How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Kevin Your Own Question

Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1131
Experience:  27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
71008832
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
Kevin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hi, we have a fairly new custom house, completed in Oct 2010.

Resolved Question:

Hi, we have a fairly new custom house, completed in Oct 2010. Since moving in we have been replacing a large number of light bulbs – approximately 4-6 fluorescents and 1-3 pot lights every month. They are on several different circuits.
We have also noticed that when the living room pot lights are dimmed they noticeably dim briefly when the furnace kicks in. They may dim slightly when on full, but I can’t tell.
Also, and something that may be unrelated, we have been having issues with our built-in fridge; the company has had to replace the computer in addition to other parts twice.
We called Hydro, they say everything is fine outside the house and the electrician who did the install says he can’t see anything wrong inside.
Any suggestions as to what the issue might be? Anything I can check or look for?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

Hello Dan..........my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!

 

1) The problem that you indicate is typically caused by "over-voltage". Over-voltage can either be caused by the local electrical utility transformer or the over-voltage may be smaller types of electrical surges that are occurring out on the utility distribution lines. Often, surges are storm related during strong lightening storms. Surges can also be attributed to the utility electrical distribution equipment and are not always caused by a lightening storm.

 

2) Do any of your neighbors experience similar problems with frequently replacing light bulbs? Ask the neighbors on your side of the street if they are experiencing similar issues.

 

3) Some light bulb manufacturers actually manufacture incandescent bulbs that are rated as 130 volts and not 120 volts to compensate for this problem. Incandescent bulbs are more prone to burning out prematurely due to over-voltages delivered from the electrical utility. All electrical utilities have a % voltage tolerance to deliver electricity. Even though your service is rated as 120/240, at any given moment in time, the voltage is constantly fluctuating. One second it will be 120 volts, next second down to 117 volts, next second up to 123 volts, etc. This changing occurs all of the time in any electrical distribution system.

 

You may also want to try changing light bulbs to CFL type or possibly a different light bulb manufacturer to determine if the problem stays or goes away. Although, since you are also experiencing problems with the fridge, I suspect over-voltage is the problem and possibly not the actual light bulbs.

 

4) Since you have also experienced problems with the Hydro, I would speak to your local electrical utility and request that they perform a power quality analysis at your service meter in order to determine that they are supplying you with the correct voltage levels and within the % tolerance. The utility has a power quality monitoring device that they can connect to your electrical main service for a 1 or 2 week time period and the testing device will record any voltage fluctuations. If the problem is on their end, it will most likely be with their transformer. There is no cost to you for the utility to temporarily install the power quality monitoring device. Explain to them the frequent problems that you have been having.

 

5) If your furnace is a gas model, it should be on its own dedicated 20 amp circuit and not shared with any other parts of the house. Check your main electrical panel circuit breaker and determine if the furnace is on its own dedicated circuit and not shared with the living room can lights.

 

6) You may also consider installing a whole house panel surge protector as well as local surge protectors on your expensive electronics. All it takes is 1 good strong surge and it can destroy thousands of dollars worth of sensitive electronic equipment.

 

 

 

Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.

 

Otherwise, don't forget to rate me before you log Off.

 

The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at:http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician
..........Thanks..............Kevin!



Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1131
Experience: 27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
Kevin and 3 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thanks I'll call Hydro and talk with the neighbours although we are out in the country and most are older houses.Our furnace is gas, I'll check the circuit when I get home and we had been considering a whole house surge protector, maybe I'll get one sooner rather than later.


 


Thanks

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the positive service rating as well as the bonus Dan.............much appreciated!

 

Take care and have a great day..............Thanks....................Kevin!

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/mikepettinato/2009-9-4_41145_DSC005132.jpg Mike's Avatar

    Mike

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1425
    Licensed Master Electrician - OnQ Certified Data Voice Audio Video Installer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/WI/WireitUp/2012-6-17_18212_Photo00006.64x64.jpg Jason's Avatar

    Jason

    Service Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3278
    Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MI/MikeG2010/2012-6-7_192640_IMG01612.64x64.jpg Mike G.'s Avatar

    Mike G.

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    5318
    Proven Professional 45 years Experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/AssuredElectrical/2011-9-13_221243_me.64x64.gif AssuredElectrical's Avatar

    AssuredElectrical

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2149
    Contractor-40 Years in the ElectricalTrade
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/electrifier/2008-12-16_200429_headbob1.jpg electrifier's Avatar

    electrifier

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1454
    Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/rich03dungo/2010-3-17_101556_tshirt2.jpg Rich's Avatar

    Rich

    Master Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1115
    Over 35 years residential, commercial, industrial wiring, install, troubleshoot, service, maintain
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UR/urelectrician/2012-9-28_223652_JustAnswerPic.64x64.jpg Kevin's Avatar

    Kevin

    Licensed Electrician

    Satisfied Customers:

    993
    27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector