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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone. I'm experiencing an issue where my house lights (almost all incandescent) dim/flicker. I had the same issue years ago - the electric company found an issue with the transformer by the curb and the issue was resolved. (There are 4 homes serviced by that transformer.) I called them again this time but they didn't find anything wrong up to the house's meter.

The dimming happens everywhere in the house even when power consumption is very low with no major appliances running (i.e., washer, dryer, dishwasher, microwave, etc.). As a first step I had an electrician replace the 100 amp main breaker (the original from when the house was built 40 yrs back). No difference. In the 27 yrs in the house only the grounded bathroom grounded outlets have ever popped (3 times?); no other breakers/circuits. Prior to the issue resurfacing this time I hadn't replaced outlets, switches, dimmers, etc. so nothing was changed in the house.

I put a voltmeter on three different outlets/circuits while the flickering was happening. The voltages fluctuated accordingly: 115-118, 119-121, 117-119. Being a novice it doesn't seem to me that these fluctuations would result in lights dimming but what do I know. Anyone have suggestions on additional troubleshooting I can do to help identify if the issue is in the house?

Thanks in advance!!
 

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Naildriver
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Check again with your neighbors to see if they are still having the same problem. Call the POCO and have them recheck your connections at the meter base. That's as far as they will go. A good hot cup of coffee and donuts could entice them to check the connections in your panel.
 

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That isn't enough difference that you should notice anything. Those are ordinary variations for the utility supply that happen all the time. My guess is that something is going on with your breaker panel. If it's that old, it may have issues with corrosion or damage to the busses. I'm guessing the dimming is worse on the circuits that are the most loaded. As a quick check, you might try plugging a load into a circuit (a hair dryer will do), and then check the voltage on another receptacle on the same circuit while the load is on, and see what you see.

I think you are going to wind up replacing that panel. But get an electrician out to look at it.
 

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Hi Everyone. I'm experiencing an issue where my house lights (almost all incandescent) dim/flicker. I had the same issue years ago - the electric company found an issue with the transformer by the curb and the issue was resolved. (There are 4 homes serviced by that transformer.) I called them again this time but they didn't find anything wrong up to the house's meter.

The dimming happens everywhere in the house even when power consumption is very low with no major appliances running (i.e., washer, dryer, dishwasher, microwave, etc.). As a first step I had an electrician replace the 100 amp main breaker (the original from when the house was built 40 yrs back). No difference. In the 27 yrs in the house only the grounded bathroom grounded outlets have ever popped (3 times?); no other breakers/circuits. Prior to the issue resurfacing this time I hadn't replaced outlets, switches, dimmers, etc. so nothing was changed in the house.

I put a voltmeter on three different outlets/circuits while the flickering was happening. The voltages fluctuated accordingly: 115-118, 119-121, 117-119. Being a novice it doesn't seem to me that these fluctuations would result in lights dimming but what do I know. Anyone have suggestions on additional troubleshooting I can do to help identify if the issue is in the house?

Thanks in advance!!
Check ALL of the connection in your panel. Especially the neutrals and ground. Sounds like something is loosing connection occasionally. The neutral is just as important as the hots to complete the circuit.
Please shut off the main before doing this and be very careful. There is still hot buss bars in the panel up to the main breaker even when the main is off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi...thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply.

The electric company came out and (the second guy to look at the issue) determined there was a problem with the neutral. They put something they call a "green machine" between the meter and my panel and the problem disappeared. So, the issue was from the meter on out to the transformer. A few days later a crew came out to investigate further and ultimately the problem was resolved by them simply disconnecting my neutral cable at the transformer, cleaning up the clamp/bar and once the cable was reconnected the issue was gone. So much fun!
 
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