haunted house

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  #1  
Old 08-19-01, 09:25 PM
franki302
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hi - i have a few circuits...plugs for lamps that are fickle. they flicker. located in different areas of the house. could it be that i have 3 lamps in need of re-wiring, how do i test these circuits. the whole house is NOT grounded. do i need to replace the wiring? thanks...
franki
 
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  #2  
Old 08-20-01, 04:56 PM
Wgoodrich
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You most likely have a loose connection. That loose connection may be just about anywhere in the dwelling.

Most common places that I can think of to look is as follows;

I may be the table lamp itself or even several table lamps in need of minor repair. If you have a lamp flickering the plug in a second lamp in the same receptacle. If the second light is fine while the table lamp is flickering the check your table lamp. If the table lamp and the test lamp is both flickering you then know it is in the receptacle or further back the line toward the power source such as a distribution panel. If you find a table lamp in one area flickering and a second table lamp in the same house but from a second receptacle then check to see if these two receptacles are on the same branch circuit. Just turn on the branch circuit breaker in you panel that shuts off one of the table lamps. If it shut off the other table lamps that are flickering then you know that chances are you have a loose connection in the branch circuit before you get to the first receptacle between the panel and that first receptacle. I would then check for loose connections in you panel. If you to lights that flicker at the same time are on two different branch circuit breakers in the panel then most likely your problem is in you panel or meter or Utility connections.

If all your lamps that flicker are on the same breaker then I would take out all the receptacles on that circuit and look to see if they have their wires plugged into the backs of those receptacles. If you have back wired receptacles look for a receptacle showing heating damage to the insulation of the wires or the back of the recepatcle where the wires connect to the receptacles. If you find back wired receptacles but no damage then I would rewire all those receptacles on that branch circuit to be connected to the screws of the receptacles instead of back wired.

Hope this helps

Wg
 
  #3  
Old 08-23-01, 09:46 AM
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Location: Fayetteville, NY, USA
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With a description like yours, I usually think the same thing as Wg said in his second paragraph. Receptacles with back-wired push-in style connections are notorious for this. It is a poor connection style but is very quick and cost effective for the installer. I think they should be banned, personally. Not that they're inherently dangerous, although they can overheat somewhat, but rather that they cause headaches like this. Removing each receptacle in your house until you find the culprit can be time consuming and frustrating. I developed a method for finding the problem receptacle that works 90% of the time in my experience. Get a radio and plug it into one of the receptacles you have a flickering lamp plugged into, turn it on & tune in a station. Now take any device that has a cord & plug, or even one of those 3-to-2 plug adapters, and go around the house plugging it in and firmly wiggling the plug. If there's a loose connection in that receptacle the wiggling usually makes the loose wires act up, and you'll hear the radio "flicker". I chose a radio because often times I found the receptacle that was actually causing the problem in a different room than the receptacle that originally was acting up, and I couldn't see a lamp going on & off. Anyway, the one you're wiggling when the flickering occurs is the one with the loose connection and is usually the one causing the problem on that whole circuit.

Personally, if I had back-wired push-in receptacles anywhere in my house, I would check every receptacle in the joint and replace every one eventually, maybe a few each weekend until they were all new side-connected receptacles.

Hope you find it. Good luck.

Juice
 
  #4  
Old 08-23-01, 07:45 PM
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Back-wired devices are the trades 'Edsle"
An ideal 60-152 or similar impedance tester could weed it out.
 
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