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74 posts

Master Geek


#265566 28-Jan-2020 13:06
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We live in a relatively new suburb and the house is under 10 years old. 

 

 

 

I don't think I've noticed this in the past but lately I've noticed that the lights would flicker slightly when I use some appliances. 

 


Is this of concern? 

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  #2408247 28-Jan-2020 14:48
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It might be unrelated however my sister in Wellington had a similar thing.  We put the kettle on one day when visiting and the house built in the 90s went dark.  Called the power company who logged a job with the local lines company.  They arrived and discovered their road side mains fuse had impressively blown which he showed me.

 

Got talking to their tech and turns out it's relatively common as the fuses age especially in a seismic zone.  He claimed the most obvious symptom leading up to it blowing was turning on high drain appliances (i.e. kettle, heater) and having the lights momentarily flicker which it had apparently been doing for months.  He reckoned the fuse was likely original from when the house was built and was surprised as said they "typically only last 10 years".  I'm very suspicious of that as I don't think I've ever heard of anyone's road side fuse blowing whereas if what he claimed was true you'd hear about it all the time.

 

Fuse replaced and got us to turn lights on and start the kettle.  Low and behold, no flicker.  Not sure if you could have it checked to rule it out as electricians probably won't touch it being line company property and the lines company probably won't front up to check it unless you go dark.


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  #2408276 28-Jan-2020 15:40
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It could be a faulty neutral connection in the service pillar, (quite likely)  it could also be a bad connection somewhere else in your mains cable, (not as likely)  or it could be you have an undersized mains/network cables or transformer (depends who did your subdivision) All these things can be checked if you really care (by the right people)





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  #2408280 28-Jan-2020 15:51
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Groucho:

 

He reckoned the fuse was likely original from when the house was built and was surprised as said they "typically only last 10 years".  I'm very suspicious of that as I don't think I've ever heard of anyone's road side fuse blowing whereas if what he claimed was true you'd hear about it all the time.

 

 

Our pole fuse blew, right after we got Electric Kiwi and were pushing the free hour of power quite hard. We were under the fuse limit, but the fuse holder was apparently faulty or damaged. Not ideal when you have a few month old baby who wants warm milk, but we had a gas cooker for emergencies.




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Master Geek


  #2408282 28-Jan-2020 15:59
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timmmay:

 

Groucho:

 

He reckoned the fuse was likely original from when the house was built and was surprised as said they "typically only last 10 years".  I'm very suspicious of that as I don't think I've ever heard of anyone's road side fuse blowing whereas if what he claimed was true you'd hear about it all the time.

 

 

Our pole fuse blew, right after we got Electric Kiwi and were pushing the free hour of power quite hard. We were under the fuse limit, but the fuse holder was apparently faulty or damaged. Not ideal when you have a few month old baby who wants warm milk, but we had a gas cooker for emergencies.

 

 

 

 

What's your record? 

 

 

 

My best was 37.2% and used up 19.6kWh that day - so about 7.3kW for free that day. 

 

 




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Master Geek


  #2408285 28-Jan-2020 16:02
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mdooher:

 

It could be a faulty neutral connection in the service pillar, (quite likely)  it could also be a bad connection somewhere else in your mains cable, (not as likely)  or it could be you have an undersized mains/network cables or transformer (depends who did your subdivision) All these things can be checked if you really care (by the right people)

 

 

 

 

Is it likely to get worse or can I just let it be, it's really quite minor. 

 


Just don't want it to slowly get worse. 

 

 


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  #2408287 28-Jan-2020 16:05
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turtleattacks:

 

What's your record? 

 

My best was 37.2% and used up 19.6kWh that day - so about 7.3kW for free that day. 

 

 

49%, but used very little that day - we were home in the morning during the free hour, but weren't home the rest of the day. Typically 20 - 30% most days. Recent best is 28% on 21kw used, with 8.2kw free.




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Master Geek


  #2408290 28-Jan-2020 16:08
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timmmay:

 

turtleattacks:

 

What's your record? 

 

My best was 37.2% and used up 19.6kWh that day - so about 7.3kW for free that day. 

 

 

49%, but used very little that day - we were home in the morning during the free hour, but weren't home the rest of the day. Typically 20 - 30% most days. Recent best is 28% on 21kw used, with 8.2kw free.

 

 

 

 

Off topic but the difference between your 'best' day and your 'worse' day is probably only about $1-$2 tops.... so it's a really huge false economy. 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  #2408301 28-Jan-2020 16:32
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turtleattacks:

 

Off topic but the difference between your 'best' day and your 'worse' day is probably only about $1-$2 tops.... so it's a really huge false economy. 

 

 

Yep at the moment varying between 5kw and 8kw free, which is $1 - $1.60, so a 60c difference. All in all, an average of 25% power savings through hour of power saves about $450 per year, plus the 10% top-up bonus saves another 9% or about $150, so all in all EK saves us $600 per year.


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  #2408302 28-Jan-2020 16:33
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I had a similar issue where my lights would flicker, esp the LED ones.

 

Turns out my Neutral to the Pole was broken and my return was via my Earth. This was quite a dangerous situation to be in, as I then blew my pole fuses and vector refused to reconnect my house until I resolved.

 

 

 

I would get a sparky to do a earth leakage test.


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  #2408331 28-Jan-2020 17:47
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turtleattacks:

 

We live in a relatively new suburb and the house is under 10 years old. 

 

 

 

I don't think I've noticed this in the past but lately I've noticed that the lights would flicker slightly when I use some appliances. 

 


Is this of concern? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) get your electrician to check out the problem, sounds like a loose connection somewhere in the mains.

 

2) should your electrician not find anything you should contact your power company, as it could be a loose connection at the network fuse.

 

 

 

Don't put this off a loose connection generates a lot of heat this is what electrical fires are made of.

 

 


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Master Geek


  #2409666 29-Jan-2020 13:26
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A loose phase will get you lights dimming, and maybe a fire if it's arcing somewhere.

 

A loose mains neutral is much more severe than a loose phase. Because of the MEN system we use, any volt drop in the supply neutral also shows up on the earth system. When that's single-digit volts, it's fine. If it becomes 2-3 digits, touching 'true ground' and anything grounded to your electrical system (including appliance chassis and metal water pipes) at the same time can cause a shock. You will also get the same symptoms as a loose phase (on a single phase supply).

 

Some dimming may be normal simply because there is volt drop in the cable, but not much if you're within ~30m of the street in an urban area. A rural area with your own supply line is a different story. It getting worse is also a bad sign. If your power is overhead, you're more likely to have issues due to flexing etc. of conductors.

 

Denishar Woods is an example of why you really, really, really don't want this to happen and should know how to turn off your power quickly and preferably without touching anything earthed.


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Ultimate Geek


  #2409690 29-Jan-2020 13:53
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We also had a fuse blow recently, 1940's house and while I'm sure the fuse wasn't that old it was very old! (still attached to the house rather than the pole)

 

They moved it to the pole for us, had to do some repairs on the pole first as the cross post on the pole was wobbly. 

 

 

 

Same symptoms, lights dimming and flickering all the time until the house went dark one night. 


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