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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default AC Unit & automatic dimmer switch? What's happening?

    Hi ...

    We are moving into a new place, actually, it is an old home built in the 1950's, and a real S. Fl. classic. This place has a coral rock exterior, plaster walls, and terrazzo flooring, yetta yetta yetta. It sits on 1 1/2 acres of an assortment of beautiful mature assorted Fruit, Oak and Palm trees and is tropically landscaped.

    I am struggling to keep the vision that it was once such a beautiful place. This place has so much potential. At this time I dont know whether to laugh or cry but I digress.

    Amongst many house repairs [some serious] to be made by us [the new tenants] I am concerned about the newer A/C unit that dims the household lights when it kicks on. The lights do come back up once the unit is on and blowing cold air. The best I can describe this event is a momentary but rather large drain on the home. I am concerned for our safety as well as our electronic equipment, ie. computers, tv's et el. What is happening?

    The other associated problem with the A/C is the venting, should say, the lack there of. Two large circular flexible ducts are attached to the unit and feed into two different bedroom closets.

    Imagine my horror when I opened the closet doors to find a gaping hole in the wall with an open, exposed moldy air duct blowing in my face. Who ever did this work went on a permanent siesta and never finished the job. These short straight ducts need to be added onto and brought forward out of the closet into the rooms and finished off via vent.

    The above info ought to tell you mountains about the type of contractors that were let loose in S Fl post hurricanes. We were all taken advantage of.

    As time permits I will have posts under plumbing, [bathroom], roofing, and Kitchen [cabintry] I look forward to finding help and answers. Thanks

    Pam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: AC Unit & automatic dimmer switch? What's happening?

    Quote Originally Posted by MariahsSong View Post
    Hi ...

    Amongst many house repairs [some serious] to be made by us [the new tenants] I am concerned about the newer A/C unit that dims the household lights when it kicks on. The lights do come back up once the unit is on and blowing cold air. The best I can describe this event is a momentary but rather large drain on the home. I am concerned for our safety as well as our electronic equipment, ie. computers, tv's et el. What is happening?

    Pam
    Pam,

    My guess would be that the electrical service to the home is a bit undersized for the load on the home as well as possibly the utility lines feeding the home. (Depending on how much dimming you are seeing on the fixtures.)

    What is happening is when the condensor starts the amount of power required to start it draws down the amount of power available for the rest of the house causing the lamps to dim.

    A safety issue? I don't really think so. What is it doing to your electronics? That I can not honestly answer but I can tell you that I live in a fairly new home with a properly sized service and I too see a very slight dimming of my own incandescent lighting fixtures when my AC condensor starts. I have never really thought much of it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: AC Unit & automatic dimmer switch? What's happening?

    It would be interesting to put a voltmeter on the AC and see just how low it is dipping . I wouldn't worry too much about your electronics , but anything with a motor could be bothered by it . AC compressors , fridge , etc . Have the utility company come out and investigate ASAP and hopefully it will be something on their end and not yours .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: AC Unit & automatic dimmer switch? What's happening?

    Thank you both for your responses. I will call FP&L tomorrow and ask that someone come out and check the property. My gut is telling me this house was never reinspected post work and I am not going to like what I hear. We secured the lease with a rent option to buy. This is a done deal for us unless there are safety issues involved.

    A further inquiry and an inspection of the power line into the house revealed that it too has fairly recently been replaced, it is brand new, and must have been replaced when the power company installed a new pole.

    The slack in the line is ghastly as the line hangs approx 12 ft from the ground at it's lowest point. It was fed from the pole on the street through the trees, rests on a cut limb, and proceeds down to the house. Want a good laugh? At 10 ft you find what I believe to be an old cable line and at a height that would close line the average man is the telephone wire. All loosely blowing with the breeze. Not acceptable by any means.

    I have discovered a couple of breaker boxes. Until today I only saw one. A third one is now empty with the remaining wires appropriately capped and secured. I believe this was the original fuse box. Although I don't understand why it would be left behind.

    I love to build, rebuild, and restore, landscape and grow my own food - these things and the hard work and effort involved do not bother me but when it comes to Safety issues and a good nights sleep I don't mess around.

    Thanks again for the direction and a starting point. The power company seems like the appropriate folks to be calling.

    Now on to the roof ... today I arrived and discovered the ceiling in my closet and bathroom collapsed from the rain via roof leak. I am off to the next board. Let's see, flat roof, wet plaster walls and ceilings, puddles on my newly cleaned terrazzo floor - Arrgh!

    Pam

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