Dimming lights


Old 12-21-00, 11:52 PM
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Our lights started dimming today on about 3 minute intervals. I have everything turned off at the breaker box right now in fear of fire...We bought two new space heaters and tripped a breaker when we tried to run both of them several weeks ago. In turning the breaker back on, we discovered it to be difficult to get to stay on...had to be tripped several times and the switch itself seems "weak". Could this be the cause of the dimming lights? They are on the same breaker. We were not running the heater when the lights started doing the dimming thing.
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Old 12-22-00, 11:36 AM
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Sounds like when you loaded the circuit with that electric heater you may have caused a weak link in the circuit to get weaker. You might try replacing the breaker in consideration of you trouble having to reset it. This can be done without cost by just switching that circuit wire with another breaker of the same size in the same panel. Or just swapping two breakers. If this cures your problem on that troubled circuit then buy a new breaker.

The dimming on a cycle of every three minutes puts the compressor of a refrigerator in question. Do you have an appliance that has a compressor in it for cooling? If so then the three minute cycle may be that compressor trying to start when you have a stuck compressor.

Come back in and let us know if this helps

Old 12-22-00, 04:28 PM
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Well, I went upstairs today and did a little "rewiring". I had a line that had nothing on it but one socket in the bedroom so I wired one of the heaters to that line. It seems to have helped. Haven't had any more of the "dimming" so far. Your question about the refrigerator compressor is a possibility...it was on that line that I had used before for the heaters, so maybe I took a load off of it or something. I don't have a clue about breakers, how to switch them or anything like that. How do you do that? And, by the way, thanks for the help. This is an old house that has had several wirings, some professional and some amateurs. But I'm beginning to know where everything comes from and where it goes at least. Again, thanks.

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