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Old 07-12-2009, 11:39 PM   #1
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power fluctuations?


I experience what could be best described, by me, as power fluctuations in my condo. With appliances (fridge, bath exhaust fan, etc), it appears to come and go, but the normal operating sounds crescendo up and down, in a non stop loop. It doesn't appear to have anything to do with anything else that might be drawing power. I have had it happen with the simple exhaust fan in the bath, when it is the only thing on in the entire apt.

I also experience this with two, six inch, recessed lights in my kitchen, on incandescent bulbs. It happens any time I utilize these lights, even when they are the only thing on in the apt. It is also a constant loop, where the bulbs brighten, and then dim back to normal levels, maybe separated by a few seconds each time.

The buildings are around 30-40 years old. And the power is underground. A few people I know here, have terrible power situations. But overall, I think I am lucky. I can run most everything, without any trips. The outside lights on the property also appear to be just fine. We do have a lot of outages though...

Any ideas?

thanks

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Old 07-13-2009, 12:55 AM   #2
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power fluctuations?


The first place I'd start, since others in the vicinity are experiencing similar problems, is your electric utility. Several causes are possible including voltage regulator relays used to protect the power lines of the distribution lines in your area needing adjustment or replacement the utility or a loose neutral connection at the utilities transformer.

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Old 07-13-2009, 10:29 PM   #3
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power fluctuations?


Thanks for the response.

Nobody that I know is experiencing the same problems. They have issues with breaker tripping. However they are in differnt buildings too. And I dont currently know anyone in my building...

I should have specified.

I will contact the PC though.
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:00 AM   #4
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power fluctuations?


It might be a good idea to talk with the other occupants in your building and comparing notes. In the mean time, those recessed can lights....are they on a dimmer? If so, are the lights constantly run at one setting?
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:27 PM   #5
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power fluctuations?


Bad neutral?
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:23 PM   #6
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power fluctuations?


You should take voltage measurements, leaving the voltmeter connected in one place while these flucutations go on. Then measrue in another place, etc.

I would actually start measuring at the electrical panel, say, between neutral and one of the branch circuit wires attached to a circuit breaker.

If voltage goes above 130, chances are you have a problem with neutrals.

Voltage fluctuations at individual receptacle or lights but not at the panel suggest loose connections in the wiring.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:47 PM   #7
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power fluctuations?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel View Post
It might be a good idea to talk with the other occupants in your building and comparing notes. In the mean time, those recessed can lights....are they on a dimmer? If so, are the lights constantly run at one setting?
Yes, the cans on a dimmer. I just moved in this summer, so I didn't notice, but the 'dimming' appears to be gone, or lessened greatly when I turn them higher.

I have called ComEd (chicago). And they are supposedly going to test the power coming in, at the panel.

Either way, I will check back in when i find out what it was.

thanks

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