Strange electrical issue
#11
  
Some of my house lights suddenly got brighter and burned out. Others when turned on shine 2x as bright as normal. I checked the fuse box and all are one. I unplugged several extention cords and other appliances. My wife was sewing at the time and using a pole lamp for extra lighting and her iron was plugged in but not in use. I'm not sure what caused this and will see if I can get an electrician out to check. Any ideas for me?
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#12
  Re: Strange electrical issue by Birdseye Bill (Some of my house lig...)
(03-15-2019, 03:11 PM)Birdseye Bill Wrote: Some of my house lights suddenly got brighter and burned out. Others when turned on shine 2x as bright as normal. I checked the fuse box and all are one. I unplugged several extention cords and other appliances. My wife was sewing at the time and using a pole lamp for extra lighting and her iron was plugged in but not in use. I'm not sure what caused this and will see if I can get an electrician out to check. Any ideas for me?

I would check the voltage in several circuits.  Maybe a nearby transformer isn't working properly and you're getting a voltage surge?  

John
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#13
  Re: RE: Strange electrical issue by jteneyck ([quote='Birdseye Bil...)
(03-15-2019, 03:26 PM)jteneyck Wrote: I would check the voltage in several circuits.  Maybe a nearby transformer isn't working properly and you're getting a voltage su
 You have a open neutral.    Most likely a bad or open connection between your panel and the transformer supplying it.    Call your Electric company for a service call. Before electrician.
(DON'T LET THIS GO ON )   Call now ! Roly
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#14
  Re: RE: Strange electrical issue by Roly ([quote='jteneyck' pi...)
(03-15-2019, 03:34 PM)Roly Wrote:  You have a open neutral.    Most likely a bad or open connection between your panel and the transformer supplying it.    Call your Electric company for a service call. Before electrician.  
(DON'T LET THIS GO ON )   Call now !        Roly

What he said.  Do it now, and tell them you lost the neutral.  It's that bad.

Your grounds are tied to that neutral, and if the neutral voltage wanders too far off zero, you'll be getting shocked touching anything with a grounded frame/case in addition to burning stuff out. 

Half your circuits will be experiencing high voltage, and half low voltage, because the zero reference voltage at the neutral won't be zero any more since it's not well connected to the center tap in the transformer, or the transformer has gone bad.  Usually, it's a corroded or broken conductor in an underground service, or a corroded splice at the pole or the weatherhead (where the utility's service conductors join your service entrance conductors, at those big, lumpy splices).
Tom

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#15
  Re: RE: Strange electrical issue by TDKPE ([quote='Roly' pid='7...)
(03-15-2019, 03:48 PM)TDKPE Wrote: What he said.  Do it now, and tell them you lost the neutral.  It's that bad.

Your grounds are tied to that neutral, and if the neutral voltage wanders too far off zero, you'll be getting shocked touching anything with a grounded frame/case in addition to burning stuff out. 

Half your circuits will be experiencing high voltage, and half low voltage, because the zero reference voltage at the neutral won't be zero any more since it's not well connected to the center tap in the transformer, or the transformer has gone bad.  Usually, it's a corroded or broken conductor in an underground service, or a corroded splice at the pole or the weatherhead (where the utility's service conductors join your service entrance conductors, at those big, lumpy splices).

Thanks for all the great advice. I did call the power company and they told me it was an internal problem and to have an electrician look at it. I just finished with the electrician so I was not ignoring you guys. It turns out that it was a neutral short at the junction box. He showed me the cooked wire. 2.5 hrs later he got it straightened out. I'm thankful that there are professionals that know their trade and this guy was one of them. Fortunately, all I lost was a bunch of lightbulbs. My electronics are all fine, I think.
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#16
  Re: RE: Strange electrical issue by Birdseye Bill ([quote='TDKPE' pid='...)
(03-15-2019, 08:00 PM)Birdseye Bill Wrote: Thanks for all the great advice. I did call the power company and they told me it was an internal problem and to have an electrician look at it. I just finished with the electrician so I was not ignoring you guys. It turns out that it was a neutral short at the junction box. He showed me the cooked wire. 2.5 hrs later he got it straightened out. I'm thankful that there are professionals that know their trade and this guy was one of them. Fortunately, all I lost was a bunch of lightbulbs. My electronics are all fine, I think.

Good to hear. I had a neighbor loose a couple TVs etc because of a neutral that was never tightened at the transformer. It took him 4 months before they finally sent someone out to look at it. (Oncor) He was able to get them to cover the cost of replacement electronics but it took almost as long at having them check the transformer. 

    I have seen many poor splices on above ground wiring here. Lots of melted covers on the splices because they don't do a good job on the crimp. Oh and don't get me started on them forgetting to order transformers for commercial projects....
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#17
  Re: Strange electrical issue by Birdseye Bill (Some of my house lig...)
Had that happen when checking out a problem with a heater in a mobile home. Had 240v from one leg to ground if I remember. Very dangerous!

Had to replace his in ground cable to house.
"There are no strangers- only friends I haven't met.
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#18
  Re: RE: Strange electrical issue by daddo (Had that happen when...)
Glad you got it fixed.  Sounds like your house has what is called multi wire circuits where two 120v circuits share a common neutral.   All multi wire circuits should have a double pole breaker so both circuits are disconnected at the same time.   Also the two circuits must be connected so there is the 240v between them.   I don't know if they are common in your area or not but glad you found a electrician that knows about them.  While that type of wiring is legal it is not used very much because of the problem you had.  I haven't seen any in my area
 Roly.
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#19
  Re: RE: Strange electrical issue by Robert Adams ([quote='Birdseye Bil...)
(03-15-2019, 11:03 PM)Robert Adams Wrote:  a neutral that was never tightened at the transformer. It took him 4 months before they finally sent someone out to look at it. 


Wow. I had fluctuating voltage after the power poles, transformer and line to my house were replaced. They were there within an hour.
Mark

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#20
  Re: RE: Strange electrical issue by Roly (Glad you got it fixe...)
(03-16-2019, 08:46 AM)Roly Wrote: Glad you got it fixed.  Sounds like your house has what is called multi wire circuits where two 120v circuits share a common neutral.   All multi wire circuits should have a double pole breaker so both circuits are disconnected at the same time.   Also the two circuits must be connected so there is the 240v between them.   I don't know if they are common in your area or not but glad you found a electrician that knows about them.  While that type of wiring is legal it is not used very much because of the problem you had.  I haven't seen any in my area
 Roly.

I had/have that in my house.  When they added on a garage to the side of my house, they moved the breaker panel, and i guess as a cost saving technique, they ran a few 14/3 runs to save from having to run multiple 14/2 runs.  None of these circuits were on double breakers.  I've gotten them all put on double breakers and have been slowing switching them to individual 14/2 home runs.
Kind of a pain when I need to work on one circuit, have to kill both--two rooms go dark.  Can't wait to have these straightened out.

Colin
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