Question about flickering lights in home.

Three apartment home, two apt are on one panel, home is about 25 - 35 years old I think. When washer is "washing" all the lights flicker, as if from the
inductance from the washer motor. Add a Kettle, & then hair dryer, the lights dim quite a bit, with the flicker also present. Another friend has the same problem, with a new washer, so it's not a bad washer. I'm thinking bad main ground at the water pipe, on the buss bar ground in the panel, or a loose contact in the outside meter. I haven't done any measurements yet. Will I need an RMS meter, to see the "pulsing"? Or will an oscilloscope let me see the fluctuations? Thanks, Dani.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dani wrote:

Maybe something simple like a screwdriver will fix the problem. You might have a loose neutral (grounded conductor) wire somewhere.
Dean
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:
| Dani wrote: |> Three apartment home, two apt are on one panel, home is about 25 - 35 |> years old I think. |> When washer is "washing" all the lights flicker, as if from the |> inductance from the washer motor. Add a Kettle, & then hair dryer, the |> lights dim quite a bit, with the flicker also present. Another friend |> has the same problem, with a new washer, so it's not a bad washer. I'm |> thinking bad main ground at the water pipe, on the buss bar ground in |> the panel, or a loose contact in the outside meter. I haven't done any |> measurements yet. Will I need an RMS meter, to see the "pulsing"? Or |> will an oscilloscope let me see the fluctuations? Thanks, Dani. | | | Maybe something simple like a screwdriver will fix the problem. | You might have a loose neutral (grounded conductor) wire somewhere.
Someone who doesn't consider there could be a loose connection, especially a loose neutral, in this situation, should not be using a screwdriver near electricity.
--
|---------------------------------------/----------------------------------|
| Phil Howard KA9WGN (ka9wgn.ham.org) / Do not send to the address below |
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If I understand you correctly, the trouble affects two residences off the same service in the same way at the same time? If so, go over all the connections where your loads become common, and have the utility company check back to their transformer. It is almost certainly a bad joint, or joints somewhere.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
----------------------------

It isn't inductance. Any AC multimeter will be usable. Check the voltage on different circuits. You may have a bad neutral connection and load on one leg of the 120/240 supply can draw the voltage down on that leg, raising it on the other leg. The washer probably has a pulsating load as it reverses the impeller and this would cause flicker. Let us know what voltages you are getting on different circuits and how switching loads on and off affect the voltages. This may help determine the problem. Also check between an outlet (both "neutral" and hot") to a known ground connection- often a waterpipe or the point where the main supply is grounded.
If you are not comfortable with doing this and lack any experience, pay an electrician to check. term Savings don't help widows in this case.
--

Don Kelly snipped-for-privacy@shawcross.ca
remove the X to answer
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.