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Default Dimming lights

During the last three weeks, SOME of the lights in my living room, den and bathrooms become dim at times and are normal at other times. (None of the light bulbs in those fixtures have burned out).

This condition does NOT seem to affect lights in other rooms, TVs, computers, appliances and other electrical devices.

Might this problem be with:

the city's power supply
the service panel
the individual circuit breaker(s)
the wires between the circuit breaker and the affected lights
the specific light fixtures
or ???
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Default Dimming lights

On 03/29/2016 10:05 AM, GARYWC wrote:
During the last three weeks, SOME of the lights in my living room, den and bathrooms become dim at times and are normal at other times. (None of the light bulbs in those fixtures have burned out).

This condition does NOT seem to affect lights in other rooms, TVs, computers, appliances and other electrical devices.

Might this problem be with:

the city's power supply
the service panel
the individual circuit breaker(s)
the wires between the circuit breaker and the affected lights
the specific light fixtures
or ???




Possibly a problem in the service panel...one of the main wires could
have a poor connection. Since that could lead to arcing and burning, I'd
call an electrician.
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Default Dimming lights

On Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 11:05:15 AM UTC-4, GARYWC wrote:
During the last three weeks, SOME of the lights in my living room, den and bathrooms become dim at times and are normal at other times. (None of the light bulbs in those fixtures have burned out).

This condition does NOT seem to affect lights in other rooms, TVs, computers, appliances and other electrical devices.

Might this problem be with:

the city's power supply
the service panel
the individual circuit breaker(s)
the wires between the circuit breaker and the affected lights
the specific light fixtures
or ???


I'd say it could be any of the above, except the specific light
fixtures since it's happening in multiple fixtures. First thing
I'd do is determine if they are all on the same breaker. If so,
then it's likely a problem with that breaker or the wiring in
that circuit. If it's occurring on more than one circuit, are
they all on the same leg of the service? That's the diagnostic
path I'd follow.
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Default Dimming lights

On 3/29/2016 11:05 AM, GARYWC wrote:
During the last three weeks, SOME of the lights in my living room, den and bathrooms become dim at times and are normal at other times. (None of the light bulbs in those fixtures have burned out).

This condition does NOT seem to affect lights in other rooms, TVs, computers, appliances and other electrical devices.

Might this problem be with:

the city's power supply
the service panel
the individual circuit breaker(s)
the wires between the circuit breaker and the affected lights
the specific light fixtures
or ???


I've seen several different problems. Almost
all require work inside the breaker or fuse
panel. Time to call electrician.

--
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learn more about Jesus
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Default WATER CLOSET GARY MENTIONS SOMETHING ABOUT "Dimming lights"

On 3/29/2016 8:05 AM, GARYWC wrote:
During the last three weeks, SOME of the lights in my living room, den and bathrooms become dim at times and are normal at other times. (None of the light bulbs in those fixtures have burned out).



Dear Gary (of the Water Closet),

I have described the American phenomenon of Pop Culture as the "dumbing
down of America," the two being a metaphor for the same idea. Truly, in
like vein, the American mind is lately perceived as a dimming lightbulb,
a mere phantom of its former self.

Discuss this philosophical issue.




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Default Dimming lights

To: Colonel Edmund J. Burke

I'm NOT "WATER CLOSET GARY" or "GARY (OF THE WATER CLOSET)".

How is your comment related to "Dimming Lights"?
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Default Dimming lights

On Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 9:31:37 AM UTC-7, GARYWC wrote:
To: Colonel Edmund J. Burke

I'm NOT "WATER CLOSET GARY" or "GARY (OF THE WATER CLOSET)".

How is your comment related to "Dimming Lights"?


Just ignore/killfile cornholer the troll
Most everyone else already does
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Default Dimming lights

On 3/29/2016 9:33 AM, Shade Tree Guy wrote:
On Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 9:31:37 AM UTC-7, GARYWC wrote:
To: Colonel Edmund J. Burke

I'm NOT "WATER CLOSET GARY" or "GARY (OF THE WATER CLOSET)".

How is your comment related to "Dimming Lights"?


Just ignore/killfile cornholer the troll
Most everyone else already does


No! Don't do it, Gary! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
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Default Dimming lights

On 3/29/2016 11:05 AM, GARYWC wrote:
During the last three weeks, SOME of the lights in my living room, den and bathrooms become dim at times and are normal at other times. (None of the light bulbs in those fixtures have burned out).

This condition does NOT seem to affect lights in other rooms, TVs, computers, appliances and other electrical devices.

Might this problem be with:

the city's power supply
the service panel
the individual circuit breaker(s)
the wires between the circuit breaker and the affected lights
the specific light fixtures
or ???


Pretty much any of the above. Poor ground too.
I had a similar situation and it was the breaker. Changed it out and no
more dimming.

Can you determine of all the lights are on the same breaker? Next step
is to determine if they are all on one leg. If you have no idea what
I'm talking about, call an electrician.
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Default Dimming lights

On Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 11:05:15 AM UTC-4, GARYWC wrote:
During the last three weeks, SOME of the lights in my living room, den and bathrooms become dim at times and are normal at other times. (None of the light bulbs in those fixtures have burned out).

This condition does NOT seem to affect lights in other rooms, TVs, computers, appliances and other electrical devices.

Might this problem be with:

the city's power supply
the service panel
the individual circuit breaker(s)
the wires between the circuit breaker and the affected lights
the specific light fixtures
or ???


First, what do you mean become dim.

Do they dim for about 2 seconds and return to normal, or do they dim for several minutes?

If for only a few seconds, this might be normal and may be casued by a motor starting like the compressor in your fridge.


Are these lights on a dimmer (this is a serious question)?

Lights that are dimmed in a dimmer, become more sensitive to small normal changes in the voltage from the power company.

Mark




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Default Dimming lights

On 3/29/2016 8:05 AM, GARYWC wrote:
During the last three weeks, SOME of the lights in my living room, den and
bathrooms become dim at times and are normal at other times. (None of the
light bulbs in those fixtures have burned out).


Chances are, these are on more than one circuit (unless you have a VERY
old home). But, that would be the first thing to check -- along with
what *else* might be on that same circuit (e.g., if you've got a wall
outlet and someone has a clothes iron plugged in, you'll probably see
something like that as the iron's heating element switches on and
off thermostatically).

Next, see if they are on the same "leg" (a bit harder to do without
knowing what your load center looks like).

I.e., what do they have in common.

This condition does NOT seem to affect lights in other rooms, TVs,
computers, appliances and other electrical devices.


Are all of the lights in question incandescent? TV's, computers and other
electrical devices have different power conditioning and compensate for
minor line variations. Incandescent lamps are "raw loads" so you "see"
every glitch in the power.

Might this problem be with:

the city's power supply


Unlikely unless these are all on the same leg and you have a large
local imbalance (usually, ~4 homes are fed from a single transformer
so the problem would need to manifest within this grouping)

the service panel


Possibly a loose connection

the individual circuit breaker(s)


Also possible -- if the loads are on the *same* breaker (unlikely for
two breakers to fail simultaneously)

the wires between the circuit breaker and the affected lights


Also possible. E.g., if all loads connect to one breaker and that
connection has a high resistance joint somewhere along its length)

the specific light fixtures or ???


Unlikely if you are seeing this on multiple fixtures/lamps
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Default Dimming lights

On Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 10:05:15 AM UTC-5, GARYWC wrote:
During the last three weeks, SOME of the lights in my living room, den and bathrooms become dim at times and are normal at other times. (None of the light bulbs in those fixtures have burned out).

This condition does NOT seem to affect lights in other rooms, TVs, computers, appliances and other electrical devices.

Might this problem be with:

the city's power supply
the service panel
the individual circuit breaker(s)
the wires between the circuit breaker and the affected lights
the specific light fixtures
or ???


If you have a small battery powered AM radio, you can tune it to a vacant section of the band and listen for a crackling noise when the lights dim. This would indicate an arc somewhere. If you play with the volume control as you move the radio around the room, you may be able to determine the general area of the house where the arc is located. I've used an AM/FM pocket radio tuned to the AM band to find live wires in a wall before I obtained a voltage detector but the radio is more sensitive to the electrical/RF noise produced by an arc. ^_^

[8~{} Uncle Arc Monster
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Default Dimming lights

The lights may start off dim or they may become dim then stay dim.

The dimming doesn't seem to occur when an appliance (i.e., air conditioner, washing machine, furnace, refrigerator, etc) comes on.

Some of the "dimming" lights are controlled by dimmer-switches and some aren't.

The lights that dim have the "old fashioned" incandescent bulbs; lights with CLF bulbs do not dim. (I do not have CFLs on dimmer-switches).

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Default Dimming lights

On 2016-03-30 4:49 PM, GARYWC wrote:
The lights may start off dim or they may become dim then stay dim.

The dimming doesn't seem to occur when an appliance (i.e., air conditioner, washing machine, furnace, refrigerator, etc) comes on.

Some of the "dimming" lights are controlled by dimmer-switches and some aren't.

The lights that dim have the "old fashioned" incandescent bulbs; lights with CLF bulbs do not dim. (I do not have CFLs on dimmer-switches).

If you have a meter and know how to use it safely, pull a dimmed bulb,
and check for voltage at the socket, anything less than 110VAC is a
possible sign of a problem. Time to call a pro, because your next call
could be the fire department..

--
Froz...

Quando omni flunkus, moritati
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Default Dimming lights


During the last three weeks, SOME of the lights in my living room, den and bathrooms become dim at times and are normal at other times. (None of the light bulbs in those fixtures have burned out).

This condition does NOT seem to affect lights in other rooms, TVs, computers, appliances and other electrical devices.

Might this problem be with:

the city's power supply
the service panel
the individual circuit breaker(s)
the wires between the circuit breaker and the affected lights
the specific light fixtures
or ???


Your problem could be caused by any of the aforementioned and also loose connections. I suggest that you call your power company first and have them check their connections and wires. Overhead wires rubbing against a tree limb or part of the house can eventually lead to this problem.
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Default Dimming lights

Resolved: For almost a month, the lights in my house have been dimming and flickering. Based on most of the replies to my original post, I assumed the problem was either with our circuit-breaker(s) or with the wiring/fixtures in my house so I was going to call an electrician today.

However, last week, I reported the problem to my city's utility department.

Yesterday morning, a city utility worker came out and checked my circuit panel (it was OK) and he determined that the problem was with faulty connections in both the city's transformer (at the street) and the meter pedestal so he called in a team of city utility workers. About noon, 7 utililty workers in 5 trucks arrived and four hours later, my dimming/flickering lights problem had been resolved at NO COST to me. Now, I can see clearly again.

If I had called an electrician first, it would have cost me $$$$$$ and he would NOT been able to fix the dimming/flickering lights problem because it was caused by the faulty connection in the city's equipment.


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Default Dimming lights (follow up / resolved)

On 5/17/2016 10:11 AM, GARYWC wrote:
Resolved: For almost a month, the lights in my house have been dimming and flickering. Based on most of the replies to my original post, I assumed the problem was either with our circuit-breaker(s) or with the wiring/fixtures in my house so I was going to call an electrician today.

However, last week, I reported the problem to my city's utility department.

Yesterday morning, a city utility worker came out and checked my circuit panel (it was OK) and he determined that the problem was with faulty connections in both the city's transformer (at the street) and the meter pedestal so he called in a team of city utility workers. About noon, 7 utililty workers in 5 trucks arrived and four hours later, my dimming/flickering lights problem had been resolved at NO COST to me. Now, I can see clearly again.

If I had called an electrician first, it would have cost me $$$$$$ and he would NOT been able to fix the dimming/flickering lights problem because it was caused by the faulty connection in the city's equipment.

First and most, thanks for telling us what you
and they found. It is always good to learn what
works.

Nice to know it was no charge on your bill. That's
the best kind.

One time a friend (two story house with cellar, circit
breaker penal in cellar) noted lights flickering. I
can't remember all the details, but the problem turned
out to be where the power feed comes into the panel.
Goes through a double 100 breakeer, into the vertical
conductor bars. And there was corrosion beweeen the
input breaker and the bars. One night we went down there
with a couple flash lights. Turned off the power to the
house via the double 100 breaker. Pulled the breaker
off the panel. Scraped and sanded the bars where the
breaker snaps on. Squirt in some anti oxidant and put
it back together. No charge, we both worked free.
Flickering resolved.

--
..
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
.. www.lds.org
..
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Default Dimming lights

On Tue, 17 May 2016 07:11:51 -0700 (PDT), GARYWC
wrote:

Resolved: For almost a month, the lights in my house have been dimming and flickering. Based on most of the replies to my original post, I assumed the problem was either with our circuit-breaker(s) or with the wiring/fixtures in my house so I was going to call an electrician today.

However, last week, I reported the problem to my city's utility department.

Yesterday morning, a city utility worker came out and checked my circuit panel (it was OK) and he determined that the problem was with faulty connections in both the city's transformer (at the street) and the meter pedestal so he called in a team of city utility workers. About noon, 7 utililty workers in 5 trucks arrived and four hours later, my dimming/flickering lights problem had been resolved at NO COST to me. Now, I can see clearly again.

If I had called an electrician first, it would have cost me $$$$$$ and he would NOT been able to fix the dimming/flickering lights problem because it was caused by the faulty connection in the city's equipment.


Gary,

Thanks for the update, with the final results. I followed the thread
a little but not being an electrician I often refrain from giving
advice.

The utility company sent an army. Good for you G
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