Lights dimming throughout house


Old 05-09-11, 10:17 AM
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Lights dimming throughout house

When garbage disposal is turned on, the lights in other parts of the house, on different circuits than garbage disposal, dim momentarily and "flicker" as long as garbage disposal is left on. I am wondering if this points to a particular problem, and what should be the approach to trouble-shooting it? The house is 60 years old, but electrical service was upgraded several years ago, including new breaker panel, by a licensed electrician. The flickering lights problem has just recently developed. Thank you.
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Old 05-09-11, 10:40 AM
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Flickering on different circuits suggests a loose connection in the main panel, meter box or connections to the power company. However, a little bit of flickering can be considered normal operation. Is there anything other than the disposal that causes the problem? Does it seem to be getting worse or does it get worse at a particular time of day or weather?
Old 05-09-11, 10:44 AM
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Garbage Disposal

How old is the garbage disposal?
Old 05-09-11, 10:47 AM
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Just to eliminate the disposal as the problem run a heavy duty extension cord from a receptacle on a different breaker and plug the GD in to that.
Old 05-09-11, 11:17 AM
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Lights dimming throughout house

Thanks for quick replies. To answer the questions raised:

Problem seems constant, not getting worse and is not severe, so I suppose it could be "normal operation" although it was not noticeable at all previously. Does not seem related to weather or time of day. The flickering is most noticeable in the bathroom lights, which I confirmed are not on same circuit as garbage disposal (thankfully!). One more detail is that the bathroom light switch itself sometimes emits small sparks when the lights are turned off on and on - can sometimes be seen through small crack between switch face plate and switch. Don't know if this is a different problem or part of same problem.

Garbage disposal is a compact InSinkErator, only three years old.

Will try plugging the disposal into a different circuit, but won't have a chance to do it until tonight.

Old 05-09-11, 06:57 PM
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You may want to replace the switch for the bathroom. It sounds like it may be starting to fail.
Old 05-10-11, 06:06 PM
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If you replace the switch, use one marked ''specification grade'' as they last way longer, and are alot easier to wire.

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