Home Electrical question


Hello-
In our current home, anytime we turn on an appliance which draws a moderate amount of current (vacuum cleaner, TV, etc.) there is a brief (<.5 sec) dimming effect throughout the house. This effect is not limited to any one outlet.
Our house is relatively new (<5 year old) and thus meets modern code standards. Is the problem related to improper wiring of the electrical panel, or is it just 'normal' drop when turning on a current drawing appliance?
Thanks in advance.
Matt Plummer
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Matthew Plummer wrote:

That could be a poor connection somewhere, likely the breaker box, or it could be a transformer that supplies your home. Do the lights ever dim in the same way at other times? Do any lights brighten?
You could contact your local power company. You will find out how responsive they are. Some will do next to nothing and others will fix, measure or find the problem. Note some drop would be normal so that is why measuring the problem can be important.
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When motors start, they draw around four times their operating current, briefly, so dimming is absolutely normal if its contained to the circuit that the motor is on. When you plug a vacuum into a bedroom outlet, it would be normal for that bedroom's lights to dim momentarily, if the lights and outlets are on the same circuit. If the dimming occurs on circuits other than the one with the vacuum, etc. on it, you may have a wiring problem
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Matthew Plummer wrote:

I don't think it's normal. I can often detect (with a voltage meter) a drop when a major appliance kicks on in our house, but it's only a volt or two, and generally not enough to make a noticeable change in the lights (although if I have a dimmer set near minimum, the drop will sometimes be enough to extinguish that light).
Of course, the devil is in the details. Perhaps you're more sensitive to changes in lighting levels than am I.
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Matthew Plummer wrote:

Jeepers. That doesn't sound normal.
We have a 100 amp service and the only time I have noticed the lights dim is when the a/c unit kicks on in the summer. But, then again we're not big users of electricity.
Check your breaker box and make sure you have at least 100 amp service. Heck, being a newer home you probably have more than 100. It just doesn't seem normal to me that a tv could dim the lights when you turn it on.
-Felder
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some fluroscents dim a lot when other devices are turned on.
check line voltage with analog meter, its probably nothing if fluroscents are involved
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On Wed, 10 Jan 2007 14:26:56 GMT, "Matthew Plummer"

IMHO:
Today's modern vacuums and TV's draw a lot of current when first started, so this can drop voltage throughout the house. The only safe way to check if your electrical system has any pre-existing condition is to have a qualified person to check it. This way you aren't inendated with 'guesses'.
Keep us informed what happened.
tom @ www.BlankHelp.com
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