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Lights intermittently flicker in whole house.

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Our lights intermittently flicker in whole house and have been doing so for about 3 weeks. Since it is intermittent, it took us a while to figure out what was going on and that it was not related to any appliance or the furnace. Week 2 we called the utility company and after 2 calls they came out an inspected the outside lines. Of course they sent the guy out in the evening. Anyway, he noted the neutral was secure at the line into the meter box and he said he tightened the connections at the pole. He said to check with the neighbors to see if they have the same problem. Checked with the neighbor who shares the same drop from the transformer and they do not have any flickering. During week 3 (today) had an electrician come out to look at our boxes and the meter box. He came out around noon on a bright day. He tightened a somewhat loose neutral and the main panel and then tightened another item in a sub panel. He also made sure that all other connections were secure. He also checked to see that the connections in the meter box were secure. None of the panels nor the meter box exhibited any signs of corrosion or arcing. I was present when he was doing the work. When dusk hit, I noticed that the lights across all circuits continue to intermittently flicker. The flickering pattern seems to be random in timing and length. One point of reference. The sub-panel controls all of the lights in the house across multiple circuits. The main panel came to play when a previous home owner in the 80s had an attached garage added, which was between the pole and the prior main panel (now the sub panel).

Looking for any advice on the next course of action to take relative to an electrician and/or poco.
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Our lights intermittently flicker in whole house and have been doing so for about 3 weeks. Since it is intermittent, it took us a while to figure out what was going on and that it was not related to any appliance or the furnace. Week 2 we called the utility company and after 2 calls they came out an inspected the outside lines. Of course they sent the guy out in the evening. Anyway, he noted the neutral was secure at the line into the meter box and he said he tightened the connections at the pole. He said to check with the neighbors to see if they have the same problem. Checked with the neighbor who shares the same drop from the transformer and they do not have any flickering. During week 3 (today) had an electrician come out to look at our boxes and the meter box. He came out around noon on a bright day. He tightened a somewhat loose neutral and the main panel and then tightened another item in a sub panel. He also made sure that all other connections were secure. He also checked to see that the connections in the meter box were secure. None of the panels nor the meter box exhibited any signs of corrosion or arcing. I was present when he was doing the work. When dusk hit, I noticed that the lights across all circuits continue to intermittently flicker. The flickering pattern seems to be random in timing and length. One point of reference. The sub-panel controls all of the lights in the house across multiple circuits. The main panel came to play when a previous home owner in the 80s had an attached garage added, which was between the pole and the prior main panel (now the sub panel).

Looking for any advice on the next course of action to take relative to an electrician and/or poco.
what city you in ?
 

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could be few things:

1. Voltage fluctuations -> monitoring needed,
2. Fixture with broken input filter,
3. Overheated connections, hard to find with low humidity,
4. Arcing, could be located when it is happening using old school method with portable FM radio between frequencies.

...and some more.

good luck
 

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Our lights intermittently flicker in whole house and have been doing so for about 3 weeks. Since it is intermittent, it took us a while to figure out what was going on and that it was not related to any appliance or the furnace. Week 2 we called the utility company and after 2 calls they came out an inspected the outside lines. Of course they sent the guy out in the evening. Anyway, he noted the neutral was secure at the line into the meter box and he said he tightened the connections at the pole. He said to check with the neighbors to see if they have the same problem. Checked with the neighbor who shares the same drop from the transformer and they do not have any flickering. During week 3 (today) had an electrician come out to look at our boxes and the meter box. He came out around noon on a bright day. He tightened a somewhat loose neutral and the main panel and then tightened another item in a sub panel. He also made sure that all other connections were secure. He also checked to see that the connections in the meter box were secure. None of the panels nor the meter box exhibited any signs of corrosion or arcing. I was present when he was doing the work. When dusk hit, I noticed that the lights across all circuits continue to intermittently flicker. The flickering pattern seems to be random in timing and length. One point of reference. The sub-panel controls all of the lights in the house across multiple circuits. The main panel came to play when a previous home owner in the 80s had an attached garage added, which was between the pole and the prior main panel (now the sub panel).

Looking for any advice on the next course of action to take relative to an electrician and/or poco.
Geez, Buddy. Don't yell at us.
 

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F**ked up meter connection or sumpin'

Utility guys like to glance at their connectors and call them good - nevermind they've got 5 bugs in a row connecting a single piece of wire together flapping around in the wind. I wouldn't rule that out.

It's not rocket surgery. It's not necessarily a neutral connection. Could be a loose connection at any point on the service or lighting feeder. If various circuits are all intermittently flickering then it narrows it down a point in a main feed somewhere.
 

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Unplug the X-mas lights already!:laughing:

There are quite a few things it could be and a Good Electrician will figure it out. Hire one.

The house will most likely burn down tonight though, so don't worry!:thumbup::thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I will be able to post a picture on Friday. I am having another electrician come out on Friday morning and they will have testing equipment. Last electrician did not do any voltage testing. Any advice on what I should ensure the new guy cover? Looks like the last one either missed or overlooked the need to test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It took me 2 calls to get POCO (First Energy) out to the house. When I first called, we had snow on the ground and every day I would come home to see if there were any footprints by either the meter or the pole. After a couple of days of seeing no evidence that anyone came out I had to call them again. I am hoping that having 2 different electricians coming to my house will support my case with the POCO that the problem is on their end and they need to come out again and in the daytime. I hope that the electrician that comes out Friday finds and fixes the problem because it would be easier than having to deal with the POCO. If the 2nd electrician determines the problem is outside and the POCOs responsibility, any advice on how to get the POCO to be cooperative?

Thanks again for all of those who have replied!
 

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It can be so many different things.

I try to tell my clients this;

Keep a notepad and pen at the ready. Whenever it starts to happen, write down where it is happening, what you were doing, what you were using, and how long it occurred.

It is a little like taking the car to the mechanic, only the noise stops as soon as you get there. If the issue does not occur at the moment that the electrician is there, it is unlikely they will diagnose it on the first call.

I have a bunch of circuit breakers that look nice on the outside, brand new some of them. The voltage tested good, all the connections were tight, etc....Guess what? The breakers were faulty on the inside. Drilled out the rivets and it was revealed. Not everything is solved on the first trip, especially with HO's that do not remember things as they actually occurred. Most of us generally know what it is, it is just a matter of pinpointing where it is occurring.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The 2nd electrician came out today. He tested the voltage and noted it was pretty even coming in. He torqued down the lugs in the meter box. Inspected both the main and sub panel. On the main panel, the main breaker would not shut off. They are ordering a new main breaker and will install it when it comes in. The box was installed in the 80s and is a 200 amp cutler hammer panel. Should the main breaker be hard to find? Hopefully when the new main breaker is installed it will take care of the problem.
 

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The 2nd electrician came out today. He tested the voltage and noted it was pretty even coming in. He torqued down the lugs in the meter box. Inspected both the main and sub panel. On the main panel, the main breaker would not shut off. They are ordering a new main breaker and will install it when it comes in. The box was installed in the 80s and is a 200 amp cutler hammer panel. Should the main breaker be hard to find? Hopefully when the new main breaker is installed it will take care of the problem.
The main breaker not shutting off is NOT you problem with the lights flickering.
 

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The 2nd electrician came out today. He tested the voltage and noted it was pretty even coming in. He torqued down the lugs in the meter box. Inspected both the main and sub panel. On the main panel, the main breaker would not shut off. They are ordering a new main breaker and will install it when it comes in. The box was installed in the 80s and is a 200 amp cutler hammer panel. Should the main breaker be hard to find? Hopefully when the new main breaker is installed it will take care of the problem.
You sound like a great customer to have. It's a shame neither electrician has solved your problem. Did you try to the main off yourself? The breaker shouldn't be hard to find. There are ways to find your problem which neither of your electricians did it appears. You could spend a lot of money trying different electricians so don't look for the cheapest guy out there, or the residential flat rate guy in the slick van. Get a reputable company to handle your future problems (not to say those guys aren't reputable).
 
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