Dimming lights -> my house and adjacent street light


My lights have been flickering (it's really more of a dimming, as they don't get brighter), whenever something is turned on that takes a bit of load -> garbage disposal, vacuum, washing machine, AC, microwave, even the toaster and the TV makes the lights flicker. It affects all of the lights in the house. I've called the utility company and they came out and replaced the 'taps' and told me to have a nice day. It seemed to settle down for a day, but now they are dimming again. It happens a lot - once every few minutes or so maybe, and it seems to happen more in the morning than in the evening for some reason.
But the strangest thing is that I noticed that the *street* light outside my house dims if I turn on my garbage disposal. I've asked my next door neighbor if she has noticed her lights flickering and she said she hadn't (which I don't completely believe because I swear I saw her garage light flicker when my washing machine turned on a few days ago).
So, who should I call first - the utility company or an electrician?
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snipped-for-privacy@ekkinc.com wrote:

I should have mentioned - this actually occurs quite randomly, not necessarily when we turn something on. Almost like my lights are dimming in response to something turning on at one of my neighbor's houses.
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snipped-for-privacy@ekkinc.com wrote:

Electric company should be called if it affects more than one house or location.
If the neutral wire is not properly connected at the power companies end, it can cause the symptoms you see.
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snipped-for-privacy@ekkinc.com wrote:

There are a number of possibilities but since you seem to have identified problems outside you home, that would indicate a problem for the utility company. Give them another call. Also keep track of the date and time of every occurrence you notice. It could be a neutral issue or a transformer.
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Call an electrician to check all of your main connections and if that doesn't correct the problem ask him to call the power company. It could be loose connections anywhere from the transformer to the connection at your house to the meter, and to your main panel. It is also possible that the transformer is too small for the current load and needs to be upsized.
When the taps are changed on a transformer, it means that the outgoing voltage has been changed. In your case they probably upped the voltage a little, but it didn't do much good.
As Joseph said, keep a log of date, time, and occurrence as these problems may be associated with something else going on somewhere in the area. My bet is on an undersized transformer because of the dimming streetlight.
Let us know what the outcome is.
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The utility company took care of it. We're on a corner lot, and we're the last ones down the line from the transformer (well, technically the street light is the last one on the line). Apparently the secondary fuses at the pole nearest my house had blown even though they replaced them the first time I called them a couple months ago. So, they suspected a short in the transformer. They fixed it up yesterday and all I've noticed since is normal dimming of the lights when the fridge or garbage disposal turns on, not the dips every couple of minutes that we were noticing before. Much better.
Thanks for the help.
John Grabowski wrote:

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