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Old 04-01-2020, 07:35 PM   #1
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Electrical use causing lights to dim


This isn't so much a DIY question but a question for those with extensive knowledge of electricity.

We just moved into our new house. I was doing trim work during the last couple months and noticed that the inrush from my saw was causing lights to dim. Because the saw was inside the house and the lights in the house were dimming I just chalked it up to being on the same circuit. However, once I moved the saw out to the shop which has its own sub panel, the lights in the house were still dimming from the saw.

I contacted the electrician and he said this is normal for LED bulbs. Well, my last house had all LED and this never happened. The electric company came out to check things out and they found no issues.

Fast forward to yesterday when my wife was doing wash. During the spin cycle, some lights in the house were flickering.

Today when she was using the paper shredder, the lights in the same room were dimming. I put a volt meter in the outlet and it was dropping 3-4 volts while the shredder was running. This was only happening on the same circuit as the shredder, but is this normal?

Is any of this normal? I just wanted to get some opinions before I started bothering the electrician and power company.


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Old 04-01-2020, 08:43 PM   #2
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Sounds like voltage drop, which usually happens on a looong run or when the circuit is close to being maxed out.
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Old 04-02-2020, 01:29 AM   #3
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Re: Electrical use causing lights to dim


Some amount of voltage drop is normal,
The question is is yours too much,
I believe about 3% is acceptable.
Sounds to me like yours is a tad on the high side
but still (just) within acceptable guide lines.
Get an electrician to look at your electrical system,
he may be able to improve things by shifting some loads
to there own dedicated circuits.
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Old 04-02-2020, 02:17 AM   #4
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Re: Electrical use causing lights to dim


Quote:
Originally Posted by Myvalk99 View Post
Sounds like voltage drop, which usually happens on a looong run or when the circuit is close to being maxed out.
OR there's a bad connection somewhere (e.g. outlet) and the circuit "maxes out" much lower than it should.
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Old 04-02-2020, 07:02 AM   #5
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Re: Electrical use causing lights to dim


Someone with a lot of hands on electrical experience should test voltage both before and after the main breaker in the panel, with and without the saw (or a hair dryer) turned on.

If the loose connection happens to be in the panel then the consequences can damage the panel beyond repair.

Something you can do yourself first, tighten up all of the small screws and set screws in the panel. Flip off each breaker before touching its screw terminals. If a screw already seems tight, loosen it a quarter turn and re-tighten. (Do not use tremendous strength.)

The experienced person needs to tighten or retighten the big lugs in the panel and also unsnap and resnap each breaker in place which cleans the connection underneath (flip it off first).
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