03:09PM | 01/29/06
Member Since: 01/28/06
2 lifetime posts
I live in an older craftsman home. The previous owner converted a garage into a guest home. It is wired according to code.

Recently I noticed that the lights will dim in the house or in the garage (same wiring), but the circut breaker does not switch off.

What could be causing this?


04:24PM | 01/29/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
You have a poor electrical connection some place.

It might be in the breaker panel, it might be in the wiring, it might be in the connections from the panel to the meter, it might be in the power company connections, or it might be in the power company transformer.

If you notice any lights getting BRIGTHER immediately call the power company and tell them that you have a BAD NETURAL.

Otherwise get an electrican to check it out.


04:51PM | 01/29/06
Member Since: 01/28/06
2 lifetime posts
Bill Hart,

Thanks for the reply - what is a bad neutral?

I recently added some wiring in the garage that taped into the circuit that controls the guest house. What I did is go into the outlet box that is in the garage hooked up to the garage door opener and extended the outlet - could that be the problem?


05:17PM | 01/29/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
Residental power comes from a 240 volt transformer with a center tap. The center tap is the neutral so that you have 120 from each hot to the neutral.

It is called the neutral because if the loads are balanced (same amount of current on each 120 volt leg) there is no current flowing through the neutral.

If the neutral connection is bad then when there is a heavy load on one leg the voltage on the other leg will increase.

If you problem is just with one circuit then it is not a bad neutral or other power company problems.

Yes, you extension could be the problem. Did you use the "back stab" connection where you just pushed the wire into the back of a receptacle. Those are not very reliable. But you could have a bad connection even if you used the screw terimals or pigtailed connections with wire nuts.

Go through and check them.

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