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Thread: Weird lights blinking, AC compressors making weird noise when it does it.

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    DIY Junior Member SteamCows's Avatar
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    Exclamation Weird lights blinking, AC compressors making weird noise when it does it.

    Hello, we had this issue last month and solved it by shutting off the ACs and leaving them idle for a few hours. Today that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Anyway here is what is happening: the lights in the whole house, or sometimes limited to one room, will nearly shut off for a split second and then come back. The computer hasn't gone off and on but the AC's compressor doesn't like it much and will make a big THUD sound.

    Should we call the electric company to ask if they think it's on their end? Or is it time to sell our blood and souls and call an electrician (we were quoted 600-800 to replace the breaker box with better breakers) ?

  2. #2
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Sounds like you need a electrician to check the problem.

    If one gave you a quote for a new box, then that could be your problem.

    The electric company can test power to your box from your transformer. Could be a loose connection on your feed.


    Good Luck.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    DIY Junior Member SteamCows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Sounds like you need a electrician to check the problem.

    If one gave you a quote for a new box, then that could be your problem.

    The electric company can test power to your box from your transformer. Could be a loose connection on your feed.


    Good Luck.
    So I might should call the electric company just to see if it's them ?

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteamCows View Post
    So I might should call the electric company just to see if it's them ?

    It would not hurt.

    What ever is causing it, You need to cure it ASAP.

    It is not safe and can cost a lot replacing appliances that get burnt up.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    DIY Junior Member SteamCows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    It would not hurt.

    What ever is causing it, You need to cure it ASAP.

    It is not safe and can cost a lot replacing appliances that get burnt up.
    Any point in trying to ask the neighbors ? They are on the same transformer that the electric company put up last year when they moved in behind us (electric company said the old small one wasn't big enough for us and them) .

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteamCows View Post
    Any point in trying to ask the neighbors ? They are on the same transformer that the electric company put up last year when they moved in behind us (electric company said the old small one wasn't big enough for us and them) .

    That could tell you if it is a power line problem. If they have problems also.

    But it could be after the transformer at your meter.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    DIY Junior Member SteamCows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    That could tell you if it is a power line problem. If they have problems also.

    But it could be after the transformer at your meter.
    I suppose I should give them a ring, although I am betting it is on our end. We had a breaker melt on us (hot water heater 220 breaker) with plastic still stuck in there last year. We moved it to another 220. When we had that problem though , we could smell plastic and the breaker was sizzling. We don't hear any sizzling anymore.

  8. #8
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteamCows View Post
    (we were quoted 600-800 to replace the breaker box with better breakers) ?
    Better call another electrician as this one must not know what he is doing.

    This price should be between $1500 and $3500

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    DIY Junior Member SteamCows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Better call another electrician as this one must not know what he is doing.

    This price should be between $1500 and $3500
    This was a guy my brother knows. Anyway, if it's that much we might as well be looking at selling the house..

  10. #10
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteamCows View Post
    This was a guy my brother knows. Anyway, if it's that much we might as well be looking at selling the house..

    Chances are you will have to fix it to sell it, Unless they have the cash.


    Good Luck.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    DIY Senior Member dj2's Avatar
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    1. Don't let your brother's friend touch your panel, if he's not a licensed electrician, no matter what he says.

    2. Are you saying that you rather sell the house than replace the panel? that's insane.

    3. With the kind of heat waves we're having, melting wires and breakers are not that uncommon anymore. They must be repaired at once because they make conditions dangerous.

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    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj2 View Post
    1. Don't let your brother's friend touch your panel, if he's not a licensed electrician, no matter what he says.

    I think that option is better than doing nothing at all.


    Electricity is nothing to play with.


    You do not have to be a Rocket Scientist to respect or work on it.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

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    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    I think that option is better than doing nothing at all.


    Electricity is nothing to play with.


    You do not have to be a Rocket Scientist to respect or work on it.
    What about a rocket "surgeon" Don? TV commercial has a guy posing as a rocket surgeon to the chicks
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  14. #14
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If you're lucky, it's a loose connection. IF the panel is shot (bus bars burnt), then you need a new panel. Some designs aren't all that good. Long-term overload can affect the spring tension on the breaker contacts. Most circuits are not designed for continuous max loading, and throw in a loose connection, and things can get messy quickly.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Electrician ActionDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteamCows View Post
    This was a guy my brother knows. Anyway, if it's that much we might as well be looking at selling the house..
    ... or wait for it to burn down and collect the insurance money.

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