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General Electrical Question


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I need help from someone with fair amount of residential service to provide some feedback.


My house and the house next door have service from a pole with a single transformer. They have overhead 200 amp service and I have 400 amp underground service.


A couple of years ago, they told me that at certain parts of sequences, their TV would get static and buzz. I noticed that the #4 ground wire to their meter was cut and there was no ground rod. I can only assume that someone stole the rod after the house was final inspected. Note that the house was built during the "boom" here, received a final CO, but sat for almost a year before it was sold.


I went out an bought a 10' ground rod, installed it, checked the resistance and then re-attached the #4 wire. I didn't hear anymore complaints so I assumed the problem to be solved. This past year I got complaints from them that they had to replace a TV because of disruptions to their service and their lights dim occasionally.


Keep in mind that we had gotten into some heated arguments about traffic and noise so I am not sure if what they are saying is true or just an attempt to make things difficult for me.


I know that my lights in the house will dim when I have several lights on, particularly during "shimmer" effects, but only very slightly. You have to be looking at them to notice it. With every single bulb on (130,000), I pull roughly 240 amps.


Not being 100% clear on how service transformers function, I have the following questions:

  1. Is what they are saying is happening possible?
  2. Would it cause damage?
  3. Is this my problem or the power companies problem? (legally, not ethically)
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Call the power company I had an issue where everyone on the same transformer would have dimming and flashing lights not only at Christmas time but when some power tools or a vacuum was turned on to certain plugs. After I did some checking I found a one volt difference in the power drop and then tested on that line. I could male the lights dim and flicker with as small as a 5 amp load on. It ended up being a loose connection on the transformer and the transformer had to be replaced.



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I was thinking along the same lines as Anthony.


A house without a good earth ground is a disaster waiting to happen. They could have lost their lives or the house burn down without that ground. Good for you to step up and help them.

Edited by Max-Paul
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Not sure which is worse, the house with no ground or the loose connection on the transformer. I have only seen one of those blow in my life, at least close up. I thought someone dropped a nuclear bomb and I was 150' away. They had the power company come out one night during the show, but not sure if it did any good at all. I guess I will call them and ask if they can swing by and at least check it out. That way at least I am being proactive.


Thanks for the responses.

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