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#31483 - 11/23/03 04:26 AM Dimming Lights
minangelo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/29/03
Posts: 9
Loc: Ogunquit, Maine
I recently got a service call that lights were dimming in the home in the evening. They will actually dim like a dimmer switch for 10-20 seconds then go back to normal. They also go out at times. I asked if it was just a certain room, and was told it was all over the home. I check the main breaker and all the neutrals and everthing is tight. The local power company check the pole and weatherhead and said everything is fine. I am meeting with them to have them take out the meter so that we can check the terminals inside to see if anything is loose. I feel the problem is at the post and beyond and the power company should place a meter on this to look for a problem. Anyone got any ideas!!

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#31484 - 11/23/03 04:30 AM Re: Dimming Lights
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Have you been able to put a meter on the incoming service while the lights are dimming?

If everything from transformer to main panel checks out all right, maybe it's a problem on thew HV side of the transformer. Does the xfmr feed any other houses, and if so, have they had any problems too?

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#31485 - 11/23/03 04:37 AM Re: Dimming Lights
minangelo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/29/03
Posts: 9
Loc: Ogunquit, Maine
Some homes are having the same problem but not as often as this one. They all are feeding off the same pole.(about 4 homes)
That is why I am going to request the power company to monitor (meter) the incoming service

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#31486 - 11/23/03 04:40 AM Re: Dimming Lights
pauluk Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
It sounds as though it's a problem at the pole, probably somewhere on the secondary splices.

I think the PoCo should investigate.

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#31487 - 11/23/03 04:48 AM Re: Dimming Lights
minangelo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/29/03
Posts: 9
Loc: Ogunquit, Maine
I agree with you. I meet with them Thursday and will post what the outcome may be. Also I forgot to mention that they are located near a large manufactoring company less than 1/4 mile away. I feel that this may be a possible answer to this problem

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#31488 - 11/23/03 04:55 AM Re: Dimming Lights
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
very interesting minangelo, recently i went on a similar service call, turns out the poco x-former was shot.

my customer actually got the poco to pay for my serv call!

that was the amazing thing, the poco hates to own up to infastructure inadeqaucies...

let us know how it sugars off

~S~

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#31489 - 11/23/03 06:24 AM Re: Dimming Lights
Electric Eagle Offline
Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 928
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Did you check the connection between the breaker(s) and the buss bar. Sounds to me like you might be getting some arcing there. I fyou pull the breakers off there will be signs of burnig on the buss if that's the problem. I've also seen a this where the main breaker plugs on before.

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#31490 - 11/23/03 12:11 PM Re: Dimming Lights
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Side note — If “hidden” bus connections or breaker internals are suspected, and you have a power-rated voltmeter {UL 61010B-1 cat. III or better} “millivolt-drop” tests can be performed on the suspect energized components. See http://ecmweb.com/ar/electric_testing_contact_quality/index.htm Although the gist of the article deals with magnetic starters, the same concepts can be applied to circuit breakers and bus or cable joints.

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#31491 - 11/23/03 04:56 PM Re: Dimming Lights
minangelo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/29/03
Posts: 9
Loc: Ogunquit, Maine
Thanks for the info. Will get get back on Thursday with the findings ???????. I feel it is the POCO.

Thursday!

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#31492 - 11/23/03 06:54 PM Re: Dimming Lights
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
I don’t remember if this was reported on E-C.net or some other board but a weird case of intermittent light-dimming involved a refrigerator/freezer in a remote, dark corner of a new residential garage. The appliance cord was something like a foot short of the wall receptacle, so someone used a wadded-up 100-foot 16/3 extension cord to make up the difference. The refrigerator was not yet used for storing anything—someone figured that it should be powered up just the same.

The compressor would try to start but stall in a locked rotor condtion that would cause excessive voltage drop in the cord—so it could never start, and cycled on the compressor’s thermal overload for weeks. It took that long before the dangeoursly warm cord was discovered.

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