Boy
Lv 4
Boy asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 2 months ago

I turn on my bathroom lights and they brighten what could be the problem? ?

When the wash machine is running usually the lights in the bathroom slightly dim and get brighter. It is hardly noticeable however.

I came into the bathroom (no appliances running in the kitchen) and turned on the lights and the lights turned on and then brightened. 

What could this be a cause from? 

2 Answers

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  • Snezzy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If you are in the US or Canada, then your wiring is normally 240 volts split into two 120-volt legs with a grounded neutral. If the neutral connection to the transformer that supplies power to your house is incorrect (open, loose, corroded) then you have a "floating neutral" which is a dangerous situation. 

    If instead of dimming when some appliance turns on, the lights get noticeably brighter, that is a sign of a possible floating neutral. Under normal circumstances if you call the electric power company and tell them you suspect a floating neutral, they will show up at your place instantly.

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  • 2 months ago

    the wiring in your house (?) flat (?) unit (?) isn't in new condition and may be too low in total power rating [wattage]. when the washing machine starts, the motor creates a back surge in the power supply line, which is what dims the lights. This suggests that the circuit the washing machine is connected to lacks sufficient excess capacity. [the startup power draw of all motors is higher than their steady state power needs by at least 20pc ... and plenty of makers labels in the old days didn't disclose the actual startup power needs, just the steady state needs.]

    or, the issue may be that the residence lacks sufficient power -- meaning it was designed for an earlier time when we had many fewer electrical appliances, etc. in use.

    one thing you can do if you have an electric hot water heater is to turn it off as the usual condition. turn it back on about 20 minutes before any significant usage -- lick showering, drawing a bath, or doing the dishes. And then turn it back off after that use has drawn its water. This will reduce both the total power demand while the heater is turned off [and thus leave more for all other uses] AND, probably, reduce your electric bill. There should be a wall mounted box or shutoff switch for this -- it may be on the "other side" of the wall where the heater is located.

    Detecting this issue involves going around and unplugging [or turning off] power uses one by one ... starting with anything that a) cools the air, then b) heats water, and then c) pumps water. Those are the biggest power draws. After them comes items like the refrigerator or freezer -- which uses power to make a small area cold. After turning off or unplugging, one goes and tries the lights until you find something that, when off, stops this issue with the lights. If/when you find it ... that item needs to be examined carefully for electrical problems.

    If nothing individual solves this, then try entire groups by turning off the circuit breakers one by one and trying again. If this isolates one circuit which is causing the issue with the lights, then try everything on that circuit individually. On rare occasion, you'll find something that is doing this, which then needs to be examined carefully and/or replaced.

    Source(s): grampa -- ya, it can be a real puzzle. go slow, try EVERYTHING. Calling an electrician is the last resort -- they charge 75 or more just to show up. Of course, if you are a tenant, you call the landlord if/after ... determining that the problem is in something that is his responsibility.
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