Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting

Me2

04:31PM | 12/16/03
Member Since: 12/15/03
6 lifetime posts
Hi, our home is less than two years old and we are experiencing flickering lights. We have had the elec company out EIGHT times with no answer to the problem. We have also had two electricians out one of whom was the builders electrician and did the work themselves. We changed out the main breaker even though there was no problem with it and everything has been checked in the fuse box to see if anything was loose. Nothing. We are now powered with a temporary line that the elec company laid after much ado and still the flickering persists. About six months ago the line was cut when the gas company laid lines for the house going up next door. We truly thought that was the problem but now not so sure since the temporary line didn't seem to fix... I am going nuts trying to get this figured out and am at my wits end since the elec company and two electricians seem to not know what the problem is either. Neighbors don't have the same problem. Please let me know what you think... I have the number of another electrician that was recommended but hate to keep paying for "I don't know's"... One guy from the elec company suggested we tighten all the light bulbs better... Not funny, huh?

Tom O

01:59PM | 12/17/03
Member Since: 09/17/02
476 lifetime posts
You need to hire a contractor that has a piece of equipment that is called a "recording voltmeter." With this test equipment, the voltage at your main panel and other parts of your electrical system can be monitored for an extended period of time. Once these measurements have been taken & analyzed, the location of the trouble can be narrowed down.

BTW, what is your definition of flicker? Do the lights go totally out or do they just go dim?

Tom

Me2

04:32PM | 12/17/03
Member Since: 12/15/03
6 lifetime posts
I've been describing it to be like christmas lights but I think "pulsing" is more accurate... They dim and come back up again just like christmas tree lights. Never completely go "off". Elec company came back out this afternoon and they are recording the stuff like you suggested... also checking harmonics whatever that is. I told him that it doesn't really seem to be just one thing to trigger. Last night it did it when we were not really doing anything or using anything extra, then it would do it when I ran the vacuum (but not everytime). Tonight it happened when we turned the washer and dryer on (but then again its not everytime we use those). We can be just sitting and watching television with lights on all over and it will do it... Told electrician I was going to have the house excorcised next if we couldn't pinpoint the problem.

Me2

04:33PM | 12/17/03
Member Since: 12/15/03
6 lifetime posts
BTW, thanks for responding! Really appreciate it!

bbgage

04:39PM | 12/28/03
Member Since: 12/27/03
4 lifetime posts
We live on a farm in a house trailer, and have 2 meters--one for the trailer and one for the farm. We had flickering lights for months. It started with flickers only when it was really humid and progressed to flickers every day--with some lights and appliances not getting enough power while some lights became brighter. We had the electric company (an REA) use the recording volt meter, but the first time it ws not set sensitively enough to record the flickers. Then they put one on the trailer and one in the barn to see if the flicker was showing on both meters--it was.

After many wrong guesses by electric company personnel, the lineman supervisor found the problem to be the clamp that held the neutral wire to the meter box. The clamp was loose, and when it jiggled (and why it would jiggle, I don't know) every thing flickered. Replacement of the clamp resolved the problem.

Me2

10:07AM | 12/30/03
Member Since: 12/15/03
6 lifetime posts
Thanks so much! We have still been battling the elec company but after complaining to the appropriate "persons" we are having much better luck with them working with us more on this. THey just finished doing what you would call more senstive recording including harmonics. There are two differing opinions about it now one says its on their side at the transformer, the other still insists its on our side. They are now going to record the transformer and also record at the pedestal. We are still to write down when it happens. I will suggest the clamp idea to them when I see the gentleman who is working with us on this... He's been very sweet about the whole thing. Thank you again so much! I really appreciate your answering and hopefully this can get resolved soon...

bbgage

05:28AM | 12/31/03
Member Since: 12/27/03
4 lifetime posts
Well, three times I was told that the problem had to be in the line between the trailer and the meter. They said that their line from the post to the transformer was in conduit, so it couldn't be their line. However, the line between the meter and the house is also in conduit (but, I guess, our conduit couldn't be as good as theirs!). But the point is that it wasn't in either line. We would have dug up that line, replaced it, and still have had the problem.

Don't let them convince you to do anything until they are positive that they have isolated the problem.

Me2

06:30AM | 12/31/03
Member Since: 12/15/03
6 lifetime posts
Thanks, I won't! We've only had the flickering twice since they started recording at the transformer. The first time for about two minutes. The heater was on so we turned it off. It then began flickering about 5 minutes later with the heater off. I am hoping that we can begin "eliminating" sources. He had told me too that something "big" kicked in about the same time we had our flickering problem on our recording. Considering that it happens whenever and whereever and that its not really particular about what we are using I still don't understand how they could feel its on our side. Yeah it might do it when the dryer is on but that is not consistant either... Hoping now we've ruled out the heater. Thanks again so much! Have a very Happy New Year! Will let you know how it goes...

klokwork

09:27AM | 01/05/04
Member Since: 11/30/03
9 lifetime posts
I work with a guy that has/had this problem. He was told to check his breakers, and (after shutting it down) make sure all the connections were tight.

I guess if the wires get loose over time, they can arc and cause the flickering.

He said it has worked so far

BV002763

03:28PM | 12/10/13
I've been having the flickering lights affect my self it happens when bug appliances turn on . We haven't added any new appliances in about a yr it's been fine since. We have the usual appliances fridge, freezer, heater , central air , some space heaters one connected one @ a time and a electric stove . Is 100amps not enough for this ?

BV004616

04:40PM | 06/09/14
I just went through an intermittent "pulse"/flickering issue in our home. It would ranfomly occur and then go away unexplainably. It wasnt the whole house it was the upstairs and downstairs kitchen. I found a bonding bar between the neutrals was loose/poor connection. I would recommend verifying the points of connection for all neutral points.
In the picture enclosed, it is the large flat blade/standard lug terminal on the bar that spans the primary/right buss under the Hots to the left neutral buss.

BV006799

10:47AM | 01/22/15
I have the same exact problem as the original poster. My home is 1 year old and I found out that it's the power company providing bad power. (They admitted to this). They said there is an industrial customer that when they run their generators, they cause voltage fluctuations in the line voltage. They said they've been trying to correct the problem for 8 years and still can't do it. I'm about to take them to court because they just keep stringing me along. The utility is Rocky Mountain Power. Any gurus here know of a device I could place on my power main to stop the flickering for my home? I asked Rocky Mountain Power that question and they told me that any device would be overkill for residential use but couldn't give me the information for such a device.

BV010102

06:27PM | 01/12/16
Frustrating problem! Our house is one year old, and we've had flickering lights from day 1. Either it gets better in the summer time or we don't notice it as much because of less use of lights. The power fluctuations seem to affect our incandescent bulbs mostly (the rest of the house lights are LED). And the fluctuations span across multiple electrical panels. We've had the power company monitor the power from their side. We've had the electricians come out and check everything too. No answers yet, and I'm about to take everyone to court myself too. This is ridiculous! Nobody can figure this out. I've done pretty much everything that has been mentioned in this thread. What now? Please help!

BV012646

08:38AM | 08/24/16
We had flickering lights and surges in power intensity for weeks. When we would run the washing machine every light in the house would pulsate with the washing machine, fluorescent and incandescent. Surges of power voltage would run to the ceiling lights when the microwave was on. The electrician checked the breaker box and could not detect any thing abnormal. The power surges blew out a hair dryer and a compressor on the refrigerator. The Power company did a Load Test at the meter and found the problem to be the supply line from the meter to the breaker box was defective. The neutral line was corroded. Ten years ago when Hurricaine Ivan came thru the area we had 4 inches of rain and I had noticed that water was dripping from the breaker box but no power loss. Everything ran normal for all these years. The service line from the meter to the breaker box was replaced--9 feet-- and everything returned to normal, Problem corrected.

BV019343

05:45PM | 05/20/19
Did you ever figure out the problem?

BV019508

11:25PM | 06/11/19
Would love to know if the problem was ever figured out as well. I am having similar issues at my home and am at my wits end. My issue is dimming, voltage drop in all rooms, happens at different times no matter what is/isnt running. Please advise if you ever figured it out?

BV019530

12:50AM | 06/15/19
Same issue. Company came out and no one can find the answer to the issue.

BV020613

09:56AM | 10/17/19
Also having this issue in the entire house. Very random, doesn’t seem related to anything big turning on. They will pulse for what seems like forever, then stop for a while, then start up again. 3 electricians came out and could find issue. They blame power company. The power company is gonna install a recording voltmeter and see if they can find something. Really hoping they do, cause it’s driving me nuts. We just bought the house a month ago, so no telling how long this has been an issue.

BV020657

03:32PM | 10/23/19
We are having flickering lights in the entire house after installation of a whole house generator. Generator company, power company and electrician have checked it. A new main breaker was installed, but it continues. It seems to start out in the morning very dim and, as the day goes on, gets more pronounced until one night it went completely out (enough to turn the tv off). The next morning it started again. We are not sure where to turn now. Thanks for any help you can provide.


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