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Thread: Power Dips

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    237

    Default Power Dips

    I thought I posted this before but I don't see it in search results. I'm finding that if I use a vacuum cleaner or a corded drill, lights on separate circuits dim. I would expect this for lights on the same circuit but I don't know if this is normal for lights on different circuits to do this. I've also noticed that sometimes a less noticeable dimming can happen when the neighbors central air unit turns on. I'm running off of a 100amp service so I know I'm at the lower end of what's normal nowadays but I know for a fact I never have anywhere near that kind of load with only myself in the house.

    Is this something wrong with my house or service and what can I do about it, if anything?
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    721

    Default Re: Power Dips

    If only lights on the same circuit as the loads you mentioned dim..wiring on that circuit is probably too small or you have a loose connection.

    If all of your lights dim because of some appliance load your service entrance panel or the connection to the power company is probably defective.

    If your lights dim because of a neighbors load the power company probably has a bad transformer or connection at the pole.

    I would ask you neighbors if they have the same concerns. If so, start with the power company, it's free!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,804

    Default Re: Power Dips

    One other point, just because the lights are on a different breaker doesn't mean it is on a different leg, so in essence it may be on the same circuit.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,750

    Default Re: Power Dips

    If your lights dim when the neighbors AC comes on, see if you both share the same transformer. It maybe undersized for two houses. It is not necessarily defective, it just maybe undersized.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    721

    Default Re: Power Dips

    Jack & Keith both good points.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Power Dips

    All of these are suspects as i know i share the same transformer as my neighbor and i saw a bit of what looks to be a little rust around one of the wires connecting to the main breaker. I guess i should just upgrade the service and entire box but i hope i can find something that will reuse the siemens brand breakers i just had installed.

    Jack, im not sure what you mean by on the same leg.
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

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