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 ???
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 03/29/2016 10:05 AM, GARYWC wrote:

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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 11:05:15 AM UTC-4, GARYWC wrote:

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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3/29/2016 11:05 AM, GARYWC wrote:

I've seen several different problems. Almost all require work inside the breaker or fuse panel. Time to call electrician.
--
.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3/29/2016 11:05 AM, GARYWC wrote:

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.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 11:05:15 AM UTC-4, GARYWC wrote:

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
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3/29/2016 8:05 AM, GARYWC wrote:

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.

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.

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)

Possibly a loose connection

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

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

Unlikely if you are seeing this on multiple fixtures/lamps
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
says...

Tell Gary he probably has a bad neutral connection, or the power company could have a bad neutral connection feeding his house.
--
Mustaffa Sheboygan

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2016-03-30 4:49 PM, GARYWC wrote:

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
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

e light bulbs in those fixtures have burned out).

Your problem could be caused by any of the aforementioned and also loose co nnections. I suggest that you call your power company first and have them check their connections and wires. Overhead wires rubbing against a tree l imb or part of the house can eventually lead to this problem.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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 th e problem was either with our circuit-breaker(s) or with the wiring/fixture s 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 pa nel (it was OK) and he determined that the problem was with faulty connecti ons in both the city's transformer (at the street) and the meter pedestal s o he called in a team of city utility workers. About noon, 7 utililty work ers 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 w ould NOT been able to fix the dimming/flickering lights problem because it was caused by the faulty connection in the city's equipment.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/17/2016 10:11 AM, GARYWC wrote:

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
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.