.

If your stuff starts failing prematurely months from now, it might have been the 140v.
Ah, well that's not good news. Hopefully by catching it quick we avoided too much wear and tear on the appliances. If not, I'll know what happened. We just bought a new washer from Sears, and maybe we should take them up on the maintenance agreement after all, lol.

Right now I'm just enjoying sitting in a room WITHOUT strobe lights!
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:44 AM   #23
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


This is not really for the do-it-yourselfer but with some electrical know-how it can be done.

Unplug everything from all circuits and turn off breakers to wired-in equipment like furnaces.

Turn off your main breaker

Take a long length of #6 bare copper wire and connect one end to the neutral bus in your main panel (Or to the outside of the panel if you know the neutral bus is secured well to the metal of the panel.)

Connect the other end to the bare support wire or ground wire ovehead connecting your house to the utility pole.

Turn on the power and plug in several incandescent lights here and there and on different circuits.

If turning the lights on and off still causes dimming and brightening of all of the rest, you have almost proved that the problem is in the power company's wires or equipment.

You can try connecting the end of the bare wire to different places including the outside of the meter box to further narrow down on the location of the problem.

If the flickering went away, chances are there is a problem in the wiring between the ends of the bare wire you string, or in your panel. You might leave the bare wire in place while you get things fixed, although in all cases you need to turn off the main breaker before disconnecting, moving, or reconnecting the bare wire.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 10-22-2009 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:18 PM   #24
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


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NO. This is your service neutral causing the problem. I can't believe no one has told you to call the POCO (power company).

DO IT IMMEDIATELY! Have them come ASAP!
You should NOT have waited so long!

If you checked the lines at the main breaker you did ALL you can do. The POCO will check the connections at the meter pan, top of the riser and at the pole.
Thanks for the post. I had the exact same issue. Luckily I only lost a surge protector but as soon as it popped I turned ALL my power off and used my Smartphone to google the issue. I saw this post and followed the advise immediately, I called the Power CO. I also called an electrician who told me he will stop by once the Power CO has been and the issue continues(he said to tell the power company he had already checked inside).

Sadly it took the Power company 24 hours to respond and they finally did, they replaced my connector and the issue was resolved. 5 minute fix!

thanks for the advise
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:08 PM   #25
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


ok guys i'm suspect of having a lose or failing neutral.some lights dim some brighten.so i started checking outlets and light fixtures and noticed a 110 to 140 difference on them.when i switch off all the breakers the voltage going into the main is even at 126 a side but as i start flipping stuff on the difference grows.ok so the three big cables coming out of the power company's meter and going into my exterior service panel are 2 120v hots and a neutral right?when i first opened the service box there was a fairly large wasp nest next to and below my neutral terminal.so today i took care of that but it didn't help the load voltage variations.when cleaning off all the wasp goo off the neutral wire i noticed that one of the wires on that splitter is going straight to ground below the service box.is that right?
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:40 PM   #26
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


anyone?
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:58 PM   #27
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Lights dimming randomly in my house


It is better to start a new thread than to resurect one from 4 years ago.

What are you calling a splitter?
If it is in the service panel, then it is fine.
Did you try to tighten the wires?
If you tightened the wires, I would call the Poco to come out and check their connections.

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