Lighting circuit problem in WA

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Just wondering if anyone can help here.

Just had a new house built and we are getting a problem with the
lights flickering. The builder's electricians have changed the circuit
breakers, changed the RCD protecting the lights and have swapped the
circuit to a different phase (we are on 3 phase). No joy.

In a 10 minute period all ceiling lights might flicker for, say 10
seconds or so but it isn't predictable and doesn't appear to be
associated to any particular pattern of power usage. The flicker isn't
major, just enough to be noticeable and irritating. The light fittings
are mixed inluding dichroic, 10w halogen and 60 incandescent.

Western power have been out to check the dome, pole, local transformer
and board saying all were OK. They put a voltage recorder on for 36
hours and didn't detect any sags or spikes outside of the 240-250V
range.

Understandably, the electricians don't want a bar of it but I'm
obviously at a loss.

I'm guessing at
a: Loose connection in one of the fittings or in the roof space
b: There is a lag but Western Power can't fix it
c: Something faulty on the board.

Can anyone help me pick a favourite?

One other question. The cabling in the roof space is contained in HPM
boxes but seems to be simply taped together (might be soldered
underneath but I don't want to mess with it). Is that normal practice?
I believe the UK have to have physical connectors in their junction
boxes.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling but I'd be really grateful for some
help

Nick


Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA



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** Yep -  one of your neighbours is using an arc welder.

 Car body repairs, metal fabrication  etc .....

 SFA you can do about it.



..... Phil




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Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA


nick snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

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If the power source for the halogen is switch mode it might go into
hysterics due to some local panel beater doing welding in his backyard
on same phase <guh> But since voltage recorder doesnt register it, then
sounds like a dodgy screw joint which interrupts due to magnetic and/or
thermal effects, makes the screw act like a over current/heat switch,
so
a. Drive the lights from somewhere else on the ceiling supply
b. trace back all the fittings, bear in mind some didgy wiring has
breaks *inside* the insulation, they only use cheap single core most of
the time so that is so likely to happen and if its just touching most of
the time then some current draw can be enough for it to go discontinuous
and act like a intermittent, have seen stranger things happen <sigh>

--
Regards
Mike
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Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA


A very rare but possible answer also is that you may have a ham radio
operator in your area with a high powered transmitter. If you are running
fluro lights it is quiet possible to pick up the stray rf signal which makes
the lights glow with the power off. Not sure if it can have any effect on
lights when they are on though. You can hold a fluro above your head in
parts of sth brisbane and get a nice glow going at night.



Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA



<nick snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com


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**  That will make a loud crackle in a AM radio tuned between stations.

     Try it.


.......   Phil




Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA


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I would check every fitting for loose screws.  Have had several new
fittings with internal wiring between the connector and the bulb socket
simply not connected, or loose.
One bad connection can make all the lights on that circuit jitter as the
load comes on and off.

--
Regards,

Adrian Jansen           adrianjansen at internode dot on dot net
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Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA



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snip---

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If Western power can't detect it, how about trying to section isolate it
to either mains/switchboard, lighting circuit, or power circuit?

Plug a lead light or bed lamp, into a power outlet in a room you use
most often.

If you catch the lamp flickering at the same rate, then it is mains, or
switchboard, and not a lighting circuit.

Don...





--
Don McKenzie
E-Mail Contact Page:               http://www.dontronics.com/e-mail.html

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Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA



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just to add to that, or mains induced.
Yes it could be a nearby xmitter, welder, ice manufacturer, etc.

Don...



--
Don McKenzie
E-Mail Contact Page:               http://www.dontronics.com/e-mail.html

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Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA


Thanks for the responses everyone.

I'm going to check every light fitting this weekend and I'll certainly
check lights on power points although I haven't noticed any flicker
from those.

I still think that my neighbours would have the same problem if the
issue were an external influence from a mig, transmitter etc, but the
AM radio test sounds good.

I'll post back with the results, good or bad.

I'm still curious about the the roof space wiring and whether taping
the cable bundles together is standard practice rather than using some
type of screw in junction box. Any thoughts on that?



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Probably "bue point" connectors hidden inside the tape, which are quite kosher.

Or could be those twist-on types, which DON'T give a good connection.

Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA




I'm going to check every light fitting this weekend and I'll certainly
check lights on power points although I haven't noticed any flicker
from those.



****** Got any airconditioning in the house?Perhaps an larger,older style
window unit?

Broken rotor bars in the motor can cause the sort of problem you describe.

Inverter technology air conditioning can cause a similiar problem.

Brian G


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"Brian g"

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 **  Hmmmmmm,

 that smacks of the "voice of experience"   ......




......   Phil


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Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA


On 22 Feb 2007 04:24:39 -0800, nick snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com put finger to
keyboard and composed:

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I'd take Don's advice to determine whether or not the problem is
confined to your lighting circuit. If it is, I'd then find out which
light is closest to the breaker and leave this one on while switching
the others off. If the first light doesn't flicker, then keep
switching on more lights until the problem shows up. A high resistance
connection in the circuit should not be a problem until you try to
pass current through it.

- Franc Zabkar
--
Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA



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Australian Rules.
Just had this very problem in a 2 switch plate supplying 2 lights.
At first glance all looked OK but with the power off it turned out the 3
wires in the LOOP terminal on one switch were a bit loose.
Tightened the screw and all is well.

--
John G.



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Had the same problem in only one room in the house.  After a bit of piss
farting about it turned out to be a dodgy connector that was loose.  I
sometimes wonder where some sparkies get their ticket from. :P  -:(

Cheers,
Alan



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If you inspected some of the work being done by long term sparkies you
would never employ one again .

Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA



Had the same problem in only one room in the house.  After a bit of piss
farting about it turned out to be a dodgy connector that was loose.



***** Only a non sparkie would "piss fart" around,anyone who had the
slightest clue would know how to troubleshoot such a small problem!

Brian g


Re: Lighting circuit problem in WA

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Brian "brainless" g.  Get out of the wrong side of bed today?
Perhaps for the totally inept like you I should have put inverted commas
around the piss farting around part.
By "piss farting around" I meant to imply the unnecessary (IMO) task of
having to pull the light assembly and cabling through the hole in the
ceiling to discover the dodgy workmanship.  The sparkie in question would
not return to investigate the fault he created by doing a poor installation
job in the first place, so seeing no point in paying for yet another
incompetent f***wit to make things worse I applied a small amount of
attained knowledge and investigated and repaired the fault myself.

Maybe Brian g is one of those sparkies who needs to be out of the industry?
Who knows?  Of all the f***wit sparkies I've had to endure over the years I
often wonder how they get their qualifications.  Kind of reminds me of my
TAFE relief lecturing days when some stupid apprentice was still convinced
it was okay to check the mains voltage in a switchboard with an el cheapo
multimeter on the 10A current measuring range.  Thank God for the big red
isolation button. !!!

Cheers,
Alan




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I had three phase power put on my house the same day I had ducted air installed

Not long after, lights in bathroom, toilet, second and third bedrooms would
flicker occasionally

I had a fluoro in third bedroom - take it out - all lights OK.
Put it in and the occasional flicker would come back.
All other lights no problems

The air conditioning sparkies who I called back to fix it (assumption - they
disturbed the wiring while crawling around my roof space) found it interesting
about this intermittent flickering, but couldn't find the problem

I'm getting too old to bugger around in the roof space,  but they weren't going
to fix it

So, I, who has an electronics cert (not a sparky ticket in sight) took my 60
year old body and a multimeter into the roof and found the problem in about 15
minutes -  it ended up being a loose loop connection in the light in the main
bedroom.

I'd follow Franc's advice if I were you, then call the electricians back after
you've found it, and demand they fix it. That way you get a certificate of
compliance. Tell us how long they took

Argusy


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I'm not sure about other states but in Western Australia you could
threaten to ring the electrical inspectors if they don't come back to
fix it up. I can't remember off the top of of my head what department
they are but the inspectors carry a big stick and don't hesitate to use
it. "Poor workmanship" is sufficient justification for a largish fine
and a black mark on your (electricians) record.

Friday

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