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Residential Wiring - The Right Way!

Wiring Information for the Do It Yourself Homeowner

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Thread: lights flickering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wainfleet Ontario
    Posts
    12

    Default lights flickering

    Whenever something starts in the house the light blink. It seems they get slightly brighter sometimes. Other times I can't tell if they are bright or dim.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    216

    Default

    Has this always happened, or is it recent? This is symptomatic of a "loose neutral" (recent) or undersized wires (always done it). Is the power feed from your house overhead or underground? If overhead, and a tree fell on it or the wires got snagged on something, that can loosen the neutral. It can also get worse over time if a good crimp was never made. This is usually the power company's responsibility, so they will fix it.

    If your house feed is buried, you may need to call an electrician to check out the lugs in your panel to make sure they are tight. You could try the power company too, as they tend to be free. Its just a matter of where their demarcation stops and yours begins. They may not help if your equipment is the problem. But it could just as easily be a loose wire at their end. The key is being able to replicate the problem when they put their power analyzer on it.
    Mark
    Kent, WA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wainfleet Ontario
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Just started noticing it recently. It is very subtle. After doing some reading about loose neutrals I opened the main disconnect and took some measurements. 120 on one line and 133 on the other. When I plugged 1500 watt heater at the panel voltages went to 125 and 128. I think that confirms it.
    I checked all the neutral connection in the disconnect and the panel. I will call the POCO Monday morning. All my electronics are on UPSs so I am not concerned.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wainfleet Ontario
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Hydro just left. They changed all my connections at the pole.

    They had a machine that plugged into the meter socket. They could add a load to each side and see the voltage move. It only moved about 10 volts which he said was not very much. After the connection change it only moved about 5 volts.

    Here is the device they use to test the loose neutral. There are two displays showing the voltage on each line and a switch to load to each side.

    lights flickering-neutral-tester-jpg

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