lights dimming in old house

Recently the lights have been dimming or getting brighter whenever
something "kicks" on in the house. The microwave can be started and
lights get brighter. The washing machine can go into a spin cycle and
the lights get brighter. After the cycle goes off, the lights go dim
again.
Recently, it was mentioned by someone that came and checked on the
water meter that he got shocked. Any relationship between all of this?
Reply to
zeke
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Sounds like you have a loose neutral connection either in your panel, in your meter base, or at the transformer. Call the local utility. They have specialized equipment for tracking this down.
Charles Perry P.E.
Reply to
Charles Perry
I will guess it is a missing neutral on the power company side. If it is missing you are using your ground, be it a rod or water pipe, for a return. I had something like that once. At times I measured 110 on one line at the box and 130 on the other. Called the power company and they found a charred line at the service area for the neighborhood.
Reply to
Rich256
Yes, it sounds like everything is related. I agree with the others regarding the open neutral. The heavy loads pull the neutral toward that phase, which applies too high a voltage on the opposite phase. This is a serious condition that you need to fix ( by contacting the utility or a professional) as soon as possible.
Ben Miller
Reply to
Ben Miller
But first call the power company. It's free. I clearly remember what happened with mine. I called and told them that I would like to have them look at it and that there was nothing urgent about it. I hung up and not a minute later a truck rolled up in front. They just happened to be driving by when they got the call. They simply verified my measurements at the input to the house and headed out to the transformer or whatever.
Reply to
Rich256
Had a similar experience. After some work done on the transformer vault nearby, I was experiencing the same symptoms. Called the utility and said it wasn't urgent or anything. Within 20 minutes, a guy shows up with a meter and stuff to check it out. Found the problem was on their equipment, and a lineman crew showed up within the next hour. He said if they aren't working an outage, open neutrals get pretty high priority from his company (National Grid), as once the homeowner calls, they are on the hook for damages if it opens completely and frys anything in the house.
daestrom
Reply to
daestrom
Very serious. If you get seriously out of balance it can cause poorly made electrical equipment to burn out and catch fire. Call your electrical utility and locally licensed electrician out for a service call first thing in the morning. Unplug any expensive electronics and the cheap electronics when you are not actually using them.
--Dale
Reply to
Dale Farmer
going on and people getting shocked is due to loose neutrals.
Reply to
gnoge

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