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Re-wired house and now all lights dim/flicker

I recently purchased a 1930s craftsman and hired a recommended electrical company to put in a new masthead, new meter, new 200amp panel, and completely rewire the house. Throughout the work I repeatedly pointed out that my lights now flicker/dim randomly or when something turns on (AC, heater, microwave, vacuum, even the blender). On the final day of work, the main electician called the power company out to see if there was a problem on the power company's end. The power company did some tinkering on their end and said it was all fine. I had the power company rep and my electrician both come inside and watch my lights as I turned on the blender. The power company said, "yeah that's normal. You will have a dip in power when you turn things on." My electrican agreed. I argued that I will not be able to accept flickering lights after paying thousands of dollars for a newly wired house, and if it continued I would have my electrician back out. It has now been several months, and the lights still flicker. Today, one circuit blew and I went to turn it back on at the panel but the breaker will not turn on and only stays in the neutral position. The electrician is sending one of his workers out to take a look at it. Mind you, the "workers" are the ones who wired the entire job. I am a mother of 2 and feel he is not giving it to me straight. I do not think flickering lights are "normal". Please help! 

Re: Re-wired house and now all lights dim/flicker


That is absolutely NOT normal. That means that the wiring is not large enough to carry/supply the load correctly. That also means that the panel is not balancing the load. There are many factors that can cause things like this. What type of panel was used? What type pf breakers? Who is the manufacture of each? How many items are on one single circuit? What size wire was used on what circuits? Microwave should be on its own circuit. I never mix lights and power on the same circuit. I also never put all power in a single room on a single circuit. I split the room in half, and use two seperate circuits, that are located on opposite sides of the panel for each circuit in that one room. That being said, I never share a single circuit between different rooms. That way if I ever need to work on that room, I will still have power and all lights in the same room, or at least right outside in the hallway. I also would never use # 14 wire. I use #12 and where possible/needed,(like a longer run from the panels) I use #10 for power and light circuits. The NEC states that a 30 amp dryer circuit can use #10 solid wire. I used #6 copper. The smaller the wire, the more resistance, in turn the hotter the wire will become when in use. Did they replace all the boxes that were in the walls? Did they replace all the devices?, and I mean every single one of them. You should have insisted on them attaching the wires to the devices via the screws, and not the quick back-stab holes. The wires will work loose quickly as the wires heat and cool over a short time. Is the Electrical company licensed? What did the Inspector say about this issue? Did you pull a permit for this work? The inspector would have caught this and told the Electrician that is it not correct. Look at the permit to find the inspectors name, call them and have them come back out and inspect the entire job again. Did you use Aluminum or copper wire feeding the meter base? What size wire? How far is the meter base from the transformer?

I just completed a complete re-wire of our Victorian house. It had a small 60amp fuse panel. I replaced that with a 600amp "Square D QO" breakers. Using 3 seperate 200amp panels, one for each floor, and a 100amp sub panel for the kitchen. I also used lerger wire than the NEC requires. All #12 or #10 for branch circuits. There is never anything wrong with using a larger wire. The NEC also requires that some room outlets be AFCI/GFCI. I used AFCI/GFCI breakers on all the circuits, not at the outlets. This means that the wires leading to the devices are also protected. I also use "MC" cased wiring. Not romex. Mice and squirrels love the taste of the rubber jacket on romex wire. Nothing will ever chew on the Metalic clad cable. I would never purchase anything like this from any of the big box stores. I do not have one single junction box on any circuit in my house. Everything can be easily reached from within the device boxes.

As I stated earlier, there are many things that can cause what you are experiencing. The quality of material is only one. The quality of work is another. There are many people like me that are available to consult before the work is started. After the work is completed, it not the time to be asking these types of questions. Your only recourse is to hire another electrical company to come out and load test everything. And be prepared for them to tell you the only way to fix this is to pull all that out and start over. But it beats having your house burn due to an overloaded circuit. Remember this, your home owners insurance will not pay off if there was not a permit pulled for this type of work.


Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

Re: Re-wired house and now all lights dim/flicker

 I am not an ELECTICIAN but have seen this happen many times check the incoming wires at the meter base terminals the lugs are loose or NOT torqued tight.

Same with the Wire lugs at the fuse box at the main breaker one is loose.

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