Why Light flickers when raining ??

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Old 06-04-06, 10:11 AM
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Why Light flickers when raining ??

My sister's home is newly built home. She said that whenever it is raining, light in the kitchen flickers. The stove and microwave clock would revert back to 0:00 hence she knew that power in kitchen must have been interrupted. She would appreciate any input on why this happens everytime it rains and why only the kitchen area is affected.


Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 06-04-06, 05:31 PM
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The fastest way is check the GFCI [ kill the power first before you get involded on this one ]

and check the wires for any hevey moistore or wetness if none there.

you say light flicker when raining then good chance a nail hit the wire[s] from outside wall some case inside wall as well

how old this home if this was BRAND new home construction get ahold of the contractor who deal work on this house and that person will have to call the electrician to come out and fix this.

but if this is older style home the chace do change a bit here.

check the outside repectaie for any moistre if wet then the gasket is shot just get new gasket and that useally clear up
{ note most kitchen have it own circircut but some older home the code [old time code ] did used allow to do that but currentally it cant do that anymore

so that will useally find the cuprit there

if have hard time or need more question please do ask us here

Merci, Marc
 
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Old 06-04-06, 05:32 PM
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My guess is loose connection on POCO side of service. You just don't notice it on other circuits.
 
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Old 06-05-06, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by joed
My guess is loose connection on POCO side of service. You just don't notice it on other circuits.

Pardon my ignorance, what do you mean by POCO ?
 
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Old 06-05-06, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V
The fastest way is check the GFCI [ kill the power first before you get involded on this one ]

and check the wires for any hevey moistore or wetness if none there.

you say light flicker when raining then good chance a nail hit the wire[s] from outside wall some case inside wall as well


Merci, Marc
Yes, it is new construction. Yes,I will definitely bring it up to them, but just want to get some idea here on why this is happening so I would know if they start talking "bs" to me trying to evade that there is a problem. Thanks.
 
  #6  
Old 06-05-06, 01:42 PM
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POCO = POwer COmpany.
 
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Old 06-05-06, 02:45 PM
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Ok ,,

once you get ahold of the contractor and come out and he get the electrician to find where the nail shorted out and the electrician will " back charge " to either sliding contractor or drywall contractor depending where the nail or screw hit the wire.

only way to fix this is to rip open a section of wall where is the nail or screw hit the wire and replace that length of wire and repatch it.

i dont know what type of outside wall have sliding or brick wall or stucco etc etc so kinda hard to say but definetly have to open the wall one way or other and replace the wire [ we cant just splice or tape it and bury it at all that against the code ]

so either way they will have to pay for the damage.

I done this few time i do back charge to either drywall or sliding contractor some case stucco contrator as well depending on location even the plummer once so let you know ahead of the time.

just talk to the contractor and explain the sisuation and they will have to fix it

Merci , Marc
 
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Old 06-05-06, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V
Ok ,,

once you get ahold of the contractor and come out and he get the electrician to find where the nail shorted out and the electrician will " back charge " to either sliding contractor or drywall contractor depending where the nail or screw hit the wire.

only way to fix this is to rip open a section of wall where is the nail or screw hit the wire and replace that length of wire and repatch it.

i dont know what type of outside wall have sliding or brick wall or stucco etc etc so kinda hard to say but definetly have to open the wall one way or other and replace the wire [ we cant just splice or tape it and bury it at all that against the code ]

so either way they will have to pay for the damage.

I done this few time i do back charge to either drywall or sliding contractor some case stucco contrator as well depending on location even the plummer once so let you know ahead of the time.

just talk to the contractor and explain the sisuation and they will have to fix it

Merci , Marc
Ok, thanks for quick reply. I'll pass on message to my sister. It's actually her house. I'm just asking here on her behalf. Any suggestion on how she can easily spot check for any nails that hit a wire from the outside of house. The microwave and stove time would be blinking too and loose the set time whenever there's lightning. Is it because of the same ' possible nail hitting a wire' that you stated? If there's a short, wouldn't that trip the circuit breaker for kitchen? The breaker hasn't tripped. Btw, the siding is fiber board type of siding.
 

Last edited by canon; 06-05-06 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 06-05-06, 04:22 PM
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Well to find the nail where it hit the wire can be little tricky but it can be found in one of few ways.

one is use the voltage detector.

the other way is use toner once it find the nail the toner will sound [ this work with power off ]

the other way i do this once a while i use megaohm meter [ this test is restricted to electrician only ] and it will surefire find a bad nick on wire.

some case also i almost forget to add this before part of my minor goof [ this will get me after working crazy hours ] some case but true the wire staple can driven too hard and pintch the wire as well.

once the curpit found the repair will varies a bit depending on where it was " hit " is found

Merci , Marc

for safety sake tell your sister dont try to find the nails on the sliding because somecase it will have 120 volt on the nail head and get a shock so just leave it alone let the electrician find this with proper testing devices
 
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Old 06-05-06, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V
Well to find the nail where it hit the wire can be little tricky but it can be found in one of few ways.

one is use the voltage detector.

the other way is use toner once it find the nail the toner will sound [ this work with power off ]

the other way i do this once a while i use megaohm meter [ this test is restricted to electrician only ] and it will surefire find a bad nick on wire.

some case also i almost forget to add this before part of my minor goof [ this will get me after working crazy hours ] some case but true the wire staple can driven too hard and pintch the wire as well.

once the curpit found the repair will varies a bit depending on where it was " hit " is found

Merci , Marc

for safety sake tell your sister dont try to find the nails on the sliding because somecase it will have 120 volt on the nail head and get a shock so just leave it alone let the electrician find this with proper testing devices
Would nail pierce through a conduit still? Btw, what's a toner you mentioned above? where can she buy this? Also, what would a voltage detector read when a wire is hit by nail?

She's already not a happy camper after I told her that it might be nail hitting a wire. Since moving in in December, she had leaky plumbing, thermostat wiring that's unskinned that would turn on both heat and a/c simultaneously, gas leak, foundation water leak and a few other problems.
 
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Old 06-05-06, 10:30 PM
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she had leaky plumbing, thermostat wiring that's unskinned that would turn on both heat and a/c simultaneously, gas leak, foundation water leak and a few other problems.

right now one thing most impoart part you need to tell your sister right now is the gaz leak dont wait too long with this it can get dangerous.

plumming leaking that should be brought up by the contractor to see it and get the plummer back there and get it fix up.

the HVAC thermosat this should not happend when both A/C and heat is on the same time The heating contractor should spot this way before during testing time

foundation water leak humm talk to the contractor about this issuse

and in fact i think if my memory serve me right the house under a year old have a warrtanty on the system in the house so the genreal contractor whom done work on this house should taken care of this by now dont wait too long.

Would nail pierce through a conduit still? Btw, what's a toner you mentioned above? where can she buy this? Also, what would a voltage detector read when a wire is hit by nail?
yes that possible if the nail can go thru the pipe and do the funny thing with the system .

the toner is genreally used by electricicans and telephone techs. what the toner do is find a wire and will listen to the tone along the way of wire where it goes and when they find the short the tone either stop or change pitch of sound that will be the genral location where the nail is hit.

the voltage detector will read hot line but will not read netrual or ground line if the voltage present. so most common one you will see some at the big box store sell that for few bucks i think about 10 buck or so depending on what brand it is.

but the electrician have few other trick up the sleeve even myself also it kinda out of the scope for now.

as i say again just get ahold of the contractor whom done work on that house and have him get it fix it right.

Merci , Marc
 
  #12  
Old 06-06-06, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by french277V
right now one thing most impoart part you need to tell your sister right now is the gaz leak dont wait too long with this it can get dangerous.

plumming leaking that should be brought up by the contractor to see it and get the plummer back there and get it fix up.

the HVAC thermosat this should not happend when both A/C and heat is on the same time The heating contractor should spot this way before during testing time

Merci , Marc
All the above problems were fixed a couple months ago.

Many thanks for your suggestions on electrical issue.
 
  #13  
Old 06-06-06, 12:48 PM
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Hi Frenchy - Why would a megger test be restricted to electricians only (assuming a HO had access to one) and how would a megger detect a nick in a conductor? Just curious, I've used a megger a lot (I'm not an electrician) to detect high resistance grounds. but not on a low res line. I've also used meggers to charge electrolytics to snap the odd scorpion every now and then, but that was in my dumber days.
I'm assuming the megger test is done with the circuit conductors disconnected, but even then any short outside the range of a DMM ohm scale (20M or more) would draw such a low amount of current as to be negligible.

On edit - Do you meggar between conductors looking for a hi res short caused by water?
 

Last edited by Wayne Mitchell; 06-06-06 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 06-06-06, 12:55 PM
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Canon - Is your sister 100% sure the light flickering problem only occurs when it's raining? Sometimes it's easy to point at an occurance as a cause when in fact it has no bearing on the problem.

If it is the case, I wouldn't hang my hat on the nail puncture scenario although that is certainly a possibility. There are many other things that could cause the same effect. My first look would be at the seal where the POCO cable enters meter box en route to the SEP. There may also be a seal where the cable enters the exterior wall. If that seal fails, you will get water in the SEP and one or more circuits may get wet. IMO this is by far the most common water/rain related electrical failure.
If you have someone that feels comfortable around electricity, have them remove the cover to the SEP and look for evidence of water intrusion. While it is easy to remove the cover, inside the SEP can be a dangerous place for an amatuer. If you do open it, make sure to kill the power at the main breaker first.
 
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Old 06-06-06, 12:59 PM
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Hi Wayne ;

The reason why i say i keep the megger to the electricican due high voltage testing as long if followed proper precauation and preparation it is not too bad at all.

I understand how you feel about this. Wayne there is not too many HO will get a chance to use the megger due the safety issuse.

I will give you a quick example what i do with resdentail circuits what i do if i am supsecting a bad wire between two location i do disconnect the wires from device or connection and cap off one end then one end i hook up the megger and set at 500 v [ useally twice over max line voltage ] and run the test it will take a min or two and it will read the megaohm vs voltage to see if the insluation materal is bad or have a open short or nick on wire insaluation and it will show up on megger what the DVM will not catch.

I done this alot in commercal/ industrail area where we get involded with much larger wires and number of runs so that why i test it more often with megger to make sure the wires is ok before we turn on the real power [ most larger commercal/ industrail have 480 volt system so you will know why i do this ]

the same thing with home wiring too if i cant find it with toner then i will megger it to make sure that is the curpit.

if you need more question feel free to ask us

Merci , Marc
 
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Old 06-06-06, 01:04 PM
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Thanks Marc - I think I figured out how you were testing after I posted. I once worked as a shipyard test director and we often used meggers looking for shorts in high power RF lines. When we got smarter we shifted to Time Domain Refletometer's. Not only will a TDR display the discontinuity, but it will also tell you exactly where it is. Only good on coax though.
 

Last edited by Wayne Mitchell; 06-06-06 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 06-06-06, 06:54 PM
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Remember guys that this is a DYI forum and many people don't know what all these abbreviations mean. *I* don't even know what they all mean. It sounds impressive to use abbreviations, but that is defeating the purpose of the forum, IMO.

................................................

If this was my house, the first thing I would do is learn *everything* that is on that kitchen circuit, including if even any outside light or recepticle was on it. I also would make sure no shingle leak was causing water to enter a light fixture.
 
 

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