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Old 02-22-2009, 09:47 PM   #31
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


What you describe sure sounds like a neutral problem. Be sure your electrician checks the neutrals in the meter fitting and the panel. I don't know about where you are, but around here the power company uses aluminum cables underground. It could be a power company problem. I had to deal with the local power company, for the same residence, three times. Each time they sent a different "inspector". Finally the last guy they sent actually found the problem.

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Old 02-23-2009, 07:54 AM   #32
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


Probably the only way you or someone else will find a loose neutral connection is after voltage measurements are taken at various places upstream of the main breaker. Your electrician will need to test both sides of the line at each general location and do multiple measurements at each specific terminal or spot as someone else turns appliances on and off.

When you find that the voltage drops are observed at one test point and are not observed at another test point upstream for the same side of the line, then your problem is between those points inclusive. (Inclusive means thaf if you put the voltmeter test prod on a lug, then that lug itself is not excluded from culpability.)

It is not unusual for an electric company technician to come out, measure the voltage perhaps when no appliances are running, see nothing abnormal, and then leave.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-23-2009 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 02-23-2009, 12:00 PM   #33
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


Dim and bright is the neutral connection.

With 240v in and 115v on one side and 125v on the other side, there will be 5v across the neutral. If there's 10A through the neutral this is 50w dissipated in the bad connection, which will probably be warm.
With 110 and 130 and 10A, you've got 100w and this might be easier to find (cause it's hotter).

This can't be that hard to diagnose.
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Old 03-07-2009, 01:27 PM   #34
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


Ok so last time he came and checked the service connections at the panel, including the voltage, he also checked the service itself, all good. Discovered that the kitchen counterplugs downstairs were 2 plugs off one 3 core wire on one 15 amp circuit, not so good. Washing machine downstairs on one circuit with many other plugs and lights, not good. Kitchen counterplugs upstairs all wired incorrectly, 2 hots going into the sockets but they still had the little tab connected for 1 circuit. He fixed the upstairs ones whilst he was there. It seems better but we still have loss of power if toaster oven on downstairs, lights flicker to dim, same if washing machine on downstairs. Last night we had our dryer on and other things and got buzz in my TV again intermittently. We know we need to replace the counterplug setup downstairs and also give the washing machine its own circuit. Do you still think we have some screwed up neutral somewhere in the mass of wiring this house obviously has?
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:09 PM   #35
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


If you have some lights getting dim and other lights getting brighter then you definitely have a neutral problem.

You said that such and such a circuit was not good and another such and such a circuit was not good. Are any circuits good (no dimming or brightening as you turn on washing machine or toaster oven one at a time)?
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Old 03-07-2009, 05:30 PM   #36
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


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Originally Posted by jamiedolan View Post
In general, You can have as many connections as you want on a circuit, it is a matter of what the fixtures / lights draw. Depending on the wattage of the bulbs and what else gets plugged into this circuit, you may very well be pushing the upper limit.


Jamie
Check your local code on that one. Here you'll fail if there are more than twelve receptacles and/or lights on the same standard residential 15amp circuit even if you don't exceed the max load.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:45 AM   #37
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


Ok on Sunday I disconnected an external security light that I had fitted myself, I had previously removed an old light and just connected a longer wire via a junction box to the new security light. Alot of my issues seemed to rise up after fitting this light, even though after disconnecting it nothing appeared wrong with my connections. Since Sunday the light issue in my house seemed a little better, until this morning. My wife has just informed me that she had to turn on our kettle to get our dryer to start. The dryer is on a brand new circuit installed by the electrician and has not been an issue before. The kettle socket was an issue with two hots in and the tab still inplace, my electrician resolved this for me. So now I have less of a light dimming issue but still very odd problems with my service. Could it have anything to do with the panel itself as it was newly installed September, maybe its faulty?
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:57 PM   #38
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


Have your electrician check out your service panel...you may need to poco to check your service drop. These are symptoms of a loose service neutral.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:59 PM   #39
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


He has already checked the service neutral and it was secure, he also checked the service into the property from the provider, no issues were apparent.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:24 PM   #40
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


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He has already checked the service neutral and it was secure, he also checked the service into the property from the provider, no issues were apparent.

Has the transformer hookup at the pole been checked by the power company?
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:33 PM   #41
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


I asked them to come out and check and they did and according to their customer service there were no faults found.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:40 PM   #42
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


Hmm...I suppose it could be a bad main breaker. Does this breaker ever feel warm?
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:55 PM   #43
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


I have never touched the main breaker, not sure which one it is really.
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:00 PM   #44
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


With the cover on of course!

It may be possible that you have a split bus panel if you do not have a "main breaker". Split buses have the 240 breakers at the top and a "lighting main" breaker feeding all of the 120v, thus the name, split bus.

Does your meter have a breaker in it?

The main breaker is usually a large breaker at the top or bottom of an electrical panel.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:28 AM   #45
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Lights flickering between dim and normal


From your statement it is very clear that you have lightings and the socket outlet in one circuit which is against iee regulation requirements.For your information the compressor draws 3 times running current at starting and that is the reason for the dimming of lights.separate the fridge from the other cct.

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