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
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
Thanks in advance.
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.
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
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.
The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
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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
On Wed, 10 Jan 2007 14:26:56 GMT, "Matthew Plummer"
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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