Electrical Brown outs


Old 11-10-05, 01:28 PM
Dale Dettlaff
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Electrical Brown outs

I am experiencing "brown outs" in my home when certain applicances turn on. The breakers don't blow but all the lights get dim for a split second and than go back to normal brightness. What could the problem be and how would I go about troubleshoot the problem?
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Old 11-10-05, 01:57 PM
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A motorized or compressor-type appliance has the biggest amp draw in the first split second, and if this one appliance is the lions share of an entire circuits line potential, you are going to get a brown out. As has been discussed already in some other thread (yesterday?)...one should run a designated circuit for that appliance then.

It's also posible that if you have say only a 60 amp panel box in yor house and you have alot of stuff in use and THEN turn on the appliance, that even other circuits can be affected.

You may also want to do an amp meter test on the appliance to see if the draw is within company specs.

To use an amp meter, they will only give you a reading on a split hot or neutral wire. You can't wrap the clamp around a romex or other 2-3 wire electrical line. I came up with my own extension cord that I use for testing when cords are not split. I bought an appliance extension cord (a 3 or 4 footer will do). Then I split the cord so that the hot and neutral insulated wires were separate. Then ...let's say you want to test a refrigerator. You plug your now-split apliance cord into an outlet. Then plug the refrigerator cord into *it*. Then you wrap the amp meter clamp around the split appliance extension cord, and you wil get your reading.
Old 11-11-05, 07:49 AM
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Dale, Is this a new problem? Do the lights ever get overly bright for a second when a large appliance turns off?

Doug M.
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