dimming lights


  #1  
Old 01-23-14, 11:38 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,681
Received 840 Upvotes on 737 Posts
dimming lights

We've been having issues with our lights dimming repeatedly at times today. Is that a symptom of a brown out? It's been below freezing for few days so I wouldn't be surprised if the power grid is being maxed out.
 
  #2  
Old 01-23-14, 12:02 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
You might want to plug a multimeter into a receptacle and check the voltage occasionally. One with a constant load on the other plug-in of the receptacle.
 
  #3  
Old 01-23-14, 01:23 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,681
Received 840 Upvotes on 737 Posts
That's a good idea ..... if I can talk myself into going back out in the cold to get to my shop

I've never experienced a rolling brown out before. I usually get the dim a time or two and then nothing for however long. The TVA has been making conservation announcements on TV so I assume they are worried about not having enough electricity.
 
  #4  
Old 01-23-14, 01:53 PM
M
Member
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 304
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Ray- For my benefit, please explain why the original poster should test with a load plugged into the same outlet?
 
  #5  
Old 01-23-14, 02:01 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
To reduce the chance of false reading. Without a load if the impedance of the meter is high as in the case with some cheap digital meters you may not get a true reading due to induced voltage.
 
  #6  
Old 01-23-14, 02:10 PM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,681
Received 840 Upvotes on 737 Posts
I haven't ventured out yet but they just told on the news that a nearby town in Virginia has 3000 customers without power because of a blown transformer, nearest replacement is in Roanoke. Haven't noticed any dimming lights in a few hours although our local power company is asking all their customers to turn their thermostats to 60 degrees and not use dryers or dishwashers ..... and they are calling for a low of 4 degrees tonight .. Glad I got a wood stove!!
 
  #7  
Old 01-23-14, 06:57 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 9,872
Received 185 Upvotes on 166 Posts
We've been having issues with our lights dimming repeatedly at times today. Is that a symptom of a brown out?
Do a lot of people heat with electric furnaces there? I normally think of peak loads being in the hot summer months with air conditioning. You mentioned TVA, I'll bet they have good rates.
 
  #8  
Old 01-24-14, 02:39 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,681
Received 840 Upvotes on 737 Posts
They say our rates are decent but it's still more than I care to pay Around here more people have heat pumps [w/elec strip back up] than any other type of heat. It's been 15+ yrs since we've had lows around zero. Last week we had a low of -4 and currently it's 3 degrees with today's high expected in the teens. Normal temps for this time of year are lows in the 20's and highs in the 40's.
 
  #9  
Old 01-24-14, 03:13 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 36,607
Upvotes: 0
Received 9 Upvotes on 8 Posts
I can't complain with the TVA rates. I remember being on another power company in Georgia whose rates were usurious. We are at 8 degrees, now.... Oops, 5. Plenum fireplace in basement can't be beat, to help the heat pump stay off strips.
 
  #10  
Old 01-24-14, 06:05 AM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,529
Upvotes: 0
Received 279 Upvotes on 255 Posts
Plug some incandescent lamp fixtures into receptacles in different rooms. I'm not asking if they all dim, but for those that do dim, do they dim in unison?

Retry with a different combination of receptacles.

Or, using a imeter, measure the voltage at the panel or at a receptacle near the panel and on a circuit that is not being used for anything significant. On a circuit that is live, you don't need a light or other load when using a meter. False readings (and phantom voltage) is only found on a line that was switched off but where wires ran juxtaposed to other wires that are live.

Do you get dimming if nothing in your house is kicking on at the moment? To do this test, flip off the breakers for any all-electric water heaters and electric furnaces or heat pumps, and don't use the stove or hair dryer for about an hour while you observe the incandescent lights.

Now if any of the lights brighten then you have a real problem (with neutrals).
 
  #11  
Old 01-24-14, 08:21 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 9,872
Received 185 Upvotes on 166 Posts
Last week we had a low of -4 and currently it's 3 degrees with today's high expected in the teens.
You are all on electric resistance strip heat then. No wonder the lights are dimming.
 
  #12  
Old 01-24-14, 10:17 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 45,681
Received 840 Upvotes on 737 Posts
No elec strips running at my house, I disconnected them wife likes to play with the thermostat and I prefer wood heat anyway

The lights haven't dimmed any since yesterday early afternoon. When I first noticed it the 2 light fixtures in the bath rm and the 2 in the hallway all dimmed in unison. I'm thinking it was from what I think a brown out is although I've never experienced it before.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: