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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off... hello everyone. My name is Nicholas.

I am having a persisting electrical issue in my apartment. Way back in the Summer of 2016, my neighborhood experienced two blackouts. One that lasted a few seconds and a few weeks later, another that lasted around 15 hours. The second one took out my entire block on a Friday night. In between the time of the 1st and 2nd blackouts, our power levels were extremely weak. To the point where the lights and t.v. at my place would flicker off and on. When they weren't doing that, my lights and t.v. were a lot dimmer than usual. Like they were teetering on the brink of losing all power.

After the second blackout, power was fully restored and everything seemed fine. But I noticed, over the period of a few weeks... my t.v., lights and computer screen all began to get dimmer again. Right now, in 2018 (yes two years later), nothing has changed. Last January (2017), we had another quick-hitter power dip and at the time I was on my computer. It cut off and then restarted. As did the lights and t.v. in my living room. Ever since then, no more quick-hitter or long-lasting power drops. But the dim picture quality on my t.v. screen, p.c. screen and dimming lights continues to be a problem. My microwave and washing machine also sound a lot weaker when we're using them.

My roommate notices as she is sitting in her room reading, the lights all of a sudden will just get dimmer. We're not experiencing any crackling sounds in the walls, not smelling any smoke, no sparks have appeared anywhere so that's good I guess? I purchased one of those voltage testers recently and went through the whole house testing the voltage. Everything came back at around 122.6 or 123.9. As far as I know, anything severely under 120 is considered low voltage, correct?

So I would really appreciate it if I could get some theories on what the problem is here. Who should I be hassling to fix this, con edison or our landlord? I have contacted con edison a few times, to no avail. They either come back with a 'no problem' report after scouring the area, or have told me that I need to take it up with my building landlord. I don't think it's a building issue, because we have never had problems with the power until that quick-hitter two years ago. After that larger blackout, con edison supposedly repaired the problem. While we do 'have' power, there's obviously an underlying issue somewhere. Thanks for any help with this.
 

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Pickup a phone book, or twitter or something you kids all do nowadays which I don't quite know which it is and find a licensed electrician to come out and check the system. It could make the difference between life and death by fire and I am not kidding around. Call an electrician. A real one is best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am looking into that, but need some clarity on what the problem could be before I talk to the landlord and have him bring the guy out for a look. The blackouts from 2 years ago originated outside at the end of our block. Con Edison was responsible for coming out and restoring power. So if the aforementioned area is still the source of the problem? An electrician paying us a visit won't fix anything.

I don't feel we're in any danger. There's no smoke we smell in the building or our apartment, or popping sounds or anything. Our building lights (hallway and stoop) work just fine. But this is more of a major nuisance that has continued on for too long. I just want my lights, tv and desktop pc bright and shiny - and my appliances functioning at full strength again.
 

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The wiring in your unit is your landlords responsibility. He's the one to complain to about getting a licensed electrician out to check it. If you call one without notifying your landlord, and haven't made arrangements for payment, don't expect reimbursement.

If it's ConEd's problem, a licensed electrician will let you know, ConEd will give you the runaround. Check for a current license, not a Home Depot credit card. (that's a giveaway he's not an electrician) A licensed electrician won't have any problem with you asking to see his wallet card.

Your situation is not going to get solved on a web site, too many variables, and hands on testing is required for proper diagnosis.
When's the last time you changed your smoke detectors batteries?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The wiring in your unit is your landlords responsibility. He's the one to complain to about getting a licensed electrician out to check it. If you call one without notifying your landlord, and haven't made arrangements for payment, don't expect reimbursement.

If it's ConEd's problem, a licensed electrician will let you know, ConEd will give you the runaround. Check for a current license, not a Home Depot credit card. (that's a giveaway he's not an electrician) A licensed electrician won't have any problem with you asking to see his wallet card.

Your situation is not going to get solved on a web site, too many variables, and hands on testing is required for proper diagnosis.
When's the last time you changed your smoke detectors batteries?



We got a new smoke detector as of about 2 months ago actually. We also have a CO detector as well. We're not sitting on a Centralia Pennsylvania situation here, trust me. I wouldn't be typing this right now if were were :wink:.


I was just trying to get some theories bounced around is all, as to what the problem could be. So I'd have an idea of what to tell the landlord and/or electrician to look for should I decide to set a visit in motion. I wanted to have at least a crumb or two of intel to provide.
 

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We got a new smoke detector as of about 2 months ago actually. We also have a CO detector as well. We're not sitting on a Centralia Pennsylvania situation here, trust me. I wouldn't be typing this right now if were were :wink:.


I was just trying to get some theories bounced around is all, as to what the problem could be. So I'd have an idea of what to tell the landlord and/or electrician to look for should I decide to set a visit in motion. I wanted to have at least a crumb or two of intel to provide.
If it's a sustained under-voltage situation, it could cause damage to motor driven equipment, like washer/drier, A/C's, vacuum, etc.
And some electronics with unregulated power supplies can suffer degraded performance. As you probably know.
Or, ConEd could have lost a ground at the transformer, which can cause all kinds of other undesired effects.
Do yourself a favor and get a professional to figure it out.
 

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Thanks for posting on ElectricianTalk.com. However, working with electricity and electrical systems can be unsafe if not done by a professional licensed electrician. The moderators of this site would like to advise you to contact a professional electrician in your area.

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