On Wed, 09 May 2007 14:38:56 GMT ehsjr wrote: | 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.