?electrical surges

I seem to have an electrical problem in the home. Occasionally, when I plug in a appliance (e.g. vacuum cleaner) or one comes on (e.g. heater), a light will automatically come on (usually one that has an X10 adapter on the plug). Or, my computer will automatically start! I suppose this is from a power surge of some kind. Does this require immediate repair? What's going on here?
thanks
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Do incandescent light bulbs become ever so little brighter or dimmer when these things turn on?
Computers have a function to wake on on various actions - network card, phone ring, etc. If these are not connected but are still enabled in the BIOS, then minor AC electrical noise can cause a computer power on. Disable the unused wakeup functions in computer BIOS.
Mike Hodkin wrote:

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Tom and Joseph, I don't know about the original poster, but I have this problem in a house we recently moved into and it bothers the heck out of me. When the microwave is on it appears to cycle its power in waves. When this happens the lights in the kitchen and other areas of the house will dim. I've installed a few Litron dimmer switches recently but know for a fact this dimming took place long before I installed the dimmer switches.
Any suggestions? Steve Banks
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If some dim and nothing goes brighter, it is a simple voltage drop. Microwave ovens use a lot of power and dimming would not be unusual. However it does tend to indicate that your home could use some wiring updates. It also could be an indication of under sized or over worked wires or some bad connections. Could you home have aluminum wire?
Dimmers make the dimming effect appear greater.
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Thank you Joseph, I have copper wire... I remember from putting in the dimmer switches. I'll check (get a trained person to check) into over-worked or under-sized.
I know I do NOT like it and it indicates something wrong in the wiring of the house. I wish I had gone to trade school like my Dad suggested, I'd understand all of this stuff better. My problem is there are three things in life I HATE:
1.) Electricity (don't hate it, just don't trust it) 2.) Propane or Natural Gas (don't trust it) 3.) Tire (car/motorcycle) changing machines (HATE them and they scare me!)
Thanks, Steve Banks
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Some X-10 devices are very sensitive. The better ones seem to be less so. You may have a bad neutral. As Mike asked, do some lights ever get brighter when you turn something else on? Do they ever go dimmer when you turn something else on?
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Joseph E. Meehan

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May I suggest you call a priest?
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Mike:
MH> I seem to have an electrical problem in the home. Occasionally, when I plu MH> in a appliance (e.g. vacuum cleaner) or one comes on (e.g. heater), a light MH> will automatically come on (usually one that has an X10 adapter on the MH> plug). Or, my computer will automatically start! I suppose this is from a MH> power surge of some kind. Does this require immediate repair? What's goin MH> on here? Something definately wrong there! FWIW have X-10 devices here, as well as a touch control, plus the computers of course. None have done what you describe except the touch switch-controlled lights will sometimes turn on if there is a power line glitch; X-10's haven't, and we plug in a "12 amp" vacuum into the same outlet one of the X-10 lamp control is plugged in to.
As the other person asked, do lights go brighter when this occurs? If so, probably a loose connection in the circuit breaker/fuse box. Turn off main breaker/pull main fuse then check for a voltage in the box. I've read some boxes will still have live buss bars. (Personally I'd have an electrican check the box -- I don't mind doing electrical work after the breaker but don't like working in the circuit breaker box.)
..Thinking your problem may be a failing connection somewhere (could be where the circuit breaker connects to the buss bar -- see earlier threads on whitish power on buss bars, arc marks). The only time the touch switches here have turned on by themselves was after a brown- or blackout. (The computers are on UPSs....)
- barry.martinATthesafebbs.zeppole.com
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