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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    7

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    Last edited by asc2078; 08-18-2008 at 02:59 PM. Reason: Typo Correction

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The deep South
    Posts
    459

    Default Re: Tips about Dimming lights and fluctuating voltage.

    Excellent post ! I will disagree with only one point . If you contact a power company and tell them that you are having
    " momentary closures " , you'r probably going to get a funny look . What you are probably referring to is when a circuit breaker trips and " RECLOSES " . This is done to maintain the integrity of the system and not have outtages for temporary faults such as an insulator or lightning arrestor flashover or a tree limb that is only brushing against a line . These circuit breakers have programmed intervals of trip and close cycles that take into account the size and type of downline fuses , wire size , type of customer load , and nowdays , even wether the fault is phase to phase or phase to ground .
    A high number of blinks on a circuit is definetely a sign that there are problems that need to be investigated but it was better than having the lights go out for something that was only a temporary condition .

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

    Default Re: Tips about Dimming lights and fluctuating voltage.

    Quote Originally Posted by asc2078 View Post
    Thanks "djohns" for pointing out that "closure" error.

    It was supposed to say "momentary outages and reclosures" I had edited my post down, from to many characters and pasted it back into the template. That "closure" error was an oversight on my part and I have now corrected it.

    Also, thanks for your more detailed information on how the power company's circuit breakers work. That is good to know.

    On another point, I do not want to leave the impression on readers that a once-in-a-while, "reset," means that one has a major problem with their power company. In the job situation that I had referred to, the momentary outages and reclosures were almost a daily occurrence.

    Regards,

    D.B.
    Daily " blinks " are way too excessive . Not only is it annoying to the customer but it's damaging to the circuit breaker as well . Been there , seen that , repaired that .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Tips about Dimming lights and fluctuating voltage.

    Thanks for the great article.

    I am currently having a problem where all the lights in my house dim when the air conditioner turns on. The AC is on its own circuit. My house was just built last year and has a 200 amp service and main box.

    I was wondering if there is a device that you could install in your home that would suppliment the needed current when the AC kicks in. Like a big capacitor or something. Would something like that work?

    I haven't found anything specifically for this. I did find this product which seems like it might work. Any thought?

    http://www.designerhardware.com/KVAR...kes-pu1200.htm

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Lakeland ,MN
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: Tips about Dimming lights and fluctuating voltage.

    Quote Originally Posted by andyloyer View Post
    Thanks for the great article.

    I am currently having a problem where all the lights in my house dim when the air conditioner turns on. The AC is on its own circuit. My house was just built last year and has a 200 amp service and main box.

    I was wondering if there is a device that you could install in your home that would suppliment the needed current when the AC kicks in. Like a big capacitor or something. Would something like that work?

    I haven't found anything specifically for this. I did find this product which seems like it might work. Any thought?

    http://www.designerhardware.com/KVAR...kes-pu1200.htm

    Thanks for any help you can provide.
    you should not be having your lights dim on start up. I suggest being a new house have your electrical contractor check his connections at the main breaker or have the power company check theirs also. I be willing to bet there is your problem.

    We have discussed the KVAR here before save your money....
    Harry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Tips about Dimming lights and fluctuating voltage.

    Hi Harry,

    Thanks for the quick reply. I have asked my electrician about the issue. He says that it is just the electric company reducing the voltage in the area to conserve energy during the hot summer months. He said they would deny it if I asked.

    What exactly could I ask him to check? Would it be a loose connection? The AC is on a dedicated circuit connected to the main 200 amp circuit breaker box. It is a short run too (only 15-20 feet).

    The main breaker box is completely full. It has 40 slots and they are all being used. Could I be maxed out?

    Thanks for you help.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Tips about Dimming lights and fluctuating voltage.

    The first step to correcting your problem with dimming lights is to call your local electric provider. Report your problem and request that they check their transformer, lines, service connections and meter connections. To often, the voltage problem is from the power company. Electrical problems beyond your building, are their responsibility.
    When we moved into my 1950's home we soon noticed that our lights would dim briefly when the neighbor's central A/C unit kicked on. I checked over several weeks to be sure I was right. We did not have central A/C at the time and the only device in our home that could cause this was the fridge. I was sure I was right and called the power company.

    They told me that they would come and check the service to my house but if they found no problem they would charge me an $80 service fee. If they DID find a problem they would fix it and charge me nothing.

    I did not feel confident in that answer. Who's to say they would check thoroughly... or at all? And if they found something would they be honest with me or charge me anyway? And what if the problem was in my neighbor's home... would they check that?

    So I have ignored the issue for 4 years now. We have replaced our electrical panel and upgraded some not so great wiring. The power company has also replaced the meter, unrelated to my call. I'm more certain than ever that there is something not quite right outside of my home wiring because we still see the same issue every summer. Though now we have central A/C and also see the same dimming when our unit kicks on as well.

    The dimming is very slight and doesn't seem to have caused any damage which is why I've been able to ignore it.

    Has anyone else experienced that sort of answer from a power company and is that usual? Do I have any recourse if they tell me there is no problem and I owe them $80 bucks?

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