Electric flickers house. Where to start?


Old 03-29-05, 03:33 PM
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Electric flickers house. Where to start?

New to this forum. Sorry if the answer is posted somewhere else.

House built in 1960s. Copper wire. Half house has ground other half doesnt.
(kitchen does, and some other areas) bedrooms dont.
Bascially the lights flickers alot and my UPS beeps so I know there has been brown outs alot.

I do notice it alot with the furnance, but today the furnance was off all day (still happened).

Also 100 amp service box. Also have noticed some surges but not as nearly as much as flickers. Electric company/ Electriction?
Also the house is on a slab, so all wiring has to go through attic which isnt fun.
Longterm question: Should I rewire non-ground outlets with new wiring or just add ground. Boxes are not grounded, or cant depend on them being grounded.
(Get this the house inspector told me to run a wire from neutral to ground to replace plugs)

Thanks any help..

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Old 03-29-05, 05:20 PM
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I cannot say this strongly enough, DO NOT follow the home inspectors advice.

Given the age of your current wiring and the fact that it is just as much work to add a ground wire as it is to run new wire, run a new wire that will have a ground in it. Also most new luminaires (light fixtures) have a warning to only use with wiring with a 90 degree rating. Rewiring will give you more options if you want to install new fixtures.

You may want to consider subdividing any overloaded circuits or creating a more logical circuit arrangement. This would also be the time to add any additional receptacles.

As far as the flickering, is everything affected or just some things? Many things can cause this condition, undersized transformers, poor or loose connections anywhere in your system or at the pole etc. Do any of your neighbors suufer the same problem? You may want to call your power company to have them check their connections. Most power companies will do this for free.
Old 03-29-05, 06:09 PM
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The house inspector is a complete idiot, but it sounds like you already know that.

I agree with pcboss--running a whole new cable is just about as easy as running just the grounding wire, and the new cable gives you a host of additional advantages.

But you don't necessarily need everything grounded. Check the plugs on your appliances. You don't need a grounded receptacle to plug in a plug without a grounding pin.

Also note that the ground won't help with any of the problems you reported. But it will improve safety, and improve the reliable operation of certain electronics.
Old 03-29-05, 06:47 PM
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After posting my message, I looked through the forum past.

My plan is to check the electric box first.

Take down the whole house and check all the breakers and neutral connections, of course avoiding the live poles coming in...

If that doesnt work I will call AEP. Answer to pcboss questions, Yes I have asked one neighbor that is on the same transformer as my house. They say that they dont have the same problem. And yes its does affect the whole house. Lights are easiest to notice and seems to affect almost every room. From reading posts it might be a neutral because of the power surges, ie lights getting really bright and fans running faster. (this concerns me more than flicking due to computer equipment).

The only thing that really concerns me in non-grounded rooms is where computer and audio video equipment is installed. I have added wiring to bathroom as it had no electrical outlets. So I removed the unused double switch well pump circuit(now on city water). And ran 12/3 to junk box above bathrooms. Firgured while I was it might need for some other project in the area. So I could run my green ground to that junction box that I already ran.

My major problem with rewiring the whole house is that would be a big pain, due to the fact its is a slab house and all the work is in the attic and not going to gut the house at this point.

My first house, (grad from College in Computers, but I did pass electrical engineering 2nd year labs.)

Last edited by Kmax; 03-29-05 at 07:23 PM.
Old 03-29-05, 07:08 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
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Don't start wiring before you study the codes. It's usually no harder to create a code-compliant installation as to create a code-violating installation. But you can only follow the code if you know it, and they aren't all obvious. For example, running 14-gauge wire to a bathroom receptacle is a code violation.
Old 04-06-05, 09:34 PM
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Emailed AEP, they sent a guy to check the electric.... Turns out the metal access box at the back of the property but not inside my fence had a huge gash in it( from a lawn mower I would say), and was exposed and needed to be replaced, and noted that some wiring had some weather damage. He said the neighbor behind us are on the that same box. Funny they never noticed problem.

After the underground crew came in replaced the metal access box with a new plastic dome thing, I havent noticed the problem anymore.

So with anyone else having this problem I would call electric service first. AEP rep said they dont charge for checking it out even if was my problem.

Funny how electric company can do that but dont dare call the phone company without making sure its their problem or get ready to pay the bill.


Now if they would have only replaced the cover for the meter box, will have to call back.....

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