I recently moved into a older home which has an old house breaker system
that does not allow the house to properly operate its electric power. I
need to know can the house breaker system can be ugraded so that the
ligths don't blink when another appliance is turned on or an electric
heater is on and another heater is turned on in another room at the same
time and the breaker switch will not kick to the off position? How can I
fix this problem?
No offense intended, but you probably can't. Not yet, anyway. It doesn't sound
like you have a lot of experience working with residential electrical systems,
and what you're describing is a pretty major project for someone who's just
getting started. Your first step, IMO, should be a visit to the library to get
a few books on residential electrical wiring. This will help you to understand
the scope of the problems here. Your next step then should probably be to get
estimates from several professional electricians. This really is a significant
project, that is very likely beyond anyone with as little experience with
electrical systems as it appears that you have. Again, no offense is intended
here -- electricity is dangerous stuff, and careless or unknowledgeable use of
it can KILL.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Agree. Also safety and insurance aspects!
A very cheap immediate safety measure could be some battery powered
smoke alarms (only a few bucks). Stick a few of those around, often
quite sensitive! I've had them go off when soldering or when a circular
saw blade slightly burned some wood or when some small amount of fat
burned on the kitchen stove. But at least that confirmed they were
working! Overloaded wiring would probably do the same and if so
immediately throw off all power and vacate house.
You needc a main service upgrade to 200 amps with new service drop.
Plus how old is your home? are all outlets 3 prong grounded?
Welcome to home ownershiop call somew electricians get at least 3
Your looking at several thousand minimum.
Have you tried plugging the heaters into another outlet?
Map out ALL the outlets in the house. Find which outlets go to which
breaker. Then make sure the heaters are not plugged into outlets which
share the same breaker. This should help you avoid tripping the
breaker. Flickering lights appear to be another issue.
Electrical overloading info and circuit mapping info here:
Regardless of the age of the circuit breakers, or to some degree, the size
of the service, you need better distribution, which is more circuits run
from the service to the various locations around the house. This is not to
say that you don't need a service increase, or new panel, just that those
things alone will not solve the problem, as you describe it
Felder and RBM have hit the nail dead-on here--the problem as described
_won't_ be solved by simply a new breaker box, even w/ higher total
service. You have overloaded circuits as is, and only either adding
circuits or upgrading their ampacity (which requires larger wiring, not
just a breaker) or balancing the existing loads across existing
circuits will accomplish.
The dimming of lights on switching transients is another symptom of the
overloaded (or nearly so) conditions.
One solution, assuming the house has it, is to go to the central
heating system as opposed to the space heaters.
Its pretty rare a agerd breaker box will allow enough upgrade space to
fix this overload trouble.
On lights dimming certain fluroscents can do this under normal
operating voltages, cheap fixtures the cause
Like a refrigerator kicks on and the lights dims for a second or two? You
could put lights and outlets on different circuits or increase the wire
size. If you have low voltage at the service panel, ask your electrical
utility company if service voltage could be increased.
on or an electric
First check if those two heaters are on the same circuit? If it is than
check if the circuit is really overloaded and if you have an over sized or
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