refrigerator dims lights

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Old 05-24-20, 10:46 AM
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refrigerator dims lights

I live in old house and kitchen lights and refrigerator are on the same circuit. Sometimes when it kicks on, the lights dim for a split second.

Would that be normal considering they are on the same circuit?
Is there anything I can do beside rewire that would alleviate this situation?

 
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Old 05-24-20, 11:06 AM
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Would that be normal considering they are on the same circuit?
That is 100% normal.
They are probably on a 15A circuit which enhances the problem.
Moving the fridge to its own circuit would pretty much eliminate the problem.
 
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Old 05-24-20, 11:46 AM
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Its a 20A circuit actually. What concerned me was that it doesnt dim the lights every single time it kicks on.

Is there times a refrigerator is under more of a load when switching on?


Ive been testing with a multimeter at a nearby outlet and when the fridge kicks on it drops about 3-4 volts. However, the intermittent nature of the dimming I havent gotten a voltage reading at the same time as the lights dimming.

Also if its any consolation, these are LED bulbs... maybe a CFL or Incandecents wouldnt be as sensitive to voltage drop?
 
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Old 05-24-20, 11:51 AM
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The shorter the time between restarts increases the starting load.
 
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Old 05-24-20, 12:07 PM
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ok so that too might be normal.

What amount of voltage drop in percentage is considered normal and what amount would suggest a problem?
 
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Old 05-24-20, 01:15 PM
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Do yourself a favor. Run a dedicated line to the refridge.. lights should not dim.

Lots of variables.. Panel age, wiring, loose wires , aluminum, etc

No pete thats not normal IMO
 
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Old 05-24-20, 02:31 PM
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If the fridge shares a circuit with lighting and it's any distance from the panel.... the lights will blink when the compressor starts. I see it all the time in older wiring situations.

The long and short of it is..... the fridge should not be on a lighting circuit.
 
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Old 05-24-20, 04:14 PM
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Its a 20A circuit actually.
I assume you got that from the fuse or circuit breaker for this circuit. Have you ever checked the wire size? It's also pretty common in older houses to find upsized fuses and/or circuit breakers. You could have a 15 amp circuit with #14 wiring that has had the protection upsized to 20 amps because it was tripping.

I agree though, I always put refrigerators and freezers on dedicated circuits.
 
 

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