Regular one second power blinks

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-04-18, 04:59 AM
D
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,064
Received 42 Votes on 35 Posts
Regular one second power blinks

We bought this home last year which was built in 1968. It has older Romex that only has a black & white wire & outlets with only two prongs. The meter base & as I understand it, the breaker box etc is grounded as per code back in 1968. A few outlets have been changed to three prong, but still has two wire Romex as far as I know. I do know that everything in the breaker panel is two wire only. No ground.

Now, lets stop a minute,. This may not have anything to do with it but on the face. Its what I suspect & all I know to provide to you pros here.

Ocasionally, especially & mostly, during rainy weather is when we have these momentarily breaks. Its maybe only a second... maybe a 1/2 second. Just enough to make the clock go off & the cable boxes all have to reset & that takes a few minutes.

So, what & where is the likely cause of this and where do I need to start to get this issue resolved. Is it with my home wiring or is it an issue prior to getting to the house? I have not asked the neighbors if they have this issue but I will, however, its all newer homes around me & I doubt they have this issue.

Thanks for all relevant input.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-04-18, 05:04 AM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,071
Received 75 Votes on 69 Posts
Does it happen with all built in lights and lights plugged into any receptacles throughout the house in unison (as opposed to one blink in the living room only, one blink in a bedroom only, etc)?

Test using incandescent lamps (bulbs).

Do incandescent bulbs seem to go off completely or just dim significantly?

How often? Once every few hours? Once every few minutes?
 
  #3  
Old 04-04-18, 05:11 AM
D
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,064
Received 42 Votes on 35 Posts
Obviously, we are usually in only one room, usually the office , but sometimes one of us maybe in the kitchen & one in the office etc, but as far as I know, yes, all lights & electricity blink during this.
Let me go a step further & say that some clocks dont always blink after these 1/2 second interruptions but occasionally, it may last 2 or 3 seconds & all clocks on the stove, microwave, bedroom alarm clocks, office everything needs to be rest.
So, I would say yes, it effects the whole house.
 
  #4  
Old 04-04-18, 05:14 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 23,487
Received 599 Votes on 553 Posts
I would first suspect the supply from the power company. First I would ask your neighbors if they are having similar problems. You could contact them to investigate the momentary blips of power loss.
 
  #5  
Old 04-04-18, 05:37 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Ct.,USA
Posts: 1,733
Received 81 Votes on 72 Posts
Because no house breaker is tripping, my guess is the problem is a momentary short (between the 2 hot wires and the neutral wire) in the cable from your meter to the utility transformer. The short is caused by a drop of rainwater which vaporizes on contact removing the short. I would call your utility an explain the problem and request they check their cable and meter. Good luck.
 
  #6  
Old 04-04-18, 05:45 AM
V
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,533
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Our power company (a surviving co-operative from Roosevelt's Rural Electrification Program (REA during the Depression) frequently presents us with those momentary outages, especially during stormy weather, and it's because there's trouble on the lines and they have an automatic re-route because a tree is down on the line or snow has built up on the line, or a transformer has gone out of service. The automatic re-route will be attempted three (3) times in the course of 1 or 2 minutes, and if it doesn't recover on the third, we know that it's serious and that we're down and out for an hour or more.

We refer to our company as the Snake of Vermont (and we're at the tail end of the Snake); but really, and in their defense, we live in an area where it NEVER would have been economically profitable for a private company to run power lines through the woods to provide power to so few people per running mile . . . . the Cable TV people never found it feasible. Our Town actually has fewer people in it now than it did during the Revolution . . . . can't make money that way.

So I think the OP is suffering from his Power Company's efforts to keep the power on, and is engaged in automatic re-route and resets.
 
  #7  
Old 04-04-18, 06:08 AM
A
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,071
Received 75 Votes on 69 Posts
How often? Once every few hours? Once every few minutes?

Some modern systems still use the automatic re-route and reset method. The purpose is to see if the short circuit current (fault current) will burn away the short circuit given the number of amperes or watts involved. The primary lines ( the topmost lines of a typical utility pole generally carry 4 figure to low 5 figure voltages) can produce brilliant arcing if shorted and could well burn through a small shorting tree branch. Problem solved and no service call needed. A burn through that was accomplished in just a second or two will give you the blink you witnessed since a dead short or near dead short is a significant voltage drop to all customers and loads on that line

Another possibility is a heavy starting load, say from heat pumps or air conditioners in more than one neighbors' houses starting up at the same moment, causing a momentary severe brownout.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 04-04-18 at 06:42 AM.
  #8  
Old 04-04-18, 06:19 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 8,920
Received 226 Votes on 201 Posts
The short is caused by a drop of rainwater which vaporizes on contact removing the short. I would call your utility an explain the problem and request they check their cable and meter. Good luck.
I'm going in with beezlebob on this. My son's home (less than 15 years old and up to current code) had this problem. He had to call an electrical contractor twice. The inlet from the pole to the house was not properly sealed, letting in moisture. The inside of the circuit box had water and moisture inside.

This will not be the power utility responsibility. From the pole to the house is the power company's responsibility if it is a drop and everything after is the home owners.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 04-04-18 at 07:07 AM. Reason: Added clarification: "From the pole to the house is the power company's responsibility if it is a drop "
  #9  
Old 04-04-18, 07:33 AM
D
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,064
Received 42 Votes on 35 Posts
Alan, I'm not sure if you were asking me or Vermont, "How often", but mine is normally around stormy times. I cant say for sure if its during a wind before a rain or if its after the rain starts. I do know that it also happens after a rain because a really brief one time blink happened this morning after a rain early last night for about 30 -45 minutes. There was high winds up to 50 mph gusts & some pretty heavy rain.
Otherwise, we dont really have them that remember, but its possible that we have one occasionally outside of stormy/rainy weather. This kinda co-insides with beelzebob & Norm's posts that possibly indicate that rain may be getting into the system somewhere, causing issues. I'm not saying its the issue but possible. It may also explain why I experienced the one time brief blink this morning after a rain last night. Possibly a drip of rain water that finally made it to the area & accessed the hot wire.

It may be a few days before I can see my neighbor so, I dont think I need to wait to see her for that info. Its obvious this has been an issue even before we bought the place last August & was never corrected. I just always attributed it to the old style wiring, but now, I am not sure.

(BTW Vermont, we had REA in the small town (Rural/country area) I grew up in here in N/E La. I think they went out in the 80's.)
 
  #10  
Old 04-04-18, 07:37 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 8,920
Received 226 Votes on 201 Posts
Thanks Ray. ___________________________________________
 
  #11  
Old 04-04-18, 12:16 PM
I
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,944
Received 43 Votes on 41 Posts
The most common cause of this kind of problem is a wire getting blown around on the pole or from the pole to the house causing a weak splice to wiggle loose. Having the power company out to check all the connections for tightness is the easiest and cheapest first step. Many power companies will do this kind of service call for free.

Next steps would be to have an electrician out to inspect your components of the service entrance where something like water damage would become apparent. The rules for who is responsible to pay for what varies between companies and states so we can't say for sure what you will have to pay for and what the power company will cover, although generally speaking the power company owns up to where the drop attaches to the house, and you own everything below that with the exception of the meter itself.
 
  #12  
Old 04-04-18, 04:15 PM
D
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,064
Received 42 Votes on 35 Posts
OK, I had Entergy come out today & we discussed everything. They checked all the lines around the house, the weather head & the meter base. They opened up the meter base & said no water was getting in, all wiring looked good & all connections were tight (no loose connections).

The end result was that they are 99% sure its a limb hitting the line down the road somewhere due to wind during the storms. He talked about the thing that attempts 3 times to retry the connections in the event the electricity stops. He said every time a limb hits the wire it breaks the connection or something... you pros know what I'm saying. Then that thing in the line retries to reconnect the connection up to 3 times. Once the connection is established, the limb hits it again & the process goes through the process over & over, every time the limb hits the line.

They have a guy right down the road that works with Entergy & they are going to call him to see if he has the same issue. If so, they will send out an inspector to inspect the line for nearby limbs that are possibly causing the problem. If they find a problem area, they'll send out a tree trimming crew to take care of it.
 
  #13  
Old 04-05-18, 06:14 PM
Z
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,276
Received 107 Votes on 99 Posts
Did they happen to go up in a bucket and check the connections at the pole/transformer? It's good to know that the issue isn't on your end - but there's still most likely a loose connection somewhere along the line.

I'd ask your neighbors and call them back if it's still causing issues after a few days. Squeaky wheel and such.
 
  #14  
Old 04-06-18, 04:40 AM
V
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,533
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
My disturbances may be due to trouble on the lines 5 to 15 or 20 miles away, and sometimes they're so short that only the most sensitive Digital LED Clocks need to be reset. I guess we've come to live with it.

It's only when we're at -48F and the power goes out for 6 or more hours that I really start getting worried.

That's when you realize that life is dependent upon that umbilical known as a power line.
 
  #15  
Old 04-06-18, 06:51 PM
D
Member
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: us
Posts: 821
Received 23 Votes on 22 Posts
With all those power disruptions “Vermont” should use a “whole house” electrical protection module. For $80 it protects TV, computers and other AC powered items using semiconductor solid state electronics.

Electrical transients/surges are a reason for failure of these units. Lightening strikes in region are a another source of transients. Without going into all the theory and data the $80 is worth it.

Here is a basic generic 120/240 Volt model that is wired into main panel. Most use the same technology so paying twice a much is no gain.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Square-D...PD80/203540660
 
  #16  
Old 07-13-19, 06:18 AM
D
Forum Topic Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 1,064
Received 42 Votes on 35 Posts
I'm just reviewing some of my old threads & follow up for future issues other members may have & so those who gave advice will know what the issue was & how it was resolved.

I am assuming it was an issue with limbs hitting the lines down the road somewhere. As promised, the power company did drive around, look at potential problem sites where limbs could have been hitting the lines & apparently sent out a contractor to trim those problematic limbs back. After a few days, I stopped having issues. Oh, we have an occasional blinking issue but, where it was happening every time the wind got up to 10 mph, now its very seldom. So, after more than a year later, even during storms & high winds, we don't usually have any issues.

So, I am chalking this issue up to limbs hitting the power lines due to wind, causing a brief outage. Entergy got right on this & got it addressed quickly (within 2 or 3 days).

As always, thanks to everyone who gave their best advise.
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


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