Update to flickering/fluttering power


Old 06-21-13, 10:14 AM
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 144
Update to flickering/fluttering power

Well, I contacted an electrician and he was supposed to be at my house this past Monday to see what was the source of the power flickering/fluttering in my home. I wait all day and no show up. No called either. I wait Tuesday and again no one show up or called.

Approx. 10 years ago my dad had a full house emergency generator installed. The electrician who did the work was thinking ahead. He installed a disconnect between the meter socket and entrance panel. I took the emergency generator off auto-start, put it in the off position. I turned off the disconnect and waited for the 45 seconds for the generator to fire up if indeed it was still connected. It did not start.

I removed the front panel from the service entrance, grabbed my meter and tested the incoming lines for voltage. The meter read absolutely zero. I double checked everything by walking through the house testing various circuits and all was dead. I was confident I could safely proceed. I was amazed by how little effort it took to move the neutral from its connection point. It was so loose... I tightened that one down just a smidge beyond snug. It took almost a full turn to get it there.

I then decided to check other connects. I found many loose neutrals. So I snugged these up a bit too. After putting everything back together, I turned on the disconnect and put the emergency generator back to auto-start. I then went indoors and turned on everything that I possibly could. No flickering lights and no fluttering of appliances. Question - Did I approach this the right way or should I have waited for the electrician to do the samething I did? If the disconnect wasn't there, I wouldn't have touched anything. Thanks, Roger

Last edited by ray2047; 06-21-13 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Add paragraphs for readability.
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Old 06-21-13, 10:24 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
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Excellent job. You did exactly what a good electrician would have done.

General note for future readers: If no disconnect ask the electric company to pull the meter. You can also ask them to check the connections in the meter socket when they pull the meter to eliminate that as a cause.
Old 06-21-13, 12:22 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 144
Thanks Ray. I had already called the power company to report the problem I was experiencing. They came out to the house that same day. They checked the connections at the transformer (dirty connections were found - they changed them) and they checked the connections at the meter (all connections were clean and snug). They recommended I call an electrician to have a look at the panel and when he didn't show I figured I'd try something.

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