Dimming Lights Layne Ingle

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  #1  
Old 09-26-00, 07:27 PM
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Your message disappeared when I tried to post reply.

If you will give us answers to the following questions we will try to answer your minimum service size to serve your dwelling. You said that you have #4 wire feeding your panel. I suspect you to have a 100 amp panel and suspect this panel to be too small for your dwelling. I suspect that your #4 feeders serving your dwelling is acting like a pair of hands choking around your throat. I suspect that your dwelling is starving for electricity.

Answer the following and we will try to calculate the minimum service size of your panel for you. I think this to be your problem.

What is the square footage of your dwelling?

What type heat do you have gas or electric?

What type of a/c window or central, if window what size and how many?

Do you have the following, and how many?

electric water heater
garbage disposal
range hood
dishwasher
whirlpool tub
hot tub
attic fan
wholehouse fan
water pump
sump pump
lift station [sewage]
air compressor

Anything else that is permenantly mounted to structure?

Answer the above questions and I think we can help

Wg
 
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Old 09-27-00, 08:43 AM
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I can turn off every circuit in the house and leave it off for 1 hour and the one circuit in the bonus room which is the only one on still makes the lights flicker when running the laser printer. I also can turn all circuits off but the heat pump and the living room and the heat pumps coming on causes the dimming. My t.v. coming on in the master bedroom causes the lights to dim in the bathroom(which is on same circuit). It's all over the house. Anything that comes on 240 volts will cause the lights to dim.


What is the square footage of your dwelling?

2550

What type heat do you have gas or electric?
electric

What type of a/c window or central, if window what size and how many?

Central Heat Pumps 4 ton up, 2 ton down

Do you have the following, and how many?

electric water heater Yes 1
garbage disposal Yes 1
range Microwave Yes 1
dishwasher Yes 1
whirlpool tub Yes 1
hot tub
attic fan
wholehouse fan
water pump
sump pump
lift station [sewage]
air compressor

 
  #3  
Old 09-27-00, 11:53 AM
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With some of the info you have provided, I have come up with the following opinions. Remember this is not a face to face, I saw it situation. There may be some variables. To be more accurate try to approach a master qualified or nationally certified electrician or inspector and he should be able to pin it down to the tenth of an amp.

I suspect that you have your dwelling run in 14 ga. for you living areas. A larger load such as a medium grade laser printer, house hold iron, etc. will cause a momentary dimming of lites in your branch circuits found between your main panel, and your last general lighting receptacle. Usually the momentary dimming of lights is caused by a bounce of electricity as your equipment suddenly requires more electricity such as the starting of a motor or resistance heat element. Both are found in you laser printer, that is why your paper is warm when first printed as it comes out. The only way to correct the dimming of you branch circuits to your laser printer etc. is to run a single 20 amp rated 12 ga. circuit dedicated for those type of heavy usage equipment. I don't know that the dimming causes a hazard, just an inconvenience that can be corrected by running the dedicated circuit to non lighting loads placed in one location to stay and connected to a circuit designed for general lighting.

Your demand load as per the info that I can round up from you with 2 paddle fans added as an after thought in second guessing you, and figuring on the heat pump systems being with a geothermal heat pump design is approximately 331 amps on the hots and 152 amps on your neutral feeders serving you panel system.

This would mean that your minimum service size is 350 amp service. Most people install a 400 amps service instead. A 350 amp service is usually a 150 amp panel and a 200 amp panel set side by side with both panels considered main panels. A 400 amp service is usually two 200 amp panels side by side. The cost of installation difference is about a hundred and twenty five dollars, money well spent.

These two panels whether 350 amp or 400 amp have feeders going directly to the meterbase separate from each panel.

350 amp is minimum allowed by the NEC for the house as you discribe it. If you have a smaller service than 350 amp it is inadiquate and below minimum safety standards as you have discribed the dwelling loads.

Now one thing more. If you have an air to air heat pump system on both heating systems and not geothermal heat pumps then increase the panel size to two 200 amps service panels and a 100 amp service panel. Ideally you should just go to a 600 amp service with three 200 amps service panels all with feeders going to the triple lugs on the load side of the meterbase seperate from each other. Remember to keep these main panels grouped together as required by the NEC

I hope it wasn't bad news for you.

This report should be rather accurate
and can be backed up by the NEC Code numbers if needed.

Good Luck

Wg
 
  #4  
Old 09-27-00, 12:03 PM
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Ps boy here it comes again. Just a short one.

The required feeder size for a 200 amp service panel is 2/0 cu. or 4/0 al.

Good luck

Wg
 
  #5  
Old 09-27-00, 02:36 PM
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Thanks a lot. I'll check into all this.


Layne
 
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