Flickering Lights

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  #1  
Old 01-23-05, 10:14 AM
dmusel
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Flickering Lights

New home renovation completed almost two years ago. Electrical system completely replaced with 200 amp service to the house. System worked fine for past two years, even when heavy loads on the system (summer, party, etc). Nothing different on the load in the house, but for the past several days, all lights that are on occasionnally flicker and my UPS on my computer clicks on and off constantly telling me that the power going into the UPS is not consistent. I've called the power company to report but no response. What could be causing the flickering? Do I push the power company or search elsewhere for the problem? Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 01-23-05, 11:40 AM
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Location: Central New York State
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Keep pushing the power company. If power is going on and off it is most likely a loose connection somewhere. If this started at the same time as a windstorm, one of your service wires could have come loose.
 
  #3  
Old 01-24-05, 05:33 AM
aujames
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Yeah I agree with racraft. Stay after the power company. I recently had the same issue. Had to have the power company out three times before they discovered it was a loose wire on the transformer.

JD
 
  #4  
Old 01-24-05, 12:03 PM
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You obviously have a loose connection somewhere. You need to check the voltage coming into the service. If everything reads fine, then the problem is downstream. If you get an irregular reading there ("flickering" voltage), then the problem is either in your meter base, or on the power company side of your service. If all the flickering lights (and receptacles) are on the same circuit, you could have a problem anywhere in that circuit. If the problem is on two or more circuits, it is being created in a point of distribution somewhere, like in a subpanel. If everything reads fine coming into your main panel, and everything reads fine coming off the breakers in the main panel, you could have a bad connection where the wires come into a subpanel. Loose connections that cause flickering lights are usually pretty easy to find.
 
  #5  
Old 01-25-05, 11:55 AM
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Flickering Lights

I has a similar problem. I also noticed that some lights also flickered brighter (rather than dimmer). The problem was that the neutral feeder line (from the transformer) was loose.

It took an electrician about 2 minutes to fix the problem.

You might turn off the main breaker and check all the wires in your panel, but you would be better off to call for help.
 
  #6  
Old 01-25-05, 12:26 PM
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A loose neutral at the service can cause a lot of damage. The reason that your lights were going brighter is because the normal return path for the voltage was being interrupted and it was finding a return path to the transformer through the other phase conductor. I was in a house where the neutral had become completely open and when we turned on lights, they would be twice the normal brightness before they would quickly burn out. Luckily, we didn't damage any electronics.
 
  #7  
Old 01-28-05, 06:12 PM
dmusel
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Flicker Solved

It was the power company. Bad transformer and it was replaced this week. However, I still followed the advice and tightened the sub-panel connections even though they were tight, I just made extra sure. Regardless, thanks for all the replies.
 
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