Strange thing going on.

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Here lately we have had the opposite of a power surge. The power takes a dramatic downward dive. We sleep without air conditioning and use a small "Patton" fan mainly to create some noise to drown out the trains and highway traffic. For the last three or four days the fan would drag down to almost a complete stop. One of us would wake up immediately and jump up and turn it off.
Last night I decided to do some detective work. So, when it happened, I just left it along and went through the house turning on lights and things. Several lights, I'm assuming they are on the same circuit, were very dim. (we use those curly cue florescent bulbs). Nothing I did changed the fan speed. This morning I turned the fan on and it ran fine. I'm wondering if a breaker could overheat and drag the power down. Also, we have a terrific infestion of fire ants and those damn crazy rosemary ants (I think that's the name---it's a new discovery here in south Texas and they are taking over everything so fast it's unbelievable) But, I've dealt with the ant problem before and this just doesn't act the same.
I'll be calling the local electrician but before I sprang for that 100 bucks up front, I thought I'd check and see if anyone else has had this problem and might have an idea what's going on.
JC
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i'd suspect a leg of your transformer on the power pole out front was going bad. i'd contact your power provider and ask them to monitor it.

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JC wrote:

Might help to know where in the world you are.
TDD
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re: Might help to know where in the world you are.
Might help if you read the post more carefully.
"...it's a new discovery here in south Texas"
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wrote:

re: Might help to know where in the world you are.
Might help if you read the post more carefully.
"...it's a new discovery here in south Texas"
The state tourism board used to run ads on TV saying "Texas, a whole nother country", but gosh, I didn't know we were that far away. <G>
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

DOUH!! Premature postification, I'll blame it on my medication. *snicker*
TDD
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wrote:

Don't be too hard on yourself, TDD! I skipped that line entirely myself.
Grammer class 101 tells you not to mix subjects in the same paragraph. I was reading about turning on and off things to diagnose an electric problem and then in the same paragraph suddenly I was hearing about ants. Was the issue ants in the breaker box? Or the fan? Lost me and I gave up!
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Mark wrote:

The Irish nuns would pull out the old crank up telephone generator when we made mistakes. Hell, the alligator clips on your ears hurt bad enough.
TDD
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The poster CLEARLY wrote "south Texas".
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wrote:

Sortta like saying southern New England. Still could be multiple states. :-)
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Right. Could be Texas, Chichuahua, or Coahuila.
-- Doug
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When a breaker overheats, it trips. If it doesn't trip, the power stays on at full strength until the house burns down.
Don't assume the lights are all on the same circuit. Verify. Turn all the same "problem" lights on then go downstairs and flip breakers off, then back on. If they all go out at once, THEN they're on the same circuit.
If your house is relatively modern, it's not likely that you will have fixtures all over the house on the same circuit. As a general rule, houses are wired room-by-room. Each room has one or two circuits depending on the number of fixtures and plugs in the room.
You might have a loose wire at the breaker or in one of the boxes in the circuit. You might have a problem outside the house.
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Could be Power company transmission related, the power co will check and usualy look at your house for free. Any neighbors nearby on the same pole, ask them.
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JC wrote:

Amdro is very, very effective for fire ants here in FL......we don't broadcast over entire lawn; only sprinkle along walks, pavers and patios where they concentrate. Haven't really seen hills anywhere else. Should use when rain is not forecast, and they take the bait to the nest very quickly. I used it last two days ago where fire ants were livin' in flower pots on my patio. No sign of them today.

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We're on a few hundred acres here and believe me, we've tried it all. They kill newborn calves so we're very open to anything that might rid us of them, but that just hasn't come along yet.
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PS: I've alerted the power company and they're on the case. Thanks to all of you for the suggestions.
JC
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JC wrote:

I'm a city kid, so forgive my ignorance of ranch life ..... can newborn calves be confined in a relatively small area? I would assume that would be ideal. When my hubby was building manager for our condo, we did lots of pest fighting -- actually quite interesting (we're retired). We had lots of lawn work and sprinkler repairs to do, so being swarmed by fire ants was definitely negative.......when I was new to Florida, I did some nature photography and it seemed the ideal shot was always from atop a fire ant mound :o) Our grounds are roughly 1/2 acre, and treating only the mounds (they always form along concrete walks, pavers, patios) seemed to eliminate them entirely. Working in the yard so much as we did, we were aware if they were present. One treatment lasted about a year. We are on the water, so made sure we minimized use of insecticides and used them properly. If the nests aren't disturbed when you sprinkle Amdro around, you can see fire ants taking the bait within a minute or two.
Fire ants and carpenter ants seem to take turns in prevalence - got palms with termite tunnels and they likely go after the termites. As for the baby calves, I have read about nursing home patients being swarmed - IRRC, the home was a real dirty dump. I knelt down on the grass once, forgetting about fire ants, and started planting some border plants..........nasty ants flock onto you before the first one bites. I moved very quickly, but got over 100 bites :o)
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Two points. When you treat a mound, you might think they're dead, but they've just moved, probably to the neighbors place. Plus, have you given any thought as to what it would cost to treat 450 acres?
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clipped

Treating a mound means that, when applied properly and they aren't disturbed, they take the bait to the nest and the mound dies. That is the label claim and the apparent result we have seen in our yard. As for 450 acres, no, I don't know the cost. A one-pound canister costs around $15, I suppose.......have had it for a long time and don't recall the cost. I know when we treated our entire property, again, not by broadcasting, we didn't use an entire cannister. I suppose the cost becomes attractive if livestock losses approach the cost of the product. I don't have any livestock to worry about; just a hubby, kids, grandkids and guests :o) Since you question it, I did a search on "amdro livestock texas" and got some interesting hits, including one that bears out my estimate that our property was relatively free (we could dig and work in yard without being attacked) for about a year. As I mentioned before, seems if young calves are most susceptible to being killed by fire ants, then having a concentrated area of more protection for them seems logical. Before my husband and I discovered Amdro, others in our condo had dumped bags and bags of other "fire ant killers" on the lawn with no noticeable effect.
http://fireant.tamu.edu/research/arr/category/broadcast/93-94Pg18/93-94Pg18.pdf http://fireant.tamu.edu/research/results_all.cfm http://fireant.tamu.edu/research/arr/year/99-03/res_dem_9903/pdf/30_comparison_of_amdro.pdf
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wrote:

Eventually the ants will just stop eating the Amdro. They didn't live a 100 million years being dumb enough to fall for that very long. I don't think I have an ant around here that will eat Amdro, Terro or any other "sweet" bait.
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