Flickering and brown outs

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by paulmars, Mar 21, 2021.

  1. paulmars

    paulmars Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    This is in my home and none of my neighbors have this issue. Two of us get power from the same wire coming from one electrical pole. He says he don't have this issue either, but I must consider that maybe he just don't notice.

    Occasionally (like once or a few times a day) lights flicker and/or go dim for one to a few seconds. It might happen once or repeat itself once or twice after the span of 5 or so minutes. Then it might not happen again for hours or until the next day. The filament bulbs are the only ones to dim. The LED and fluorescent will flicker, but not dim. I think that is because of the bulb's circuit capacitance.

    The vent fan in the bath will audibly slow on occasion for a few seconds. Nothing else in house appears to be effected, but that might be because most other things here (like computers) have internal regulated power supplies to safeguard against this. Maybe it would occur with my blender, but i just haven't used it at the right time.

    Ive confirmed that this occurs on four different electrical circuits. It was noticed one two, then I left the lights turned on for two more electrical circuits for the last two weeks and noticed occasional flickering in those circuits too. Both had fluorescent, so I swapped with filament and now I see flickering and brownouts, all just lasting 1 to a few seconds.

    Everything in the circuit box looks good and feels tight.

    I have my DVM left plugged into an electrical outlet, but I never get there fast enough to see the brown out voltage.


  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    Some have a peak and minimum voltage memory setting, but I think the sampling on those may be too slow... At least the cheap meter I have does not seem to pick up short DC excursions from my minimal experimenting. There are probably others.

    Also, some UPSs have low power and overvoltage detection. My UPS logs are not as useful as they should be.
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  4. paulmars

    paulmars Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    called power company yesterday. they got here in 30 minutes. although they didn't tell us or tell us they were going to cut power. Which i expect they would need to, but it would have been nice to tell us. I looked and saw them working on pole. 30 minutes later it was back on for 10 minutes, then off again for another 20. After it come on again, I noticed power truck was gone. I looked and see that s/he also did work in the meter box on house. No flickering since, bu it's really too early to be sure it solved. I expected pwr co would call me or something to tell me its done, but so far no word.
    Reach4 likes this.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    They have no requirement to tell you, but if you were around to ask, they’d probably tell you. My guess, a loose or corroded connection.

    Sometimes, an AM radio can be a good detector for that sort of thing, just like how an electrical storm might make listening nearly impossible...the sparks create RF noise in that band.
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