Circuit Box

Old 07-06-03, 09:04 AM
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Circuit Box

I have a fairly old house, and the lights seem to dim when any appliance kicks on. I investigated the circuit box (the best I could) and found that one breaker in the box (other than the main) shuts off the entire house. Could this be the cause of the problem, or is it something else? Aslo, if it is the problem, How is it solved, and what might it cost me to have someone fix it? Thanks
Old 07-06-03, 09:27 AM
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No, that's probably not the problem. I'm guessing that you have a split bus panel, and that breaker other than the main is controlling the half of the panel serving lighting and receptacles. Please describe that breaker other than the main that shuts off the house.

The first thing is to determine whether the appliance that dims the lights is on the same circuit as the lights, or a different circuit.

The second thing to do, assuming the answer above is "different circuit", is to call your power company and ask them to check out their side. They have some equipment to test for voltage fluctuations, and they can check their connections. Some power companies (one with poor customer service) may insist that you do the "third thing" below first before they check out their side.

The third thing to do, assuming the power company says that all is okay on their side, is to have a qualified person tighten all the electrical connections.

The fourth thing to do, if the problem still persists, is to live with the dimming. It's possible that you just have an electrical system that is underdesigned. The dimming is probably not dangerous (after you have done all of the above). You could consider an electrical upgrade, but that could be big bucks.

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