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            DIY Message Boards  Hop To Forum Categories  Home Improvement  Hop To Forums  Electrical    Lights dimming suddenly more than ever
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        Lights dimming suddenly more than ever Sign In/Join 
        posted
        My lights have always dimmed slightly when the A/C unit kicks on, but lately it has been happening when the fridge compressor comes on, and this morning I noticed it even when I turn my clothes iron on.

        I'm pretty sure that the other appliances have never done that before and the only dimming happened when the AC kicked on. A branch recently snapped my cable line coming into my house, do you think it could have loosened my power line from the pole?

        Could this mean something dangerous is happening to my power box or to the power line coming in? Should I be worried if things that never dimmed the lights suddenly begin to dim the lights? Any help would be appreciated, thank you.
         
        Posts: 4 | Location: Oklahoma City, OK | Registered: Apr 21, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        might have exposed a common bad ground in the house entrance. code says there should be two solid grounds, one to a rod at the entrance, one on the opposite side of the house with at least a #6 between them, and bonded to the neutral/ground bus inside the entrance panel. these are lightning and current safety in case the main entrance ground becomes wonky or disconnected. makes the house a ground field.

        the common way in past years to get the second house ground has been to use the home's cold water plumbing. which works provided there is no corrosion, plastic sections, or other electrical isolation.

        there have been some builders who use rebar in the basement walls as the entrance ground, a technique approved for radio towers. I gathered (I am not a licensed electrician whatsoever) from some ham radio lightning-protection literature that the concrete-encased rusty and unwelded iron is NOT considered a primary ground source. in tower footings, it is supposed to be welded at all contact points, but radials and bonding to the tower legs is also required.

        if ever you get to see a large transmission power line built in your area, look at the materials on the side of the road. each tower has a huge rebar cage that is welded to a fare-thee-well. that is craned into the wide-bottom hole, then the forms are set, and the concrete is poured.

        lots and lots and LOTS of houses are only grounded to the cold water pipe.

        short version: you need an electrician to survey your home grounds. there will be corrective action needed, and it will cost money. the alternative is a growing potential for a fire.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5739 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        I would place a call to a qualified electrician as soon as you can. Something is amiss if you have noticed changes about your abode lighting wise.
        Too early to speculate without taking some voltage readings. Good luck...


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1440 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Frodo
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by CommonwealthSparky:
        I would place a call to a qualified electrician as soon as you can. Something is amiss if you have noticed changes about your abode lighting wise.
        Too early to speculate without taking some voltage readings. Good luck...


        what he said!!!!! and quickly!!!!!!!


        https://www.youtube.com/*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
         
        Posts: 3843 | Location: I live in southern mississippi | Registered: Jun 01, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        the weather or tree limbs or wire thieves might have damaged the power company ground connection off the transformer. your electrician should contact the utility and have them check it out. but you have to protect your own home as well against their issues. best way is to, again, get out the electrician and do his megger and eyeball tests. they are the experts.

        you might also have loose/corroded/damaged grounding from an induced surge that exacberated your existing issue. the electrician won't take long to rule that out, while checking for solid bonding and probably checking the balancing of the loads on your panel.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5739 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        While anything is possible grounding issues would be at the bottom on my check list. [A loose ground connection would effect all circuits]. Paramount would be to check that a steady voltage of about 125v AC is present on both hot legs. And a properly operating disconnect [main breaker] is in tip top shape.
        Truly sounds like a power supplier concern, but till all is trouble shot who knows for sure. Good luck.


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1440 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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