Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting

ruizm

07:49PM | 01/07/03
Member Since: 01/07/03
3 lifetime posts
Recently moved into a home that is about 30 years old. The lights in the dining room hallway and restroom would flicker (go dim and brighten back up). Figured these energy sags were probably due to things such as the furnace starting and other appliances turning on or off. I was not too concerned at first. However, problem has now turned into pauses in the electricy flow - Meaning, I will turn the lights on to the areas mentioned above and sometimes the lights will turn on immediatly or I will get a pause of 5,10,15 seconds before the lights go on. Starting to get concerned over a possible short along the wiring.

Feedback, please.

rpxlpx

04:11AM | 01/08/03
Member Since: 03/13/00
1674 lifetime posts
Sounds like a loose connection somewhere (not a short). My first guess would be to suspect a loose push-in connector on the back of an outlet or switch.
Best get it checked out right away, rather than take a chance on a fire from arcing.
Presumeably, all the failing devices are on the same branch circuit? You can tell by switching off the breaker (or removing the fuse).

ruizm

05:28AM | 01/08/03
Member Since: 01/07/03
3 lifetime posts
Thanks, rpxlpx,

Yes you are correct in that all the affected components are on the same branch circuit. Thanks for your input.

joed

01:44PM | 01/08/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
Is everything on the branch affected at the same time or do some devices go out and others stay on? If all devices then check in the panel box. It could be a loose breaker, loose wire on the breaker, loose neutral wire in the bus.
If not then start as previously stated looking for loose connections on swithces or outlets. Try tapping on the switches or outlets and see if you can make it go on and off. Loose connections can start fires. Don't leave this. Get it fixed asap or turn off the breaker to the affected branch circuit.

ruizm

08:10PM | 01/08/03
Member Since: 01/07/03
3 lifetime posts
Joed,

You are correct that everything is affected on the circuit at the same time. This evening, all lights on the circuit would not work for a period of 15 minutes. Per your suggestion, took a look at the panel. Breaker is pushed in tightly. The wire from the breaker appears tight. Looking at one of the neutral wires on the bus, one of the wires is burnt at the connection (plastic housing around the wire is burnt back about 1 inch). Not sure if this neutral wire if for the affected circuit (dark outside and did not want to mess around with the wires in the dark to try and trace).

One other question for you/audience, given my limited knowledge in this area. Can the circuit breaker itself gradually give out over time or does it either work or not. Just trying to determine if it makes sense to change the 15amp ciruit breaker.

Probably time to call the electrician. Any other feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks.

joed

01:50AM | 01/09/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
524 lifetime posts
Your problem is probably that burnt wire. If you don't feel competent to work inside the panel call an electrician. The breaker is probably OK.


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