Neighbors air conditioner dimming my lights

I've noticed that whenever my neighbor's air conditioner kicks on, all the lights in my house dim. These are ~50 year old houses, so it
could be that our electrical systems are just old (?), but I remember hearing a story of someone's utility lines getting crossed with their neighbor's... Anyone have a feel for if this is something I should look into, like call the electric company or something?
Thanks! Kevin
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On 5/8/07 9:28 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@e65g2000hsc.googlegroups.com, "Kevin"

You should look into it. It is likely that you are being fed of the same transformer. A bad connection to the transformer can do that.
Then question is how much of a dip. -- Fermez le Bush--about two years to go.
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Kevin wrote:

That does remind me of one place where I lived - when I opened the main house breaker, all the lights went out - next door as well... The builder of my place had done a deal with the existing house next door and run a cable.. joined in under the concrete floor slab.
I assume that you are in the USA and will leave it to USA 'leckies to advise you. But I would be tempted to see if the air con next door stops, if your power is cut!
In the UK, a number of terraced houses were built with incomplete barriers between loft spaces. Certainly that provided the opportunity to "accidently" link in to next door's lighting circuits..
--
Sue







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Thanks Sue, that is a great idea for a simple check to see if my power is feeding their A/C. This morning I shut off my main breaker and their A/C kept running, and I checked my electric meter and it was not at all moving. So that's really good to know.
I'm not sure what the first post's mention of the bad connection to the transformer would mean, but I probably should call the electric company to ask about this.
Thanks both! Kevin
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Kevin wrote:

I went through precisely that problem. In my case there were 2 prime causes: 1) The transformer was too far from the houses (neighbor's and mine) 2) The transformer served too many houses.
Both the "too far" and the "too many" phrases were Consolidated Edison's (the power utility) statements. Their own rules required that the transformer be closer and that it serve fewer houses. They fixed the problem by adding a new transformer directly across the street from my neighbor and I. We are the first two houses served - we used to be #13 and #14.
Several of my neighbors came to me after Con Ed did the work. They wondered who I knew and told me their dimming problems stopped when the new transformer was installed.
Bottom line - the Con Ed system was old (~ 50 years, just like yours) and additional houses had been built since it was first installed.
Ed
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| Kevin wrote: |> I've noticed that whenever my neighbor's air conditioner kicks on, all |> the lights in my house dim. These are ~50 year old houses, so it |> could be that our electrical systems are just old (?), but I remember |> hearing a story of someone's utility lines getting crossed with their |> neighbor's... Anyone have a feel for if this is something I should |> look into, like call the electric company or something? |> |> Thanks! |> Kevin |> | | I went through precisely that problem. In my | case there were 2 prime causes: | 1) The transformer was too far from the houses | (neighbor's and mine) | 2) The transformer served too many houses. | | Both the "too far" and the "too many" phrases were | Consolidated Edison's (the power utility) statements. | Their own rules required that the transformer be closer | and that it serve fewer houses. They fixed the problem | by adding a new transformer directly across the street | from my neighbor and I. We are the first two houses | served - we used to be #13 and #14. | | Several of my neighbors came to me after Con Ed did | the work. They wondered who I knew and told me their | dimming problems stopped when the new transformer | was installed. | | Bottom line - the Con Ed system was old (~ 50 years, | just like yours) and additional houses had been built | since it was first installed.
They obviously missed the opportunity to (know to) upgrade that branch of the distribution network as each house contractor applied for new facility work to hook up each house.
I wonder how many houses turning things on to the max it would have taken to "blow" the transformer.
An apartment I used to live in, 16 townhouse units, lost power one day due to the MV tap feeding the transformer itself melting right in the middle (not at a connection). I could see it broken. When the utility crews were working on it, they replaced the transformer with a larger one, too, saying that the original one was too small. But I wonder if maybe it just shorted out inside. Next to "go" will probably be the triplexes going down to each of the 2 buildings (8 units per building). They didn't impress me as very substantial.
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