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House lights brighten and dim and surge protector went out. Should I worry?

House lights brighten and dim and surge protector went out. Should I worry?

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  #1  
Old 01-04-10, 07:11 PM
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House lights brighten and dim and surge protector went out. Should I worry?

I'm a new home owner, just moved in on December 1st, and the lights seem to brighten and dim a lot. This usally happens when something, like the heater, turns on or turns off. On Christmas day we blew a fuse in kitchen while cooking, we were using almost every appliance in there, and there was a weird burning smell that eventually went away. We just thought it was the smell of the food as the smell was masked by that of the food.

Then tonight we noticed that the lights were becoming super bright and them dimming almost to the point of turning off. It was only certain lights around the house and also our garage light which is unattached to our house. Upstairs in one of the rooms where the lights flickered a surge protector made a crackle sound and then a smell of burning plastic, similar to the smell we had on christmas, was emanating from the protector. We shut it off, unplugged everything from it, and set it out side and nothing that was on it has been plugged in. Some lights are still flickering as well. Is this something that can wait for an electrician tomorrow or should I be panicking?
 
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Old 01-04-10, 07:26 PM
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Call the power company even if it is 2am when you read this. Call the emergency services number. Tell them you may have a loose neutral and need the line checked. The should be out in a couple hours to check it.

P.S. If this is a new house I doubt you have fuses.
 
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Old 01-04-10, 07:27 PM
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The first thing you should do now is call the POCO { power company } right now don't delay it at all you have loose or burnted netural connection there allready now.

Call them they typically do not charge for them to come out anytime { the POCO never close at all } Call thur the power outage hotline someone will come out and look at the POCO side first once the POCO verify their side is good then we will producre to next step.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 01-04-10, 07:38 PM
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Yeah, this is an old house. Do think that I should call them right this moment as this has been happening since we moved in.
 
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Old 01-04-10, 07:43 PM
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Yes, call now. This can damage electronics and in rare cases depending on what is wrong could start a fire at the meter.
 
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Old 01-04-10, 08:03 PM
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We called and they are coming. I had called my dad to ask him about this stuff and he came over. Him and my mom lived in this house for 3 years before they moved out and My wife and I moved in. He said that these things happened all the time when they were here, but never to this extent. Though he did mention one time he heard an electrical crackle come from somewhere and they noticed a burning smell. I guess they had the meter checked before, but nothing was wrong. So i don't know what this person will be able to find.
 
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Old 01-04-10, 08:36 PM
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Please let us know the outcome.
 
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Old 01-04-10, 08:45 PM
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I know I'm sure I'm stepping on someone's toes in posting this response, but if it were my house, the home to my family, I wouldn't hesitate to contact a professional if I thought that the issue MIGHT pose a safety risk. I don't mean to talk down to anyone, but what you have described "Burning smell..." Nothing's worth risking the safety and well-being of the ones you love. Contact a professional immediately. Let us know what happens.
 
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Old 01-05-10, 08:07 AM
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If it is not outside the house in the power company wiring or in the meter box, then the problem is in your main panel box. If so, you will need to have this checked out by an electrician as it is a serious problem. This can damage appliances or actually catch fire, and it will get worse over time.
 
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Old 01-05-10, 06:29 PM
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Figured out the problem. The com-ed guy arrived here around 9 am and checked around. Didn't find anything but did change our outside neutral. After that our surge protector in the living room did the crackle thing and blew fuses. We called an electrician at 8 and they came out and figured out it was the inside neutral and some bar in the breaker box was loose, improperly assembled, and singed. The guy said it was most likely like that for years and years, which is why my parents often had to deal with the dimming of lights and such as well. The bar was temporarily fixed and and will be completely reworked and fixed in a few days. Haven't had a problem since he was here. Though we have been a bit afraid to turn on more than one light and the tv at a time.

Thanks to everyone for your insight. I'm no pro when it comes to these things.

But we now have a new problem. Water it seems has been slowly leaking from somewhere under our kitchen floor and is coming up through the cracks when you step on it. Oh the joys of home ownership.
 
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Old 01-05-10, 06:36 PM
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Sorry to hear about your leak, but glad to hear you got a serious problem taken care of.
 
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Old 01-05-10, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kish2554 View Post
I know I'm sure I'm stepping on someone's toes in posting this response, but if it were my house, the home to my family, I wouldn't hesitate to contact a professional if I thought that the issue MIGHT pose a safety risk. I don't mean to talk down to anyone, but what you have described "Burning smell..." Nothing's worth risking the safety and well-being of the ones you love. Contact a professional immediately. Let us know what happens.
No one here would disagree but if it is on the power company side then the electrician will have to call the power company any way and the electrician may still charge for a service call. Also the power company will probably get there quicker then an electrician. Even if it is inside the power company may not fix it but they may be able tell you for free what the problem is.
 
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