Lights Flicker and Get Extremely Bright

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  #1  
Old 06-11-11, 08:24 PM
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Lights Flicker and Get Extremely Bright

Hi Everyone,

Have an issue. In my family room I have ceiling fan and recessed lights. Both lights are on 3-way switch and same recessed. This afternoon I went to turn the recessed lights on and about 3 seconds after turning on, the lights go extremely bright and then started to flicker.

I turn the light off and then tried the ceiling fan. The same thing happens.

Could it be a bad breaker?

Thanks,
 
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  #2  
Old 06-11-11, 08:29 PM
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Forgot to mention, it only happens on with these two lights. The remaining lights in the house work normally.
 
  #3  
Old 06-11-11, 08:32 PM
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Open neutral. If it is happening in just this area, shut off the breaker. If this is happening all over the house, pull the main and call your poco emergency service immediately.

poco=power company
 
  #4  
Old 06-11-11, 08:38 PM
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How do I fix an 'open neutral?'
 
  #5  
Old 06-11-11, 08:47 PM
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Assuming this is just this circut, turn off the breaker to the circut. This will either be a double breaker or two singles side-by-side. (2008 nec requires a double) Remake any and all wirenut connections, and move any backstab connections to the screws. Look for loose and burned wires, and retighten all screws.
 
  #6  
Old 06-11-11, 09:24 PM
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Thanks Justin! Have a good weekend.
 
  #7  
Old 06-11-11, 09:58 PM
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Justin wrote:
This will either be a double breaker or two singles side-by-side.
Why do you think this is a multi-wire circuit? I didn't read that in the O/P's post.
 
  #8  
Old 06-11-11, 10:34 PM
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It's the only way the OP could have overvoltage on just one circuit like that. The whole house isn't affected so it can't be before the panel.
 
  #9  
Old 06-12-11, 06:21 AM
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Thanks Matt. Must have been having a dumb moment when I asked that.
 
  #10  
Old 06-21-11, 06:18 AM
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Do you still have incandescent lamps around? While you are at it, test other circuits in the house using incandescent lamps. Unusual brightness and dimness that is a sign of an open neutral are more pronounced with incandescent lights. You want to quickly prove that just one or a few circuits are affected versus the entire house.

Immediately unplug electronics (including microwave ovens) from every receptacle suspected as being involved in an open neutral situation.
 
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