Home Wiring: Things going boom!

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Old 05-30-06, 08:00 AM
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Home Wiring: Things going boom!

Here's my problem. Whenever the wife and I run any major appliance in our house, the lights dim, and the UPS's (uninterrupted power supply) on my PC's go nuts. This includes using the microwave, the refrigerator kicking on, doing the laundry, washing the dishes. If we run any combination of two appliances at once, we risk blowing a fuse.

Last night was the last straw. We had to do laundry, so we started a load, and the lights were pulsing as they always do. The 400W UPS on my computer started beeping constantly, so I started to shut down my computer before something exploded. I didn't act fast enough, and I heard a popping sound and smelled burning electronics coming from my UPS. It's now toast.

I know little to nothing about the wiring of a house. What little I do know is that our home has the lesser of the two common Amp standards, as it's about 60 years old. The fuse box is made from switches, not actual fuses. Also, the man who lived there before us claimed to be an electrician, but I think he must have been a hack, as it seems all the major appliances are on the same circuit throughout the house.

My questions are:

1. Is there anything we can do, short term, to reduce the ridiculousness of the situation?

2. Would it be advisable to have an electrician re-wire the entire house? We don't have much money, so I'd like to know how much we are talking about here.
 
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Old 05-30-06, 08:06 AM
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Yikes I would be concerned about a fire. I don't know how anyone could really diagnose and give sound advice on something like that sight unseen but I think it would be a really good idea to get an electrician in there to at least tell you what your looking at. I mean if not the UPS that would have been your computer that fried see now that's scary to me lol. Seriously though I would definately have that looked at. It does not sound at all safe.
 
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Old 05-30-06, 09:10 AM
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Call your utility company. You want to start with them. You should have called them a while ago. You may have a loose connection or there may be something they can do. They will come out and make wire that all their connections are tight and that the voltage is proper, even under load.

However, I would have an electrician come out and inspect the setup. Did you at least have a home inspection done before you bought the house, and did that inspection find anything glaring (which is about all they look for)?
 
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Old 05-30-06, 09:16 AM
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Once again, get 3 estimates.......

Go with the person who you feel gives you a "warm fuzzy". The purpose of three estimates isn't just for pricing, it is for the oppurtunity to meet and understand the person who will possibly be doing the work. The cheapest guy could be the most personal, but not be the most knoweldgeable...the mid range fellow could be iggnorant as all heck, and the most expensive could be, the easiest one with a personable touch....or they all could be the other way around...


In any case, you need a skilled person to look at this, before anything bad happens. It sounds like you have some seriuos issues to be looked at..
 
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Old 05-30-06, 09:40 AM
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Thanks for the tips! As soon as I get home from work today, I'll start making calls.
 
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