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  1. #1
    Rod Butler's Avatar
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    Default Random Light Dimming

    I know very little about electrical so I could use a little help from from sparky types.

    This is personal.

    The lights in my house seem to randomly dim. I can associate some dimming when other appliances kick in such as when the microwave is used. But other times, like this morning before anyone else was up, the lights in my bathroom dimmed and stayed dim.

    I know I can call an electrician and probably will, but I was wondering how one would go about diagnosing this problem?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Butler View Post
    I know very little about electrical so I could use a little help from from sparky types.

    This is personal.

    The lights in my house seem to randomly dim. I can associate some dimming when other appliances kick in such as when the microwave is used. But other times, like this morning before anyone else was up, the lights in my bathroom dimmed and stayed dim.

    I know I can call an electrician and probably will, but I was wondering how one would go about diagnosing this problem?
    .
    Call your Locale Utilities Provider tell them the lights is Going Crazy and your Scared The House is Gonna Burn Down !

    Most likely the Neutral is loose at he Service Entrance. ( The Dramatic Phone Call should move you up from a week out on the repair list.
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
    Rod Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Stephens View Post
    .
    Call your Locale Utilities Provider tell them the lights is Going Crazy and your Scared The House is Gonna Burn Down !

    Most likely the Neutral is loose at he Service Entrance. ( The Dramatic Phone Call should move you up from a week out on the repair list.
    .
    Actually that's not a bad idea. The service box does seem to be pulling away a bit from the wall. I hate to admit this but I will have to drain and move my hot tub first as it is too close to the panel.

    Sheesh, I am embarrassed.


  4. #4
    paul hardy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    As Billy stated most likely a loose or lost grounded conductor but without testing the system you will not know where, it could be a power company issue but could also be within your panel or service. The problem need imediate attention due if this is the problem because one phase will have a low voltage causing the dimming but the other phase will have high voltage that will cause damage to the equipment that is connected.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    Possible bad connectin on leg in meter. Arcing taking place. Utility service povider can make determination. Who replaces it seems to varry


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    I had a similar issue a few years ago. It was a bad neutral at the service head.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  7. #7
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    As suggested it sounds like a neutral problem which should be addressed immediately. For one as Paul mentioned you could fry equipment with an over voltage condition, secondly depending where the neutral current is now going it could be a fire hazard. If the POCO can't get there quickly I would call an electrician.


  8. #8
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Butler View Post
    The lights in my house seem to randomly dim. I can associate some dimming when other appliances kick in such as when the microwave is used. But other times, like this morning before anyone else was up, the lights in my bathroom dimmed and stayed dim.
    The lights are dimming because the voltage is dropping, the voltage is dropping because there is a loose or bad neutral (as the others have said), but the flip side of that is that *the voltage on the other phase leg has increased* - and that ain't good at all.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    While you're at it relocate the hot tub or a loose neutral will be the least of your problems.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  10. #10
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    Last year, I encountered several panels that had loose lugs. These had the same symptoms.

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    Dimming AND brightening is a sign of a loose or open neutral.

    A drastic dimming is a sign of a loose or compromised hot leg.

    A slight dimming is, or can be, perfectly normal.


  12. #12
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
    perfectly normal.
    Now there is an oxymoron ... perfectly ... normal ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  13. #13
    Rod Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random Light Dimming

    Just a little update . . .

    I finally got around to calling the power company (hey I've been busy) and when I told the guy how long this has been taking place he sounded a bit concerned.

    Thirty minutes later I got a text from my son at home and he said the guy from the power company was there and said their line into the panel was bad and they were putting a temporary feed in for a few days and will finish it up as soon as a work order can be generated.

    The power company will not secure the panel to the wall even though their meter is on it. He did show my son how easy it is to fix without removing the meter.

    Hope this fixes it.


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