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#9184 04/20/02 05:25 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Hello, this is only my second post, but I wanted to throw out a problem to you guys. I was in a house the other day and the home owner mentioned that the lights got brighter when she used the hair dryer or when the fridg kicked in. I asked her if she meant dimmer and she said no and demonstated the problem, yes the higher the dryer speed, the brighter the lights. I opened the panel and found that when everything was off I got 120v on each phase, but turn on the dryer and I got 124v on one phase and 116v on the other. I didn't have time to perform any more test at the time. I'm thinking either a poor ground or a PoCo problem. Any ideas? Thanks.
Great board by the way, I'll send in some photos I've taken of shoddy work.

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 04-20-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Electric Eagle (edited 04-21-2002).]

#9185 04/20/02 05:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 257
Electric Eagle,
This sounds like a typical bad neutral on the Electrical Service.
Its been my experience that, especially on aluminum entrance cable, the neutral deteriorates right where it turns to come into the house. Usually from water damage over time.
I don't know your situation, but in our area I would have to call the power company to pull the meter and check the voltage in the meter socket.
It could be a bad neutral on the power company's side of the service but I would venture to say that there is old deteriated entrance cable on this home that should be replaced.
Let me know...

#9186 04/20/02 09:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
Likes: 1
To add to Master66's post, if there is SEU cable rather than a mast I would suspect the neutral (grounded conductor) in the meter can. Check the connection in the disconnect if there is one and check the connection in the panel, if all checks out, call the PoCo.

If not there, then one of the other PoCo splices has gone bad.

On the off chance, do make sure that the two circuits in question aren't on a multi-wire (with a loose neutral).

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI
#9187 04/21/02 04:01 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 95
Went into a house one day an had 60 volts on one and 170 on the other. The more amperage you're pulling the wider the gap will get. But sounds like a bad neutral from here.

Lighting the way
#9188 04/21/02 11:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 914
Thanks for the advice. I agree that the problem is most likely with the grounded conductor. It was firmly attached to the neutral bar and was coated with Noalox, but I didn't look in the meter base yet. If anybody thinks of anything else or a good way to test, please add to the thread. Thanks.

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