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Dimming Lights Signal Voltage Loss

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Adam in Alabama is having some electrical issues at his money pit. Tell us about the problem.

    ADAM: Well, basically, every time my air conditioner kicks on, all the lights in the house dim.

    TOM: Hmm. OK. Central air conditioner?

    ADAM: Yes, it is.

    TOM: Hmm. Well, when an air conditioning compressor comes on, there’s a voltage draw, OK? And what happens is you have a short-term voltage loss and that can reflect on the lights although, frankly, it usually doesn’t.

    LESLIE: Well, because usually it’s in a separate circuit all its own that is made to maintain.

    TOM: Well, yeah. But if his entire panel is like weaning – I wonder if there’s an issue with the quality of the power coming into the house, because this frequently happens like when you have a room air conditioner on the same circuit with your lights or sometimes you’ll see it in the kitchen.

    LESLIE: Refrigerator.

    TOM: Yeah, when the refrigerator kicks on in the kitchen, the lights will dim. But if the whole house is dimming, that’s not right and that, to me, sounds like there may be a problem with the power; the quality of the power coming in. You’re not getting the full 220 volts that you expect.

    So I would contact your power company and have them check the line coming into the house. See if you’re having any issues with brownouts because that’s …

    LESLIE: Like the main line coming to the service panel?

    TOM: Yeah. It sounds like there’s a brownout in this area that’s causing this issue. It sometimes can be caused by a bad transformer on the pole, too.

    ADAM: Oh, OK. Alright.

    TOM: But that’s why it’s happening but it shouldn’t be happening on a dedicated circuit.

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