ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Recent Posts
Switched Receptacles -Top or Bottom?
by gfretwell - 07/28/21 10:06 PM
Lowes Selling this fan
by timmp - 07/25/21 10:58 PM
How's all our Non-US folks doing?
by djk - 07/23/21 09:13 PM
Do You Travel?
by Bill Addiss - 07/20/21 04:26 PM
Backup Generator Done Right
by timmp - 07/18/21 12:20 PM
New in the Gallery:
February, North East Indiana
February, North East Indiana
by timmp, July 25
Red Green would be proud
Red Green would be proud
by timmp, July 25
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 11 guests, and 17 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
#34963 02/29/04 06:25 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 9
Junior Member
I have a customer that when she places all the lights on at night they blink. They will not go out, but dim quickly. I called the power company and they said that everything was fine when they came out. I did notice that the SER cable from the disconnect to the panel was in bad shape and replaced that. And the problem still is there. The property is on the waterfront (ocean) and the meter is exposed. The meter has a disconnect and I could change the 200A breaker. But because of the age of the meter I would recommend to the homeowner to change out the whole disconnect. Has any one got any thoughts on this. I am going to have the power company come out and place meter on it to see if they measure any changes.


#34964 02/29/04 06:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
Bad neutral connection if some lights get bright and others get dim.

Bad hot connection if lights only get dimmer or go out.

A meter put across the line and load of the breaker should tell you if the breaker is at fault.

Any reading higher that a few millivolts between line and load would be suspect.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
#34965 02/29/04 07:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
My first quess would be arcing between the buss bar and the breaker. Try pulling off the breakers to inspect the buss and connections. Often you can hear a sizzle in the panel when the lights are dimming if this is the case.

#34966 03/02/04 06:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 159
CRW Offline
I had a problem for at least a year or so in my own home, with lights dimming from time to time, for half a second or so.. The one that was most noticeable was in the bathroom, because when it would happen I'd notice the fan slow down for an instant. I checked the switch box in the bathroom, the circuit in the panel, and also looked for any splices in between--in the basement, or the kitchen drop ceiling, anything that could be affecting it. Also checked the main breaker connections, but not the meter connections. I looked at the bugs overhead, they seemed OK sightwise. I have an old FPE panel, and intend on changing out the whiole service in the near future, so even though everything looked OK there, I figured that once it was all new I'd be rid of any problems.
Then a couple months ago, I realized that I hadn't had any of that dimming problem for a while. So I can only conclude that the problem was outside of my house, because nothing I did changed anything. It must have been something with the utility.

Now I don't want to offend anyone if you work for a power company, but I think that in a way, we're at their mercy with this sort of thing. If they say, "It looks OK on our end," how do you know if it is or not? Unless you have a recording meter located on their side of your service, you have no way of knowing. Look at some of those newsltters over at, where they have problems with people getting shocked in their back yards from stray voltages, etc. The power company always claims their system is OK. But lots of people believe that there are safety issues connected with the grounding and neutral systems in the power grids. I just have my doubts when it concerns the utilities sometimes...

Hope it works out for you with that testing.

Link Copied to Clipboard

Tools for Electricians
Tools for Electricians

* * * * * * *

2020 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2020 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Member Spotlight
Fullerton, CA USA
Posts: 4,287
Joined: December 2000
Top Posters(30 Days)
timmp 8
Rachel 4
djk 2
Popular Topics(Views)
281,585 Are you busy
215,223 Re: Forum
202,068 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5