Weird electric issue
Click here for Top Ten Discussions. CLICK HERE for Q & A Homepage
Receive Free Rental Owner Updates Email:  
MrLandlord Q & A
Weird electric issue (by elliot [RI]) Apr 24, 2018 2:59 AM
       Weird electric issue (by Robert J [CA]) Apr 24, 2018 4:30 AM
       Weird electric issue (by fred [CA]) Apr 24, 2018 5:46 AM
       Weird electric issue (by elliot [RI]) Apr 24, 2018 4:25 PM
       Weird electric issue (by Tony [NJ]) Apr 24, 2018 4:26 PM
       Weird electric issue (by Jason [PA]) Apr 25, 2018 5:14 AM
       Weird electric issue (by cjl [NY]) Apr 25, 2018 7:47 AM
       Weird electric issue (by cjo'h [CT]) Apr 25, 2018 9:17 AM
       Weird electric issue (by Vee [OH]) Apr 26, 2018 5:16 PM

Weird electric issue (by elliot [RI]) Posted on: Apr 24, 2018 2:59 AM

I have a new tenant to the newly acquired building.. On top of leaky roof and low cold water volume, she showed me a video of bathroom light gets brighter and darker on it own, she also stated that around dinner time, half of the ceiling lights/outlet went dimmer and out, then came back on its own.

We all heard of flickering lights due to loose wire. What would have caused the symptom she described.. (She invited me to stay late, which I haven't done so since I am 1 hour away and need to educate myself on that first)

Some wires are on knob & Tube. I did notice the hack job of wiring.. Two 30AMP wires from basement to 3rd floor on top of a 50AMP for the electric stove. One 2-30AMP goes to a sub panel which only has three 15amp breakers wired without ground (subpanel has to wire the netural and ground on separate bar, should be 3-30A wire minimal) The other 30AMP wire I have no idea. Some outlets are on new wire, all got their ground wire cut, whoever did the job had no idea about electricity.

Will figure out which breaker ties to what shortly. Will have to rewire eventually. My electrician just did the hardwire smoke and is aware of all the odd wiring in the basement and upstairs.

Weird electric issue (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Apr 24, 2018 4:30 AM

Knot and Tube, also know as Fire and Smoke. Replace and ground everything. You're problems will go away.... --47.156.xx.xx

Weird electric issue (by fred [CA]) Posted on: Apr 24, 2018 5:46 AM

Re wire the building now...avoid serious, I mean serious problems later.

Did you have the building inspected prior to close of escrow?

If not, remember doing so next time.

You have to deal with the three biggies: roofing, plumbing and electric. I hope that the building price was attractive.

Weird electric issue (by elliot [RI]) Posted on: Apr 24, 2018 4:25 PM

Half of my properties are on knob and tube, and none has started a fire yet..

I am not sweating that.. knob and tube has been here more than 100 years.. the percentage of house burnt down is .... Not that I am looking for that..

Just wonder about the electric issue..

Its a 3rd floor without attic, so it is not as simple as running couple new wires.

Weird electric issue (by Tony [NJ]) Posted on: Apr 24, 2018 4:26 PM

There's a questionable connection someplace. Probably in the building someplace. The best remedy as suggested is to have the entire place rewired. But get this. I had a similar situation in a multi not long ago. One tenant complained of some flickering in her bathroom only. My inspection came up blank (I'm not an electrician but have some basic knowledge). On day I was in another apartment and noticed this in the kitchen. That tenant said it's been going on for some time. Two apartments - 2 different 100 amp breaker boxes - hmmmmmm. I called the power utility. It was a problem with a 3 phase transformer on a nearby pole. Suggestion - see if this can be isolated to a certain circuit or one ot the 2 phases coming into the building. This deserves prompt attention. Good luck.

Weird electric issue (by Jason [PA]) Posted on: Apr 25, 2018 5:14 AM

You can buy a clamp on inductive current meter at harbor freight for 12 or 20$. You can clamp that on the hot coming from each circuit breaker, seeing if at times the circuit breaker itself Is over loading or cutting out. A loose or malfunctioning breaker may be your problem. Also,once you identify some of the wiring you can relocate wiring to different breakers in the panel --99.203.xx.xx

Weird electric issue (by cjl [NY]) Posted on: Apr 25, 2018 7:47 AM

Elliot - I would possibly call National Grid - my daughter's condo building had an electrical issue a few years back and it was "half the building was fine, the other half seemed to be on half power". This was after a storm and no one could figure out what was going on. National Grid came out and it was a transformer.

Then last year - a building here in December - a new tenant moved in. When I was there on the move-in during the day everything was fine. Then they called later and said "our stove (which is electric) isn't working". I went and checked to make sure it was plugged in and it was a bit odd - the time, etc all worked but the burners wouldn't operate. I went to the breaker box and just checked the breakers. Turned them off then back on. No difference. This also affected their bathroom lights (not bright - very dim or wouldn't work at all).

I had no idea so I called my electrician to come out and check it out. By the time he was there - all was working good again. However - another tenant in a different apartment (same building) called and said that their stove wasn't working. The electrician was still there. So he checked that out. He then checked the electric meters and the panels and they were not operating (voltage was way off) and it was affecting ALL apartments in the building.

I called National Grid to have them come out and there was a branch from the tree near the road rubbing on the wire. They had to replace it (and trimmed the tree back some).

Weird electric issue (by cjo'h [CT]) Posted on: Apr 25, 2018 9:17 AM

Elliot,I wouldn't wait too long,to get everything re-wired.just because a building hasn't burned,doesn't mean it won't. Charlie.................................................................................. --174.199.x.xx

Weird electric issue (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Apr 26, 2018 5:16 PM

Starting in the load center retorque the big wires and all the small ones, go from panel to panel, only takes 1 burnt loose wire, measure voltage from each main to nuetral and main to main, you should come within 10 percent of 120 vac and 230 vac, once you go thru the load center wires measure from the nuetral to a water pipe near the floor - if you can measure voltage then your building ground needs reworking.

Subject: RE: Weird electric issue
Your Name:
Your State:

Weird electric issue
Would you like to be notified via email when somebody replies to this thread?
If so, you must include your valid email address here. Do not add your address more than once per thread/subject. By entering your email address here, you agree to receive notification from every time anyone replies to "this" thread. You will receive response notifications for up to one week following the original post. Your email address will not be visible to readers.
Email Address: