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IBEW L.U. 1852
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off.......I haven't witnessed this with my own eyes but I have three people whom I trust and know to be reliable who are seeing this.

OK....disclaimer finished:laughing:

A friend of mine just called me and said he has something wierd going on outside of his house. He has a wood fired hot-air furnace in his house with two 1/2HP motors operating the blower fans. It seems that when the fans start......EVERY time the fans start, the streetlight in front of his house shuts off. Minutes after the fan stops, the light flickers back to life.:001_huh:
Seems wierd to me. I'm kind of baffled but I'm sure there is an easy answer. Anybody got any ideas??

Are these guys whom I trust just pulling my leg on this one? Could the vans be dropping the voltage that much?? Wierd neutral issue???
Impossible????
 

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animal lover /rat bastard
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if it is a sodium lamp, it is possible that it is at end of life and extremely susceptible to even mild sag, causing it to lose arc and cycle. Tell him to have some neighborhood kids shoot out the lamp, then call the poco to replace it. otherwise, I have no clue. (as always, if the kids are caught and prosecuted, I will disavow any knowledge of this post. good luck Jim)
 

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Electrical Contractor
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5,737 Posts
First off.......I haven't witnessed this with my own eyes but I have three people whom I trust and know to be reliable who are seeing this.

OK....disclaimer finished:laughing:

A friend of mine just called me and said he has something wierd going on outside of his house. He has a wood fired hot-air furnace in his house with two 1/2HP motors operating the blower fans. It seems that when the fans start......EVERY time the fans start, the streetlight in front of his house shuts off. Minutes after the fan stops, the light flickers back to life.:001_huh:
Seems wierd to me. I'm kind of baffled but I'm sure there is an easy answer. Anybody got any ideas??

Are these guys whom I trust just pulling my leg on this one? Could the vans be dropping the voltage that much?? Wierd neutral issue???
Impossible????
The street light circuit should have nothing to do with the houses. Isn't it a separate run from the transformers to the poles?
Think they're pulling your p###er
 

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Administrator
Retired EC
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The street light circuit should have nothing to do with the houses. Isn't it a separate run from the transformers to the poles?
Think they're pulling your p###er
I agree but if it is using the same trany there could be something amiss. I would think it would show up in the house also. Just possible there is something to it but I doubt it.

My guess is the ballast is overheating and cycling on and off and it is a coincidence with the connection to the fan in the house.
 

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IBEW L.U. 1852
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5,261 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree but if it is using the same trany there could be something amiss. I would think it would show up in the house also. Just possible there is something to it but I doubt it.

My guess is the ballast is overheating and cycling on and off and it is a coincidence with the connection to the fan in the house.
I came up with the same suggestions but it has apparently been happenning for some time now. He can make it happen by just turning up the t-stat or turning the fan control to manual. The light will stay off the entire time he forces the fan to stay on and will flicker back to life within moments of the fan being turned off. If he shuts the furnace disconnect switch off and stops the fan then the light will continue to run. I talked with a linesman who is a friend of mine and after he stopped laughing.....he said the same thing I told the first friend. IMPOSSIBLE!!

Its either a half decent practical joke.....I'm being trolled over the phone:laughing: or this is way beyond my tiny minds comprehension.:blink:

I'm getting in the truck to go see this with my own two eyes.
 

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Electrical Contractor
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5,737 Posts
My guess is the ballast is overheating and cycling on and off and it is a coincidence with the connection to the fan in the house.
I think you are right about that. It makes the most sense.
If they are in an overhead serviced area, it would be possible that there is a bad connection at the pole.
Underground area?? No idea, unless the pad mount has a problem.
 

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RIP 1959-2015
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39,618 Posts
I came up with the same suggestions but it has apparently been happenning for some time now. He can make it happen by just turning up the t-stat or turning the fan control to manual. The light will stay off the entire time he forces the fan to stay on and will flicker back to life within moments of the fan being turned off. If he shuts the furnace disconnect switch off and stops the fan then the light will continue to run. I talked with a linesman who is a friend of mine and after he stopped laughing.....he said the same thing I told the first friend. IMPOSSIBLE!!

Its either a half decent practical joke.....I'm being trolled over the phone:laughing: or this is way beyond my tiny minds comprehension.:blink:

I'm getting in the truck to go see this with my own two eyes.
It won't work when you get there..:laughing::laughing:
 

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IET
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1,599 Posts
I came up with the same suggestions but it has apparently been happenning for some time now. He can make it happen by just turning up the t-stat or turning the fan control to manual. The light will stay off the entire time he forces the fan to stay on and will flicker back to life within moments of the fan being turned off. If he shuts the furnace disconnect switch off and stops the fan then the light will continue to run. I talked with a linesman who is a friend of mine and after he stopped laughing.....he said the same thing I told the first friend. IMPOSSIBLE!!

Its either a half decent practical joke.....I'm being trolled over the phone:laughing: or this is way beyond my tiny minds comprehension.:blink:

I'm getting in the truck to go see this with my own two eyes.
Video this Canadian phenomenon, or we don't believe it!
 

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Registered
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Ballast on the street lamp is on it's last legs so filtering components are shot (they are often the first to go). Noise on the ground loop from the blower motors starting is affecting the electronics in the ballast and making it turn off. Similar to what is being discussed in this article.

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1274126


You might even be able to duplicate it by keying up a decent radio next to it. I used to be able to do that on my street light until they finally replaced it.
 

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Senior Member
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13,020 Posts
I came up with the same suggestions but it has apparently been happenning for some time now. He can make it happen by just turning up the t-stat or turning the fan control to manual. The light will stay off the entire time he forces the fan to stay on and will flicker back to life within moments of the fan being turned off. If he shuts the furnace disconnect switch off and stops the fan then the light will continue to run. I talked with a linesman who is a friend of mine and after he stopped laughing.....he said the same thing I told the first friend. IMPOSSIBLE!!

Its either a half decent practical joke.....I'm being trolled over the phone:laughing: or this is way beyond my tiny minds comprehension.:blink:

I'm getting in the truck to go see this with my own two eyes.
As far as I can tell, this is magic.
 

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Rollie73 said:
First off.......I haven't witnessed this with my own eyes but I have three people whom I trust and know to be reliable who are seeing this. OK....disclaimer finished:laughing: A friend of mine just called me and said he has something wierd going on outside of his house. He has a wood fired hot-air furnace in his house with two 1/2HP motors operating the blower fans. It seems that when the fans start......EVERY time the fans start, the streetlight in front of his house shuts off. Minutes after the fan stops, the light flickers back to life.:001_huh: Seems wierd to me. I'm kind of baffled but I'm sure there is an easy answer. Anybody got any ideas?? Are these guys whom I trust just pulling my leg on this one? Could the vans be dropping the voltage that much?? Wierd neutral issue??? Impossible????
. Have they tried recreating this with over heavy loads in the house ? Something with a high inrush current Like an ac condenser , or electric dryer ? I'd say if the problem follows another load , what everyone else here is saying is true . Sounds like a streetlight on it's last legs , and the slightest load discrepancies are messing with it . Interesting one Rollie !
 

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IBEW L.U. 1852
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5,261 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Video this Canadian phenomenon, or we don't believe it!
I went to see it last night.....it happened right in front of my own two eyes and I still dont believe it.
Ballast on the street lamp is on it's last legs so filtering components are shot (they are often the first to go). Noise on the ground loop from the blower motors starting is affecting the electronics in the ballast and making it turn off. Similar to what is being discussed in this article.

http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1274126


You might even be able to duplicate it by keying up a decent radio next to it. I used to be able to do that on my street light until they finally replaced it.
Thanks.......as always great info from JRaef.
As far as I can tell, this is magic.
Im an electrical wizard (modest too. Lol) and I couldn't reproduce this if I tried.
. Have they tried recreating this with over heavy loads in the house ? Something with a high inrush current Like an ac condenser , or electric dryer ? I'd say if the problem follows another load , what everyone else here is saying is true . Sounds like a streetlight on it's last legs , and the slightest load discrepancies are messing with it . Interesting one Rollie !
Certainly interesting drum.....Im even thinking about towing our load bank out there just to recreate the problem for the POCO. I called them this morning and they think Im insane too. Lmao
 
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