Power brown-out

I was hoping someone may be willing to help diagnose an electrical issue I’m having. The home is a 1984 mobile home with 200amp service and a window a/c on a dedicated 220v circuit. Over the past few days seemingly all circuits in the home will brown out for 2-3 seconds, then return to full strength. No breakers will trip when this occurs. The power load of starting the microwave seems to trigger it, but I’ve only witnessed it twice, so that could be circumstance. The power consumption of the home is not extraordinary (no special appliances, devices, etc). An experienced landlord friend has suggested the incoming power from the utility line may be the culprit. Any ideas or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

I would agree with your friend- sort of. If you were to put an tool on the lines showing the AMP usage I think it would tell the story.

Almost all things that use electric current spike the AMP usage at startup. Like a car- they consume more energy (amps) at startup, and once going they tail off the amp usage. Unless your talking about a oven or stove- though they cycle to regulate heat. My power dims when my neighbors AC unit turns on.

there is one other thing to check- if something is starting to fail- it will draw much more power. So you might have an issue with the appliance- thus the amp meter.

So the smaller the service to the home, and the more stuff drawing power will also have effect on this and needs to be factored in…

Good luck!

I would get a licensed electrician out there – you don’t want to take any chances with electricity. If you don’t bring in a licensed electrician and the house burns down and kills everyone, you are going to have real problems on the witness stand, as well as from your insurance company. Electricity and gas problems are one arena that it’s definitely worth the money to bring in the professionals, as the downside is so large.

If in fact you have witnessed the problem when the microwave powers up I would try to test the theory that the microwave is the source of the problem. It may be that the transformer in the unit is failing. If starting the microwave causes the brownout problem bring in another microwave and see if the problem repeats. If so then you can call the utility company or an electrician.

We had a similar situation in 2 of our mobile homes. Whenever they plugged in something that draws a lot of power all the lights in the house would dim and the item drawing the power would barely run. We had our electrician trouble shoot it and after about 2 hours he figured out it was a bad neutral coming from the splice box out by the street and therefore it was the power companies responsibility. Like frank said, get an electrician on it and have them diagnose it.

Thank y’all for all the feedback. I had an electrician out today to diagnose it, and it appears a rusty neutral lug on the load side (my side) of the power pedestal is the culprit. To fix it, I’ll coordinate with the utility to pull the meter, then we’ll simply replace the lug. Thank you again for all the feedback.