(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 31 to 43 of 43

Thread: Lights flicker and things shut off randomly :(

  1. #31

    Default

    I dont have the picture that one neighbour sent any more, it had a big black spot on the base of the bulb casing and it actually was sparking and had a tiny flame. Not in the picture, as he took it afterwards + emailed it to me.

    The other neighbour had not put the spiral in the lamp so that it was touching the shade, but the thing got so hot that it scorched the shade. If its like my shades, the bulb would be about an inch or 2 clearance.

    And my hot bulb was way way hotter than an incandescent one. It was very stinky too, like burnt toast, sort of. Not the bulb part itself, but the base, it ended up being all discolored.

    Candles have caused more house fires than anything else, all combined. Thats why if we use a Christmas or scented candle, its never on if we arent in the same room, and they are always in a dish.

  2. #32
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    01609
    Posts
    2,720

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Abouthadit View Post
    The lights flicker/ go dim haven't seen any of them get brighter ...
    I put a load of clothes in the Wash machine not dryer when the lights flickered.
    I don't know if that was coincidental or not because it doesn't do all the time ?
    The gross current-to-voltage phase differences in washer/dryer motors causing dimming/flickering is usually a symptom of an overloaded or loose neutral connection somewhere in the house, or a bad connection between your neutral and ground (usually a copper stake driven into the earth near the power drop or meter, in my neighborhood, or on the neutral tie-in on the power company's side before the meter. If the utility only tested the voltages at no-load, they didn't fully test the neutral connection. A bad crimp on the drop that's corroding wouldn't necessarily be bad enough to cause things to burn out right away and still test OK at modest current, but still cause flickering and voltage excursions, particularly under motor or magnetic ballast loads- anything with a crappy power-factor.

    Illegitimate loop connections between neutrals inside the house can also create oddball symptoms like that.

    capecod12: You must have the crummiest-quality power in MA, if it's burning up twisty-bulb ballasts like popcorn! 99.99% of the users of said devices go years between failures. It's not the bulbs!

  3. #33

    Default

    Not the bulbs?
    No problem with anything else, is our power that bad?
    Ive got classmates in Canada and other places in USA who complain about these bulbs too.

    I bought 2 and they both failed, so I wont buy any more.
    Im not crazy about stuff built in China,,,,,,

  4. #34
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    01609
    Posts
    2,720

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by capecod12 View Post
    Not the bulbs?
    No problem with anything else, is our power that bad?
    Ive got classmates in Canada and other places in USA who complain about these bulbs too.

    I bought 2 and they both failed, so I wont buy any more.
    Im not crazy about stuff built in China,,,,,,
    Don't look now, but most all manufactured goods have some component manufacture or assembly & test in China. You can't even take an aspirin to get over your silly light-bulb headache without injesting Chinese content- get over it! Trade is international, and everybody is buying everyone else's stuff, and there's good/bad/so-so stuff in any market. CFLs are currently made in China because that's where the high-labor content mid-skill tube-bending process can be done for cheap, but as China gets richer it'll probably move to Vietnam, Bangladesh, or developing parts of Africa, so you won't have to buy them from China.

    Bottom of the line CFLs have high "infant mortality" rates, but nothing like what you're describing. Motors are very tolerant of crummy power quality, as are most switching power supplies in consumer electronics, but it's hard to put sufficient filtering and protection into a ballast that needs to fit in an Edison base. Self-ballasted CFLs are less tolerant of switching spikes, but most can handle 10% over/under voltage without frying. If you're really are blowing with less than a hundred hours on them, it's not the CFL. I have case-histories on dozens (maybe hundreds?) of CFLs that have made it through years of service and thousands of on/off cycles without failing.

  5. #35

    Default

    ENOUGH, am not angry or upset, nor do I appreciate anger, Im just stating the facts that I observed.
    Bye

  6. #36

    Default

    Called an have an electrician coming out Fri morning.

    Ok most of the day had lights on in kitchen/dining room and nothing , through in a load of clothes in to wash and within a minute both kitchen / dining room lights flickered and completely went out. The washer machine actually shut off. Started the washer again and within minutes it shut off. Lights flickered went out.
    Went out to panel shut breaker off , basically all over head lights went out through out the house. wall plugs still hot , turned another breaker off and certain wall sockets went out. Flipped another breaker and both the refrig and socket to washer went out.
    So since the lights and washer are on two different breakers what gives ?

    Right now both lights in kitchen / dining are on and not a bip/flicker/dim nothing.??

    Have no idea why all of a sudden wash a load of clothes and the lights on another breaker/circuit goes crazy ?

    Also is it normal to have the refrigerator and wash machine on the same breaker ?

  7. #37
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    892

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    capecod12: You must have the crummiest-quality power in MA, if it's burning up twisty-bulb ballasts like popcorn! 99.99% of the users of said devices go years between failures. It's not the bulbs!
    That's what I'm thinking as well. More likely it is an issue with the local grid if it is really frying things so readily.

    Also when someone mentions an email with a pic of a bulb in it that came from a neighbor, I think of the many forwarded emails of the same ilk that I've gotten from primarily conservative friends/relatives who don't bother to check the source. Lots of intentional misrepresentations going on out there, and they swallow it right up. (My favorite was roaches in the tongue from licking envelopes.) I tell them to check Snopes first...but then I get emails saying how someone higher in the chain checked snopes and it's not a hoax. Unfortunately, checking myself by copying text into Google confirms they are hoaxes.
    Last edited by Runs with bison; 03-14-2012 at 05:42 PM.

  8. #38
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,412

    Default

    If you read the frig's manual, it probably says it should be on a dedicated circuit, same for the WM. So, no, they should not be.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #39
    DIY Member mliu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Abouthadit View Post
    Its only on a certain circuit which I replaced lights on.
    My first instinct is that you wired something incorrectly when you worked on those light switches. Did you read the manual for the dimmers and ensure that you connected them correctly? (For electronic dimmers, it makes a difference which leads are connected to hot and neutral.) I would check that first.

    If that checks out, then next inspect all your wirenut connections to make sure they are good. Did you use a good quality wirenut? The tan-colored nuts with small, angled wings made by Ideal are much better than the standard yellow nuts with the larger, straight wings. If you have a loose connection or a poorly-made connection, the physical vibration from the washing machine running could cause flickering.

    If all that checks out, then I would pull all the dimmers and replace them with standard on/off switches and see if you can duplicate the problem. If so, then you have a problem with your power or your wiring. If not, then the problem is in a dimmer (or the way the dimmer was wired).

    If no flickering experienced with standard switches, then add the dimmers back in one at a time, waiting several days between each installation. Once the flickering starts, then you've discovered your bad dimmer.

  10. #40
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    01609
    Posts
    2,720

    Default

    I've seen noisy dimmers interacting with one another when there's an illegitimate loop tying two branch neutrals together too. (Or in 3-ways with a dimmer on both ends designed for single-switched circuits.)

  11. #41

    Default

    Ok the electrician showed up , first thing he wanted to do was check the panel, coarse he worked on the city side for about 30 minutes (he use to work for the city) He checked what he could, removed the main wires coming in , tightened the panel brackets that hold the main wires, then he removed a few breakers and then removed the main breaker 100/100 and the contacts were rough pitted as in had arced ?
    He called the city and one of the guys that he trained showed up and he took off the meter and checked the contacts behind it and they were good.
    He replaced the main 100/100 breaker and put everything back together, I came inside turned all the lights on and started up the WM , the lights didn't dim/flicker at all.
    So far so good , hopefully that did it !

  12. #42
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,412

    Default

    Constant heating/cooling of the electrical contacts as the load changes can cause them to lose spring tension - this is much worse when approaching the max load. WHen that happens, they can arc. A CB generally is designed to trip with a sustained overload - the duration depends on the specific one installed. You may be nearing the max load on your panel and 100A is no longer adequate. This may happen again. Over the years, a house originally built with few electrical/electronic devices adds things like a bigger WH, dryer, fancy stove with more and higher wattage burners, central air, and the list goes on. You might consider adding up the things that generally could run at the same time to see where you stand. It might be time to budget for upgrading your service. Then again, maybe not.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  13. #43

    Default

    Yeah he had mentioned that it would be wise for in the not to distant future to upgrade and put a new panel in...

Similar Threads

  1. Well pump stutters and hesitates then shuts off and lights in the house flicker
    By joshdeeh in forum Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-13-2011, 07:01 AM
  2. Replaced two regular lights with fluorescents = Now they flicker - HELP
    By bighunk7490 in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-26-2010, 10:04 PM
  3. Computer randomly shutting down
    By GabeS in forum Computers and Stuff
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 02-16-2009, 07:04 AM
  4. Lights flicker and Voltage Drop Question
    By Pip in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 12-18-2008, 06:25 PM
  5. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-14-2004, 04:10 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •