New breaker sub-panel cause power blips

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  #1  
Old 11-02-11, 09:12 AM
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New breaker sub-panel cause power blips

1 month ago I had a new hot tub installed along with a new sub-panel. since then we have had 5 power blips where the lights flicker, and things like TV/Computer etc reset (does not last long enough for clocks to reset).

I talked to the electrician that did the work, and of course, he says it's caused by the power company, since the items effected were running on the main panel, and not off the sub-panel. He claims that since the hot tub is using more electricity, the power coming to the house can't keep up, causing these blips.

any experience or ideas what could be causing these momentary interruptions?
 
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  #2  
Old 11-02-11, 09:50 AM
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What size main panel? Have you done a load Calculation? http://www.bestinspectors.net/members/RES%20Service.xls
 
  #3  
Old 11-02-11, 10:18 AM
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Main panel was upgraded 7-8 months ago from 100amp to 200amp (in prep for getting hot tub and eventually new basement).

Sub panel is 100amp, and hot tub is 60amp.

I haven't done any load calculation, however I'm assuming the 200 amp should be sufficient since I never had any problems with the old 100amp service, and all I've added is the hot tub... also, I never had problems with the air conditioning running, but since the panel has been added, I have not used AC at all. I would assume that the AC would pull more than the hot tub.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 10:34 AM
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Flickering could signal a loose connection. Dimming while a motor load starts up could signal the transformer is not large enough or heavily loaded.
 
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Old 11-02-11, 11:29 AM
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Based on your description it sounds more like a loose connection to me than the voltage dipping under load. The loose connection can be in the main panel, meter box, weatherhead or at the pole. The power company will usually out and check their outdoor wiring for free; sometimes the guys will check your meter and panel while they are there but they don't have to. If not, the electrician should come out and check connections to be sure they are tight. It might or might not be related to the previous electric work -- sometimes the wires just work loose in the wind even if they were installed correctly.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-02-11 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Correct typo.
  #6  
Old 11-02-11, 11:39 AM
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Some more input....

The first time this happened coincided with turning the oven on (set temp, hit start, and blam... oven resets).

next 2 times we were just watching tv, and it reset

one time I came home, and the computer had crashed (like it did all the other times this has happened)

Last night we were just sitting in the hot tub - then a flicker, and all the pumps turned on at once....

I've called the power company... they kept insisting that these were "re-closure" events, and nothing they could do, but I got them to agree to send someone out.
 
  #7  
Old 11-02-11, 05:10 PM
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Although it sounds like you have a loose connection, either on power company side or your side, who wired the hot tub? How much actual load was added to the service? Was the power company notified of the added load to the service? An overloaded feed to your service will not cause the interruptions you describe, but can cause a low voltage condition. In most cases, it is the customer's responsibility to notify the power company when load is added to the service because most power companies size their equipment by actual load and not by the fact you upgraded to a 200 amp service. The electrician who wired the hot tub should have done this for you.

I talked to the electrician that did the work, and of course, he says it's caused by the power company, since the items effected were running on the main panel, and not off the sub-panel. He claims that since the hot tub is using more electricity, the power coming to the house can't keep up, causing these blips.
I wouldn't accept that yokel answer. Is he licensed?
 
  #8  
Old 11-02-11, 07:23 PM
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Have you lived at this location for many years? Or newly there?

I used to live in a large city and the power almost never went out. I moved to a rural area and we have power flicker off/on at least once a month. Sometimes several times a month.

Also when there is a sudden high electric demand, there is sure to be a blip. Like Thanksgiving morning when everybody is turning on their electric ranges. Or when it suddenly gets cold and everybody's heating is kicking on.

Also during wind storms, trees fall on lines and create a short. This causes a blip or if bad, power totally goes out.

Anyway during the summer there are few power blips. So if you recently moved there, this could be a regular seasonal thing. Might want to ask your neighbors if they also have power blips when you do. If they do, then a problem with the electric company. If not, then a problem with your wiring.
 
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Old 11-03-11, 06:41 AM
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I've called the power company... they kept insisting that these were "re-closure" events, and nothing they could do,
And that also could be true. The power company may be switching circuits and their equipment has a bit of lag. It may have more then it should but replacing it may not be in their budget. You could complain to your state regulatory commission.
 
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