05:02AM | 04/20/99
For some time now I have been getting power surges or drops, when an appliance comes on the lights either get dim or really bright. this has already ruined two new TVs. Do I need to rewire my whole house or could I just change my breakers? I have two breaker boxes, one inside & one outside. The one inside has four 20s and two 50s. One of them has been changed. If I need to rewire the house how can it be done without tearing out the walls?


11:55AM | 04/21/99
First, the problem is not with the breakers nor will you have to rewire the whole house.

That said, let us look into the most probable causes.
1. Wherever your appliances are plugged into, it is also on the same line as the lights. This could cause the dimming and power surges. Electricity will follow the path of least resistance, which is always the largest power consumer in the circuit.

2. The main line that feeds your house is undersized for your total power requirements. You mentioned the inside box but not the outside box. Is the wire coming from the electric company and feeding your panel boxes large enough to support your requirements?

These are the two items to address before you go any further. Begin with #2.............


10:15PM | 05/16/99
While you are analyzing, consider installing surge protectors wherever you have electronic devices (TV’s, computers, etc.) susceptible to power surges.

That said, you seem to be implying that this problem has only surfaced recently. Is that accurate? Has anything, electrically speaking, changed in the same timeframe, like new appliances, circuits (besides the one new breaker), or other electrical work? How old is your home? Wiring? Is your service (main) line above ground or below? Has the electrical company been doing work in your area, like adding service for a new development? Do you know if you have a third (ground) wire as part of your home’s wiring? Has there been any plumbing work done on your home recently?

I’m not disagreeing with the other responses you have received, but there are other possibilities that may require a look at the wiring in your home.

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