Home circuit question

Hello experts.. I am not an electrician or well versed in electrical
problems, I can do easy wiring jobs. We tend to be self-sufficient in most
home renovations. I have an old home that was rewired about 25 years ago.
The service panel in the basement was replaced about 8 years ago, when we
added a washer on it's own 15 amp circuit and an electric clothes dryer on a
double, it is a 125 amp service. The main service box and post was replaced
last year with the main power disconnected. All the work was done under
permit by a master electrician who is a friend of the family with 30 years
experience, and passed inspection. There are only two of us in the house so
we never have a lot of stuff going at once. We have a forced-air natural gas
furnace. The heaviest 120v circuit carries a potential maximum load of about
1100 watts, mostly light bulbs, including two outside halogen security
lights, one of which is light-sensitive and stays on all night, it was
replaced recently. When my wife is running the washer and dryer in the
evenings she has complained recently that she sees through the basement
window the outside security light go out. I didn't take much notice as I
figured it was probably normal and due to the voltage-sensitivity of the
light. I wasn't able to reproduce this sympton just now but I don't recall
if the furnace was running. Earlier this evening there was a strong burning
smell near the area of the washer/dryer. Now I am worried. Before we call
for help, is there anything that jumps out that might be the source of this
problem, and is the issue with the security light related?
Seeker (Lee)
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Pretty hard to tell from where I sit. Loose connection or loose neutral are some of the things that come to mind. If your smelling something THAT is a bad sign with electrical connections. Get some one to look at it sooner than later. Turn the breaker off feeding the area of the smell.
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Believe your nose. Now, it *may* be you need to clean the lint/dust away from the dryer intake and such, or it *may* be an overheated electrical outlet. Please take the time to find out which, ASAP.
FWIW, clothes dryers are a common cause of fires when not kept properly cleaned out and provided with clear discharge vent.
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I thoroughly vacuumed out the dryer exhaust today, that was a great suggestion. There was a sizable wad of crud inside the dryer at a corner of the pipe in the bottom below the lint filter.
Any idea why a darkness-triggered halogen would temporarily go out when the dryer comes on? Is it a voltage drop thing.?
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Trace that burning smell with your nose - urgently.
Could the light sensitive light be reacting to the basement light ? (ie turning off as a result of the light shining out of the basement window?)
natural gas
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Paul E. Coughlin
"Paul E. Coughlin" wrote
Yes, I think now that I recognize it as an overheating electric motor, but it has not re-occurred. I suspect an overloaded dryer. It's very high on my priority list.
No, the indoor light is turned on when entering the laundry area, that doesn't affect the security light. It is responding to the dryer being turned on. My wife says it responds to the washing machine also. I suspect it's a voltage drop in the whole system triggering the light's on/off mechanism.
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i feel for you and you could have a serious problem.
i wonder though if you have notice other lights getting brighter instead of darker when the dryer or washer come on. pay particular attention to this and watch lights everywhere. if you start burning out light bulbs anywhere or everwhere and and ntice a loud hum from the fridge or freezer call the power company and ask if they could check the neutral bushing or nuetral insulator on their tranformer or for anything unuall up there.
it dont happen often but when it does its a bugger.
good luck
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the hot smell culd be from voltage going up instead of down. you you lost your netral sourse and things are getting hot smelling it could becuse your devices are seeking 220 instead of 110 thought the bonding jumper inthe panel and the ground rods are inefective or partially working. if it has rained rescently. it can jump from high voltage to low voltage depending on the rods. if this is the problem you will find out shortly. your dryer or light bulbs will let you know 1st. if you have a constant voltage dip when the dryer starts then you probley have shorted heating snap switches in the dryer which will quit heating presently. if things continue to dip drastically when utilities are started then definately lookfor motors and motor bearings like other have said. the lights will tell you......
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The thing is most likely TRIAC triggered, in which dropout can easily be triggered by large inductive loads. Same thing sometimes happens with dimmers.
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Over the hill

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