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Old 12-20-2008, 12:11 PM   #1
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Sump pump dims lights


I was wondering about something. My sump pump is on a dedicated 15 amp circuit, but still, when it kicks in, my bedroom lights flicker dim for a split second. Is this normal?

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Old 12-20-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
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Sump pump dims lights


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I was wondering about something. My sump pump is on a dedicated 15 amp circuit, but still, when it kicks in, my bedroom lights flicker dim for a split second. Is this normal?

Thanks

Its normal, these sump pumps have a high starting current, this current may last for about a split second, making the lights dim. If it lasted as long as the pump was running, it wouldn't be normal.

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Old 12-20-2008, 12:49 PM   #3
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Sump pump dims lights


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I was wondering about something. My sump pump is on a dedicated 15 amp circuit, but still, when it kicks in, my bedroom lights flicker dim for a split second. Is this normal?

Thanks
Probably. There will be a small voltage drop on the service line when any load is turned on, and motor loads draw alot more current when hey start than when running. Although, it could be a sign of the motor going bad, but my first assumption would be that everything is normal.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:54 PM   #4
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Sump pump dims lights


The power company uses pretty small wire for aerial service drops, so the smallest inrush current may affect the voltage.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:58 PM   #5
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Sump pump dims lights


Plus it starts under load, unlike a fan motor.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:01 PM   #6
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Sump pump dims lights


Yes, but I would have the circuits tested anyway, this should be done whenever a high load devise is added to a system. The electrician opens the panel connects tester leads to various places and records data. Comparing the numbers uncovers leakages and ground faults. You don't want to take chances when electricity is involved.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:09 PM   #7
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Sump pump dims lights


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Originally Posted by sawyerEd View Post
Yes, but I would have the circuits tested anyway, this should be done whenever a high load devise is added to a system. The electrician opens the panel connects tester leads to various places and records data. Comparing the numbers uncovers leakages and ground faults. You don't want to take chances when electricity is involved.
A sump pump is a motor, like your dryer, garage door opener, washing machine, etc. All these motors draw a large inrush current, somewhere around 6X the name plate amps for a fraction of a second. However, I don't think most people would necessarily consider a residential sump pumo a high load device.

Can you provide more details about the testing procedure your recommending please?

Can you elaborate as to what you mean by "leakages"?

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Old 12-20-2008, 03:00 PM   #8
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Sump pump dims lights


Leakages and ground faults are probably off topic for this discussion.

If incandescent lights anywhere and everywhere in the house dim momentarily, then there is no problem in individual circuits in your home. There could be less than ideal voltage regulation out on the pole transformer. Also (if you can) trace the wiring from your home to the pole transformer. If that distance is great the chances of light dimming you experience are greater.

One other thing, feel the main breaker (but don't touch any metal around it). If it is warm there could be a loose connection under or near it and you need to have a professional electrician check for loose terminals or loose connections.

Regarding ground faults, ground and neutral are to be kept separate everywhere except in the panel where your main disconnect switch (usually the main breaker) is located. At that location a single conductor doubling as ground and neutral goes up to the service drop cable and out to the utility pole. A ground fault is a condition where a live wire or a neutral wire has become grounded where it should not be. This results in current not returning via the ground wire up to the utility pole.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-20-2008 at 03:05 PM.
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